Research from Google shows that local mobile search may actually be more important than previously thought, especially when it comes to conversions within a short window of time. According to the research, 50 percent of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone will visit a corresponding store within a day, and 18 percent of those searches will lead to a purchase within 24 hours.
Though this type of broad research can apply to almost any business, it's particularly important for restaurants. According to Google, "nearly half of people won't search for a restaurant until within an hour of going. That number jumps to almost 60 percent for millennials." But while having a mobile digital site is incredibly important for restaurants looking to attract these types of spur-of-the-moment consumers, it isn't enough to fill booths and tables ahead of the dinner rush. Here are three tips on how to maximize the impact of local mobile search.
1. Make Sure That Directory Listings Are Correct (Everywhere)
The Internet is filled with directory services, such as Google and Yelp!, reservation services, like OpenTable, and tourist information services, such as TripAdvisor. Though this may seem like a daunting task, you should go through and add the correct address, business hours and menu information for all of these websites. If consumers feel like they have incomplete information about a dining establishment or see inconsistent data across multiple sources, they'll likely become frustrated and seek out another restaurant. Losing diners to data error is a problem that is easily fixed, and once this issue has been corrected, your dining establishment will see the benefits immediately.
2. Include a Click-to-Call Feature
One mobile feature that has gotten a lot of press lately is click-to-call. When diners want to make a reservation, they want the process to be swift and easy. As such, diners would like to be able to perform a search, see their options and then use a handy click-to-call button to make their reservation. Though search listings often provide a click-to-call number automatically, you should also make sure that your mobile website has a prominent "click to make a reservation" link on every single page in a prominent location. This is vital, because after consumers start perusing your website, they won't want to have to return to their search results to find the click-to-call button. According to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter has also introduced a click-to-call feature, which lets consumers make reservations directly from a restaurant's lead generation card. This is a great way to convert followers into diners.
3. Put Your Address in a Prominent Location
Though consumers should be able to find out pretty much everything about your restaurant from your mobile website, they'll still have to find your establishment. As such, you should feature your address prominently and include location and map data to give your customers confidence when searching for your establishment. To further eliminate the possibility of losing diners due to location confusion, you should highlight any landmarks in the surrounding area.