Free SEO Training for Indie Restaurants

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My favorite Indian restaurant went out of business this past year.  Call me selfish, but I’m tired of my favorite little ethnic (and other unique) restaurants going under. It’s not just the food. It’s the culture. These unique little establishments add some much needed flavor to Spokane, and I’d like to do something to help them survive in this tough economy. So, I’ve decided to teach a free Internet marketing seminar series for indie restaurants. The classes will focus on how to use search engine optimization, social media, and other Internet marketing strategies to find new customers. And yes, it’s free.

So what’s the problem, anyway? Well, it’s often an impulsive choice of where to eat. “Hey Honey, how does Vietnamese sound tonight?” They search online for where to go. Here’s what they find:

Spokane Vietnamese Restaurants

The problem is that these just aren’t good search results. There are bogus listings as well as duplicates. Players & Spectators is a Vietnamese restaurans? I did not know this. My favorite Vietnamese Restaurant, Vina (at the corner of Ash & Northwest BLVD), isn’t even on the complete list of Vietnamese Restaurants on Google Local. However, the Spokane Public Library is. I didn’t know that, either. Books, free WiFi, and spicy Beef Pho,… now we’re cookin’ with gas! Many great restaurants aren’t even found by their own name. You get the idea. Here are a few details about the first class. I look forward to seeing you there.

Class Location: Monterey Cafe’ 9 N. Washington Street (Sprague & Washington)

Date/Time: TBD (We’re shooting for late April)

 

We’ll discuss many aspects of Internet marketing. Here’s a bit of what you’ll learn to do:

-Create your own Google Local Business Listing (as well as local listings on Yahoo and MSN)
-Add online citations to improve your Internet exposure (even without a web site)
-Add descriptive online listing categories to get targeted traffic for your business
-Take advantage of the 20,000+ searches a month for Spokane Restaurants
-Use social networks to create a following for your restaurant
-Use great Local Search offerings like GetListed.org to streamline the process.

It should be a good time. The Monterey Cafe’ has graciously offered to host the first event and will be providing a tasty selection of light appetizers for the group. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.

5 replies
  1. David Mihm says:

    Ed, this is awesome. I can’t wait to hear the results of this seminar. It would be great to see more Local SEO’s initiating similar seminars. Please take plenty of pictures and let us know how it goes!

  2. Heather Steele says:

    What an awesome idea! We love to give free training sessions, they usually end up being the most fun 🙂 And you know the attendees really want to be there.

    Warm fuzzies all around!

  3. Ed says:

    Thanks for the feedback, David and Heather. Yeah, I’m really excited about it. I’ve talked to about a dozen restaurants so for that are interested in attending the class. It’s tough enough for places like this to make it (even before the economy started tanking). There would just never be enough in their budgets to hire folks like us, so I think it’s appropriate to treat these great indie restaurants as non-profits in a way. I’d hate for these kinds of places to be replaced by bland middle-of-the-road fare. We’ve got enough of that already. The biggest mind-blowing thing they’ll learn is how much they can do even without a web site. That’s been the biggest shocker so far when I’ve talked with folks. I’ll take lots of pics and document the event for you. I’ll be creating some case studies of our group as a whole as well as track the individual progress of the people who are willing to share data.

  4. Jeffrey Summers says:

    An SEO workshop won’t do any operator a damn bit of good if they don’t have the basics of marketing down – and most independents don’t. That’s where they need direction. And if they don’t have the money to hire someone to help them do it, then there’s a bigger problem at work.

    You don’t tell people what you want them to hear, you tell them what they need to hear. Right now it’s not SEO.

  5. Ed Reese says:

    Hi Jeffrey,

    I’m curious why you don’t think it will do any good. I’m not asking them to replace their traditional marketing with SEO, just add it to the mix. It’s not an either/or thing, but a compliment to what they are already doing. There are so many poor search results for restaurants in our area I am very curious to see the impact.

    Ed

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