Turnkey SEO: How Luna Grill Feeds its Growth Machine Online

Talk about big plans for the New Year—Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant, Luna Grill, enters 2017 with $30 million in private funding to open at least 18 new eateries.

In 2016, the San Diego-based company doubled to 29 locations throughout Southern California and North Texas, even outgrowing its University Towne Center headquarters and moving into a 10,500-square-foot space in Carmel Mountain Ranch. Over the last year, their website traffic has doubled as well, thanks to increased popularity, more locations and an industry-leading SEO strategy.

The Food at Luna Grill is Phenomenal. But How Do People Discover It?

When we first began working with Luna Grill’s marketing team, the answer to that question was that someone would have to either already know about Luna Grill or happen to pass by a Luna Grill while driving. If they had searched online for Mediterranean food in their city, Luna Grill would typically only show up in the Google Map listings. 

This was a great start. However, there was a lot of opportunity to own multiple first page listings by positioning Luna Grill’s main site to rank better as well. Here’s how we helped one of America’s fastest-growing restaurant chains establish a simple and scalable SEO strategy to capitalize on the power of organic search and hold multiple search results on the first page of Google.

Maximizing Visibility for Luna Grill Locations

Prior to engaging Raindrop Marketing, Luna Grill had not invested in SEO. Our goal was not just to optimize the company’s website for search, but also to put processes in place that could be replicated for each and every Luna Grill restaurant, from Riverside to Hillcrest to Dallas.

We started with keyword research around Mediterranean searches: gyros, kebabs, etc. Our SEO audit and competitive analysis led us to larger opportunities around lunch and catering keywords as well. Our research showed massive potential for Luna Grill to drive strong rankings for Mediterranean food, lunch, and catering keywords. 

To capitalize, we developed an on-page SEO strategy leveraging meta-data optimizations and landing pages to specifically target keyword goals by city for each location. This has helped Luna Grill’s website rank well for a much larger variety of keywords than they would have by just targeting Mediterranean food.

Creating a Scalable SEO Plan for Adding New Locations

After the existing locations were dialed in, it was extremely important to create an SEO process that was efficient and effective for the launch of new locations. We took a number of the learnings from our initial research and developed a roadmap for new locations.

Now, whenever a Luna Grill location is ready to open, our team immediately knows what keywords to target. We then optimize the primary location page and create the necessary supporting landing pages. The landing pages allow us to target a broader reach of keywords and help Luna Grill’s new locations come out of the gate with strong rankings for Mediterranean food, catering, lunch and more. This article explains in greater detail how we use SEO landing pages to drive conversion-ready traffic to our clients’ websites.

Creating a Framework for the Future

Our tactics helped Luna Grill double their search traffic over the course of 2016. But, perhaps more valuable is that we developed a proven system that now launches every Luna Grill location with foundational, budget-appropriate search engine optimization from Day 1 to complement Luna Grill’s increasingly recognizable brand.

Many marketers tend to overcomplicate and mystify SEO; we believe it can be quite straightforward and 100% organic. To learn more about our SEO and digital marketing services, click here.

By: Adam Wagner