My Brief to Lou & Harry

Dear Lou and Harry,

Allow me to preface this memo by saying that I truly enjoy your sports bar and grill.  I have had many great times there, and anticipate many more.  However, I feel that you could do quite a bit to improve your presence on the internet.

First of all, I’d like you to take a look at the image you project online...

  • You have a pretty decent Facebook fan page
  • You have less than 200 followers on Twitter (and when you search “Lou and Harry’s”  there is an overwhelming number of negative tweets about your establishment)
  • Website wise, you are very difficult to find.
    • Even when you Google search “Lou and Harry’s”  the first result is a poorly done website (www.louandharrys.com) which is so old that it still says that your downtown East Lansing location is “relocating soon to 16800 Chandler Rd,” which if I remember correctly, occurred about 2 years ago.
    • The only way I was able to find your current website was by searching “Lou and Harry’s Sports Bar and Grill,” which I think is an issue because I have only heard your establishment referred to in conversation as “Lou-Ha’s,” never by the full name.

Your online presence is passable as far as existing customers go, but with your current strategy, you aren’t able to really generate more business.  I think it is important that you maximize your use of online advertising and word of mouth to coax people into coming to your establishment because of a few reasons…

  • While most bars in the area are clustered around Grand River between Abbot and Collingwood, you are very far off the beaten path and don’t have the luxury of people stumbling to your door.
  • Most students and community members do some planning before a night out.  A lot of their planning is based on drink specials.  A convenient place to find drink specials is online.
  • I used to think that your establishment was just a place to grab food.  Even when my friends told me they went there one night, I thought they just stopped by for food.   If you had a strong internet presence as a place to go at night as well as the day, you could get over this obstacle.

I would be a pretty mean person if I were to point out your flaws without offering any advice, so here is a sample of some of my ideas…

  • The first is a no-brainer.  Get rid of the www.louandharrys.com website.  It is outdated, looks bad, and is cannibalizing your search results that could lead people to the new site.
  • Your main website could use a few basic changes.
    • As a lot of people search for “drink specials” make sure you list that exact phrase on the website.  “Specials” is too vague.
    • Since you offer “live entertainment,” you should change your events page to the hotter keyword.  Also, put links to the bands which will be performing.  It will help both of you out.
    • You have a Facebook “like” button which is great, but you don’t have anything for Twitter.  This could be a cause of your low follower number.
    • You should try Google Adwords.  Think of things that people would search that you would love to pop up as an answer to.
      • “East Lansing Bar Specials”
      • “Bars in East Lansing”
      • “Sports Bars in East Lansing”
      • “Live Bands in East Lansing”
        • For the first two searches, the first organic result is a website (www.eastlansingbars.com) that is an answer to that question.  It lists all the bars in the East Lansing area as well as their specials, and has a pretty cool blog about upcoming events.  My suggestion is that if you can’t beat them, join them.  They offer advertising on their site, and I’m sure that if you work with them they could highlight your establishment more.

You should have different advertisements for each of the search types...

  • For “East Lansing Bar Specials”
    • This is going to be targeting primarily students.  They want to have fun, but they don’t want to spend a lot doing it.  Students do enough research during the week for their classes; they don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring out what they’re doing Friday night.  Be quick to deliver information, and then let them go to the website once their interest has been peaked.
    • “Lou & Harry’s Sports Bar Specials- East Lansing
          4-8 PM Happy Hour Every Day Of The Week
          Daily Drink Specials- Drafts and Shots
          http://louandharryssportsbar.com/specials/”
  • For “Bars in East Lansing”
    • This is going to be for people unfamiliar with the area, or people that just turned 21.  You’re going to want to communicate that your establishment is the place to be.
    • Lou & Harry’s Sports Bar- East Lansing
          Live music, DJs, 50+ HDTVs, 30+ Beers On Tap
          Great Food, Great Drinks, Great Times
          http://louandharryssportsbar.com/”
  • For “Sports Bars in East Lansing”
    • This is going to be for people wanting to watch the games.  This is your niche; make sure you let them know that this is the place to be for the big game.
    • “Lou & Harry’s Sports Bar- East Lansing
          50+ HDTVs, 30+ Beers On Tap
          ½ off appetizers Sunday 4-8 PM
          http://louandharryssportsbar.com/”
  • For “Live Entertainment in East Lansing”
    • This is for people that are more focused on the entertainment than the drinks.  Put the emphasis on the music.
    • Lou & Harry’s- Live Music in East Lansing
          We’ll be jamming all summer long!
          Check out our live music line-up!
          http://louandharryssportsbar.com/events/”

All of these changes I’ve suggested would be great if they worked, so here are some ways to verify that they do…

  • Google has a great way to track web traffic, called Google Analytics.  The only issue is you don’t know how many of those people end up at your establishment.
  • To overcome this issue, you might want to put a coupon on your website for something like $18 beer tubes, or something along those lines.  The only issue is that people will repeatedly print it off.  However, $3 off won’t lead to you losing much profit off such a large volume of product.
  • You could also look at the rate in which your Facebook page “likes” and your Twitter “followers” increase.

Hopefully you see the same value in these changes as I do.  If you follow the guidelines that I’ve set out, you should be able to see an increase in business from people that don’t live in the “Chandler’s” apartments.

Sincerely,

Alex Tallman