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Case Study: Max’s Restaurant

Restaurant in Santa Barbara, CA

20%+ increase in revenue”

Client: Max’s Restaurant
Industry: Restaurant
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Restaurant Marketing Online Case Study


Santa Barbara Restaurant

Max’s Restaurant opened their doors over 30 years ago in Santa Barbara, CA.  They chose to work with Search Engine Pros and modernize their web presence.

The Problems

Max’s Restaurant is a “local favorite” restaurant in Santa Barbara, that’s been serving up high quality food for over 3 decades. Like most restaurants, they face the challenge of overcoming the slow seasons throughout the year to maximize their income potential.

Their web site was outdated and did not view properly on mobile phones or tablets.  This was costing them ranks on Google and other search engines because more than half of all searches occur on mobile phones now.  Making the website mobile friendly was the highest priority item.   In addition they had warnings on their Google Webmaster Tools console.  These issues were preventing the website from ranking on the first page of search engines.  They consulted with our internet marketing experts to find out if modernizing their web presence could improve their overall online performance and help them boost their slow season sales.

The Solutions

WEBSITE: We started by designing a high quality, mobile friendly WordPress Content Management System, Santa Barbara Restaurantequipped with all of the best plugins to maximize their SEO and social media.  We created a unique looking website that captured the charm of Max’s Restaurant.  The new website views perfectly on mobile and tablet devices, as well as various types of browsers.

SEO: Next, we ran a keyword research report to identify a set of high traffic / low competition keywords that we could use on the blog and social sites.  After choosing the best keywords, we wrote a keyword rich description of the restaurant (essentially a BIO) with these keywords, and published it into dozens of local website directories and social media sites.  We then plugged in those keywords in all of the best locations on their website to enhance the Google friendliness of their website.

SEO is broken into two distinct buckets: “on page” factors and “off page” factors. On page factors include such items as: a website’s crawl-ability, internal linking, keyword selection and placement, meta tags, etc. Off page factors (which are far more important) include building link popularity (inbound links) into your website.

There are over 250 factors that determine whether your website will rank on high on Google.  Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. The SEO’s mission is to organize the client’s information and make it robotically accessible and profitable.

Restaurant Social Media MarketingSOCIAL MEDIA:  Next, we helped Max’s Restaurant optimizeCheck In Offer their social media presence, including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube Yelp, Open Table, and Trip Advisor.  Correcting Google Plus Local Listing errors was another high priority fix initially.  Search Engine Pros social media team has a unique approach to social media, incorporating SEO and high touch graphic design. This provides our clients with an unrivaled competitive advantage.  Our distinguished social media practitioners deliver a sustained, integrated, managed, measurable ecosystem that is guided by our clients’ preferences.  We design, create and deliver a high-quality, professional social media strategy that matches our clients business and style.  We also implemented a CHECK IN OFFER for social media which enables customers to get a coffee in exchange for checking in on their Facebook with their phone.

Interesting Stats: Did you know that 66% of marketers claim that social media indirectly impacts their business performance?  Furthermore, 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases. (Forbes)

BLOGGING: Now that Max’s Restaurant had a powerful Google Friendly WordPress Website publishing platform, we opened up discussions around creating a publishing plan to shape perceptions and stay “top of mind” with the target audience.  Our ultimate goal was to get more customers into the restaurant.  We developed a solid content publishing plan that included blogsnewsletters and local event promotions with strategic steps to success.Restaurant Email Newsletter

The content we write contains high traffic keywords, anchor text, alt tags, and title tags to help the web site rank higher and generate more traffic from the search engines (which is where 80% of consumers make buying decisions now – search engines!).  The content engages, entertains, educates and incentivizes customers to keep coming back to the restaurant.  Links to local events are added to generate good will with local partners.  The “multi-touch” marketing approach creates a “ubiquitous presence” that builds the restaurant brand and increases word of mouth referrals.

EMAIL NEWSLETTER: Max’s Restaurant was frustrated with their existing newsletter system.  It had a clunky interface that made sending out newsletters inefficient.  The newsletter itself was very basic looking. It did not view properly on all devices and lacked links to social media.  We helped Max’s design a high touch email newsletter, and organize the email list.  We created an “E-Club” opt in strategy on their website homepage. The E-Club enables Max’s customers to get a free pasta dish in exchange for signing up for E-Club email newsletter specials. 

We helped Max’s research and decide on a set of high open rate email subject lines.  Email newsletter subject lines are critical to success.  With each newsletter, we research open rates for various email subject lines before deciding on the best email subject line (and byline) to use.

Marketing TipsEmail subject lines matter. Really. 64% of people say they open an e-mail because of the subject line. Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened. For B2C emails, the words “Alert,” “New,” “News,” “Bulletin,” “Sale,” “Video,” “Daily,” or “Weekly” (though not “Monthly”) all increase open and click-through rates. For B2B companies, subject lines that contained “money,” “revenue,” and “profit” performed the best.

Interesting Stats: 64 percent of marketers say increasing email click-throughs and open rates is among their top priorities this year.  67 percent of marketers say that email is key for attracting and engaging prospects, and the best path to increase marketing ROI. (Forbes)

The Results

As a result of the newly optimized website, optimized social media presence, and optimized newsletter system, Max’s Restaurant saw 370% increase in website traffic when comparing to last year.  They started publishing keyword rich blogs and storytelling about the various events and specials at their restaurant and the consistent marketing messages to local prospects over the next 6 months expanded their online presence.

Owner Henrietta said the following:

“Search Engine Pros are professional internet marketers that will help you grow your restaurant into the new digital marketing age.  The service vastly out-produced other forms of advertising we’ve tried.  While it’s difficult to measure the exact ROI, I would estimate at least a 20% increase in revenue. I would definitely recommend them to other restaurant owners!”

This is proof that a well-planned, strategically scheduled web marketing campaign can bring in serious ROI for a restaurant.

Max’s Restaurant is now on first page of Google for the keyword “Santa Barbara Restaurants” and 100’s of other search terms.  The new website is now attracting high-quality organic traffic.  This is not a fluke, but rather a result of the smart combination of a Google friendly web site with constant editorializing on the blog and social sites.

To put into perspective: “Santa Barbara Restaurants” gets 6,600 people searching for this keyword every month. This keyword is one of the “gold medal” keywords to be listed for on Google due to it’s large search volume.  This is a keyword that Max’s customers search for every day.

Here’s the important thing to keep in mind:  This keyword has a $0.74 suggested bid on Google Adwords. ( $0.74 for every click to the web site in Google Adwords program).  However, now that Max’s Restaurant is listed in the organic results section, those clicks are F-R-E-E.

Santa Barbara Restaurant

Santa Barbara Restaurants

Santa Barbara Restaurants


Santa Barbara Restaurants


Santa Barbara Restaurants

About Us & What We Do

We deliver customized online marketing solutions that match our clients preferences, business and style. Get more visitors, increase sales.  We bring together product design, brand communications, social connections and content to help businesses win the hearts and minds of friends and supporters.  Image matters. And having a professional approach with your marketing is priceless.  Get serious about your web marketing strategy – schedule a consultation with one of our pros today by calling 800-605-4988.  

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