Brand Control Part II: The Linking Game (continued)

PART II of IV (continued)

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This is the second half of Part II in our Brand Control series. Throughout this series, we will explain how you can grab control of your brand and create better results with your online marketing.

This series has included:

Part I: The Numbers Game  

Part II, Explaining the Link Between You and Third-Party Sites.

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 Restaurant X you would see Restaurant X’s website in the top spot 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
  • Reviews
  • Hours of Operation

Unfortunately, in this scenario, restaurants are handing their hard earned cash over to a number of highly influential third-party sites. This is only the start. They are handing over something far more valuable than cash…

The Diversion of “Water”

If you look at it closely, you’ll see similarities between customer hijacking and the the Spring Valley Water Company monopoly in San Francisco, which took place back around the turn of the 20th century. During this time, farmers watched their wells and fields go dry, while water rates rose due to water diversion. The Spring Valley Water Company was diverting water away from farmers who depended on those resources and selling it back to them at a high price, all under the guise of providing a valuable service.

That’s a lot like what third-party sites are doing to restaurants. But instead of water, their diverting customers.

Your customers are worth a tremendous amount of money, but the manipulation and redirection of consumer traffic, and the securing of information about your guests before they get to you, is the real reason third-party sites want to do business with you. It’s what makes companies worth billions.

The numerous sites showing up in the previous page are competing to acquire your customer’s “data-footprint.,” which generates ad and demographic revenue. The customers even get passed back through the third-party site, which handles the reservation, information, or order. When it’s all done, the company receives premium fees for doing so.

Watch Where the Water Flows

Let’s take another example search. Starting in Google, let’s 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.” After all, it is rightfully yours!

What happens above is rooted in site linking and search engine optimization. Fortunately, there’s much that can be done to redirect business back to the restaurant where the real star power resides. Third-party sites need restaurants.

It’s not the other way around!

  • 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 financially 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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