Today’s content marketing interview is with Greg Lewis, Owner of Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store. The title of this article says restaurant, but the Roadhouse is much, much more than just a restaurant.
In January of 2012, the General Store Café closed its doors in Pittsboro North Carolina. When it closed, a piece of Pittsboro went with it. Then, in August of 2012, it came back! As a resident of Chatham County I can confidently proclaim that the Pittsboro Roadhouse & General Store is a staple and an asset to the community.
In Chatham County, there are still some residents using dialup. Many of the area’s businesses have Facebook Pages instead of websites. A few business owners that I have spoken to are actually “afraid” to get a free Google My Business listing. Despite this, there is at least one business making use of two of the important tools that have been available for over a decade: WordPress and unique content! When I visited the Roadhouse’s website I immediately noticed the constant flow of content. I wanted to know, and to share, how content was helping this business.
This interview is part of an ongoing blog series: Great Examples of Business Website Content. Below is our interview with Greg.
An Interview with Greg Lewis
How has content helped you?
Having a variety of content on our website helps more people find us, not just those who know our name and are looking for us. Not everyone is searching for “Pittsboro Roadhouse” or “restaurant, Pittsboro NC”. We want them to find us for music, and dancing, for catering and weddings, for Chatham County events, for local gifts and crafts, as well as for food. To do that, we have to have content focused on each of those topics, and we do.
What other content is on your blog?
We put up blog posts about so many things. We have posts about local farms, local foods, local artists, local musicians, other local businesses, upcoming events. Many things that people will be interested in seeing. You just never know what people are going to search for. We also cover things happening in the surrounding areas.
Do you do any “SEO” at all?
Depends on what you mean by SEO. If you mean do I pay an “SEO” company monthly to do SEO: I don’t do that now, I used to. This time I’m working with a marketing person who integrates SEO in all the content she creates. It’s integrated in the pages of the website, in the blog posts, in the pictures we post and the stories we write.
Current, relevant, content. That is what I call it. We put out current, relevant content and if people are looking for what is happening near them now there’s an increased chance that they’ll find us. We rank for many keywords and phrases we want to rank for, and many that are less obvious, but also valuable. People also want to link to current relevant content, and they do. When we put up content that is worth linking to, we see the links coming in. I do track all of this; just having current, relevant content is all we need. That’s not to say “all” is a little thing – keeping ongoing current content is a lot of work. Not for the faint of heart.
Does social media help?
It helps less and less. I do consider it a very important part of what we do. We have over 4,300 Facebook fans who may really want to see our posts but maybe only 50 – 100 people see most of what we post. I’m not paying to boost the posts, except when it’s an important event. Since Facebook has reduced the free visibility of our posts, and since we’ve worked so hard to build organic traffic to our website, we’ve shifted the priority from Facebook to our website. We update our website every 1 – 3 days.
Where else do you put your content?
The most important place we put our content is on our own website. Everything else funnels back to our website. We have Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube. We occasionally post an article of wider interest on inside919.com, now a news site. On the music side of the house we post our events on ReverbNation, RaleighMusic.com and IndyWeek. We used to post to Zvents.com which worked really well, but they closed shop.
Is most of your content text?
Most of our content is in blog format, but it is not all text. We use pictures. Lots of pictures. We have video too. We could do more with PDFs, but aren’t currently.
What are some unexpected benefits from content?
In a previous business I had a wedding guide that had a huge amount of page views every day for over 5 years. This led to a lot of new business.
We get a lot of traffic. Our current variety of relevant content results in over 1,000 visitors a week to our site most weeks. While we have ways of driving traffic to our site, well over half of the visits are from organic searches.
We get a lot of inquiries from bands. Around 25 bands per week contact us about playing here. We only book 4 – 5 a week, most of them booked 2 – 3 months in advance. We have a lot of content on our website regarding live music.
Posting about regular events like the Food Truck Rodeo brings us a lot of website traffic. The food trucks blast out their location on their social media and on their websites. Then local foodies and event bloggers like to promote it too. Bringing food to a restaurant might sound like a bad idea but it works great for us. The days of the food truck rodeo are our busiest days both for our website traffic, and in person traffic: we sell the most food these days. The food truck rodeo is a big success for the restaurants and vendors, and people seem to love the open air dining, the easy socializing and catching up with friends and family.
Greg’s strategy is excellent and can be applied to not just restaurants but the vast majority of small businesses in America. Creating excellent content leads to success on the Internet and in real life.If you are ever in Pittsboro North Carolina I highly recommend you experience the Roadhouse. Personally, my favorite dish is the Bison Nachos.