Most caterers I work with have healthy website traffic. In addition to running a kitchen and a business, these culinary professionals are marketing hard to generate more traffic to their websites. They’re all over Instagram, creating inspiring and beautiful content for their feed and giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their lives and businesses on Stories. They’re playing the search game with SEO and on Pinterest (and sometimes even on YouTube).
The best ones are generating thousands of visits (or sessions, in Google Analytics parlance) to their website each month. Yet, their inquiries remain flat year over year.
The problem isn’t that they need more web traffic or exposure online. They’ve already won that game. Oftentimes, the problem is attracting the right traffic: the highest quality of leads that are able and willing to do business with them. The following are three metrics you can view in Google Analytics that will determine whether your audience is qualified.
If you primarily focus on weddings, your web traffic should mostly be females between the ages of 25-34. If your bread-and-butter is social events, like middle-aged birthday parties and bar/bat mitzvahs, your core audience may skew older.
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To determine the ideal ages and gender of your website traffic, simply look at your real customers. Are they mostly young millennial women? Older middle-aged women? Or men of a certain age? Then, compare your real-life customers to your website demographics. If they don’t match, you may have a problem attracting the right audience to your website.
To fix demographic problems, you’ll want to slice-and-dice your analytics reports. Create a custom segment in Google Analytics for your ideal demographic, then look at your referral reports to see the sites and social media platforms that are sending qualified traffic. Then, you’ll know where to put more effort into marketing.
Note: You must opt-in to receiving the Demographics report in Google Analytics. To do this, simply go to the Demographics report (Audience >> Demographics) and check the box to opt in.
Most caterers serve a specific city or region. Therefore, it’s important that your website visitors are from that city or region. You don’t want a bunch of traffic coming from Dallas, TX, or even Russia, if you mostly serve Jewish families in Queens.
To find out if your traffic is coming from the right city, navigate to the Location report under Audience in Google Analytics (Audience >> Geo >> Location). It will default to “Country”, but you can select “City” instead. Make sure your local city or feeder cities are well represented in this report. A high amount of traffic from a location outside your service area could indicate a traffic and audience problem on your website.
To fix location problems, audit your website content and make sure you are talking about the area(s) you serve on key pages and in your blog. I see this problem a lot with heavy Pinterest users who drive traffic to general blog posts about menus and party planning. They end up attracting people from across the globe looking for general party planning tips.
Instead, write content that is locally-focused, like seasonal menus for your area or seasonal party planning tips for your region. Make sure your city is well represented and front-and-center in your title and keywords.
Note: If you’re in a city that has a lot of destination weddings, your web visitors should also come from feeder cities.
Google defines “bounce rate” as a single-page session on your website. For most catering websites and blogs, a high bounce rate is not great. That’s because the typical caterer’s website will have a homepage, which serves as a gateway to other pages on the site. It will also have separate pages and sections that a web visitor might need to view to make a booking decision, including the portfolio, pricing, and about pages before they click on the contact page to inquire about services.
To correct a high bounce rate, you can do two things:
- Make sure your website meets the expectations of what you are offering or promising in your online marketing.
- Have great calls-to-action on key pages and blog posts on your website. While a strong call-to-action to “Inquire Now” may be the perfect picture on your portfolio page, it may be more reasonable for web visitors to look at additional blog posts on your blog, so you can track their behavior and remarket to them on social media at a later date.
By looking at a few basic reports and taking action to correct any issues, you can supercharge your website’s ability to convert web traffic into real inquiries.