PART II of IV (continued)
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The Art of the Customer Hijack
The “hijacking” of all these other websites that carry the restaurant’s brand is how this portal site has been able to steal the top position even though no such language about that company was typed in the search bar. You’d think if you’d typed “blue jeans” you’d see blue jeans right?
There’s no justifiable reason the above situation should happen to a restaurant. It doesn’t serve the customer, who by the way, only wants either one or a combination of the following:
- Contact Information
- Menu Details
- Location Information
- Ability to inquire about/book reservations or private dining
- Hours of Operation
Unfortunately, in this scenario, restaurants are unwittingly handing their hard earned cash over to a number of highly influential entities. This is only the start. They are handing over something far far more valuable than cash.
The Diversion of “Water”
The peculiar thing about what we’re getting into is how it has echos of the Spring Valley Water Company monopoly in San Francisco back in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s – read on about how farmers watched their wells and fields go dry and ever-increasing water rates. It’s a practice of diverting resources away from those that depend on those resources and selling the resources back at a high price under the guise of providing a valuable service.
Once you understand that where your customers are really coming from, where they go, what they do, what they like, what they don’t like, and how they spend, you’ll see that patrons of the restaurant industry are worth a tremendous amount of money. The motivation behind what happens “upstream” will be very clear. The manipulation and redirection of consumer traffic – and the securing of information about your guests before they get to you- is the real reason they want to do business with you. It’s what makes companies worth billions.
The crowd of dot-coms showing up in the previous page is competing to acquire your customer’s “data-footprint”. This information generates ad revenue and demographic revenue. For the cherry on top, the customers get passed back through to the company that handles whatever it was the customer was looking for in the first place- reservation, take out, etc, where, they receive premium fees for doing so.
Watch Where the Water Flows
Let’s take another example search, starting in Google, and see what happens when a specific restaurant name is entered. Scroll down to follow how the “water” flows from the guest’s initial search to two leading restaurant website portals:
Sample #1: Very Popular Restaurant Going Through Link #1
Sample #2: Same Popular Restaurant Going Through Link #2
Brand Control is Reclaiming Your Star Power
Brand Control is about recognizing what’s going on here, and using the same tools these companies use to reclaim the “water” that’s rightfully yours. What happens above is rooted in site linking and SEO optimization. Fortunately there’s much that can be done to redirect business back to the restaurant where the real star power is. They’re the ones these companies need. It’s not the other way around. And this linking game shows what’s at stake.
- This is not much different than a company using Clark Gable’s star power to advertise a product – without Mr. Gable’s knowledge or consent. The kicker is, that when his fans go to him to ask for his autograph, he’s getting a bill from the “PR” company saying they brought him is fans, and increased his star power.
There’s nothing any other website or technology can provide that a restaurateur, with today’s technology, doesn’t have access to that’s also financialy reasonable. The tools and techniques are now widely available to ensure every restaurant keeps their starring role- and has the best possible relationship with their fans.
Brand Control Part III: The Traffic Game – Coming Soon
For a free local market analysis report of your restaurant, call 512-354-1100.
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