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  1. When you’re in the city your venue is located, if you type the name of your venue in a Google search in your mobile / cellphone, what do you see?
    • It’s unfortunate that there are no results related to your venue, but there’s plenty of things that can be done to fix this! Your answers to the other questions will help determine what to get started with first.

    • It’s good start to see that your venue appears. Ensure that you update your venue’s information in ‘Google My Business’. Your answers to the other questions will help determine what to get started with first.

    • Perfect! This is a great start that you can find your venue. Now it’s all about ensuring people are aware of your venue’s name in order to search for it and continue to engage with you online.

  2. Where is your venue located?
    • As there is so much competition in larger cities, it’ll be harder to rank in search results. However, the rewards huge if you are able to rank in major cities because the number of people searching is so high. If your venue is located in a medium-sized city, it’ll be a little easier as the level of competition is usually fairly reasonable and there’s likely to be a large audience searching for your venue’s restaurant or bar services.

    • You have a great advantage in Google’s local algorithm if you are located right downtown, over less centrally-based competing venues. Local search could be a great opportunity for your venue, as so many people are searching for these in cities.

    • Both local and organic search rankings will be competitive in any city, so if your venue is in the suburbs then ranking locally for searches related to the major city are low. Your best to place your efforts initially on social media – focusing on Facebook or Twitter, or even having an up-to-date blog are going to be the easiest ways to drive new customers via online.

    • If this is the case, you’re likely to have less competition in search engines and while a local search presence will be of benefit, the total number of people actually search for what your venue offers is likely to be more modest. Your answers to some of the other questions below may be more useful to help determine where you should place your online efforts.

  3. Has your venue moved, changed business name or changed its phone number within the last 3 years?
    • Your venue’s NAP information (Name, Address and Phone number) is vital for local search engine rankings. If any of these details have changed recently, you’ll initially be facing an uphill battle to be found.

    • Your venue’s NAP information (Name, Address and Phone number) is vital for local search engine rankings. If these details have been consistent over the last few years then you have a more realistic chance to succeed in local search rankings

  4. How long have you had a website for your venue?
    • If you don’t have a website, you just won’t be able to rank in organic search and it will be extremely difficult to rank in local search.

    • It can take some time for a website to gain visibility in both organic and local search results. It you have a brand new online presence, your efforts on social media can help jumpstart your immediate visibility.

    • Great! If your website has existed for a few years, it’s domain is likely to have what search engines call ‘authority’ and you have a reasonable chance to succeed in both organic and local search. Your answers to some of the other questions below may be more useful to help determine where you should place your online efforts.

  5. How long have you been active on social media?
    • It’ll be more difficult to engage with your customer and potential customers without social media, but it is possible if you have a website or newsletter for instance. It will also be harder to rank in local search without social media channels. The answers to some of your other questions will help determine where you should best place your efforts, but setting up a basic social media channel such as Facebook should be considered.

    • It’s great that you’ve got the channels in place! This will help you engage with customers and potential customers, but also help you rank in local search in the long-run

    • Great! Motivated and engaging venues can find great success with social media and it will also help your venue rank in local search.

  6. How much time are you able to invest in promoting your venue online?
    • Great! Motivated venues can find lots of success in local and social media

    • You’re on the same page as a lot of small/medium businesses out there. You’ll find that your venue might be more likely to find success in local search than in the other areas.

    • No problem at all. If you have the investment behind you and are happy to have someone else handle your marketing, organic search is probably the highest-return and best use of external expertise.

  7. Do you have a marketing budget to promote your venue??
    Keep in mind that even if your venue will be doing this internally, the time that you or an employee spends on these online activities still adds up and should be considered as part of an overall budget.
    • There’s a lot you can do for inexpensively or even for free in local search and social media if you’re willing to give it the time!

    • Fantastic! The opportunities are vast – quality agencies or freelancers will be able to do a lot for your venue with a budget of this size.

  8. How web-savvy are your competitor venues?
    • If this is the case, you may find you’ll have a harder time catching up to them in organic search.

    • If this is the case, your best place to compete with them is probably in the area of local search.

    • You’re lucky! It’s likely that you have opportunities in all areas of online marketing. If you have the budget, it’s best to start with a solid foundation in organic search.