Business and Operations
Marketing your pizzeria online: Making Dough with Diane
By Diane Chiasson
Having a strong online presence is a crucial component of your overall marketing strategy. If you don’t have a well-designed online pizza marketing strategy, it’s now time to develop one.
As an independent pizzeria, you face tough competition from local businesses and pizza chains. Getting your business noticed is more important than ever. According to Google, more than 90 per cent of consumers use the web to search for local businesses.
My column in June explained the reasons your pizzeria should have a website.
Traditional print marketing continues to be a great way for pizzeria shops to promote their business. However, if you are not also working with some other online marketing strategies, you are missing some great opportunities to find your customers, promote your specials and menu items and create a great customer experience.
Here are ideas on how to promote your new website and what to include in your marketing plan to help you increase pizza sales and revenue growth.
Improve your online presence
A website will give your pizzeria great online visibility, which in turn will help customers find you easily. Your new website will be an effective marketing tool and will help generate awareness, provide exposure and extend your pizzeria brand name.
In addition to joining your local chamber of commerce and other pizza-related business organizations, you should get yourself listed in directory services. You should claim your listings in local directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, or your town’s local business directory, as well as other pizza review sites. These sites give users reviews and recommendations of top pizzeria, restaurants, tourist destinations, shops and more. Google will see that you have authority and a strong local presence and will rank your website higher in local listings because of these listings. Make sure you are listing the same information across all platforms: you don’t want discrepancies to lower your ranking.
Having listings on these platforms will help establish your brand and make your pizzeria more visible.
Find keywords your customers are searching
Four in five consumers use search engines to find local pizzeria shops and restaurants. If you have read or heard anything about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you surely know that keywords are a part of optimizing your content for search engines. You need to invest some time in SEO to help your pizzeria show up when customers type keywords into Google when looking for a pizzeria or for the types of pizza and services your restaurant offers.
Basically, search terms are what your potential and regular customers type into search engines to find what they want to buy. You want your potential customers to find your pizzeria shop – not your competition’s shop. You have to imagine what your customers are searching for. This means optimizing your website for search engines like Google, so when someone searches for one or more of your keywords, you are more likely to show up on the pages with these search results. If you own a pizza restaurant, make sure you categorize your business as a restaurant that sells pizza.
The goal is to rank the highest on search engine page results when people use search terms that are relevant to your pizzeria’s concept, type of pizzas and location. To get started, research relevant keywords and phrases for your pizzeria, and use them in your web and social media text. Find the most basic search terms possible such as “ pizzeria,” “pizza,” “gourmet pizza,” “best pizza,” “stuffed pizza,” “thin crust pizza,” “deep dish pizza,” “gluten-free pizza,” “vegan pizza” and “vegetarian pizza.”
For example, if you own a shop in Guelph, relevant keywords might be “Guelph pizzeria,” “pizza in Guelph,” “pizza shop near Guelph, ON,” “local pizza restaurant,” “pizza delivery N1G 2W1” and “Guelph’s pizza.”
Use social media platforms
It’s very simple: if you are not using social media, you are losing business. Social media will help keep your fans coming back again and again. Customers will often visit a pizzeria’s social media profiles to see photos, read reviews and research the good and bad of a business. Think of these platforms as gateways to your website. A strong social presence is a great way for your pizzeria to connect with customers and get instant feedback. Using social media will help you build a loyal following for your business, find new customers and engage with your current ones.
There are multiple user-friendly ways of increasing promotion on social media platforms and I recommend maintaining a presence on one or two of these following platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping food service, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years by providing innovative and revenue-increasing food service and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit