Talabat.com: Digital Marketing on Steroids… “Satiate your Hunger”
In marketing precisely digital everything starts with a “Trigger” (The moment when the user needs your product or service) which is all about the idea of being at “top of the mind, tip of the tongue” We remember brands/services/products that are on the top of our heads.
For a “restaurant search and discovery service”, trigger is simple: “Hunger”, so just think when you are hungry and you want to order something online then what would be CDJ (customer decision journey)
How to Escalate Digital Marketing Crusades of Talabat.com via Innovative Social Media and Search Engine Campaigns.
I am not taking a standard audit approach for Talabat like I do for all other websites i.e. Auditing all the 4 channels (Search, Display, Video, Social) and then giving recommendations on each, rather I am taking an approach based on CDJ i.e. how the customer will take a decision.
The first Step of CDJ would be either of the below 3: (Online scenarios only)
- New customers will search Google “Order food Online/ restaurant in [Locality name]” (SEO)
- Existing customers/Brand loyal will either go to mobile app of Talabat.com or Search the brand name on Google. (ZMOT)
- Customers of competition will go to mobile app of competitors like Zomato or will search google for competitor brand
So there would be 3 sections of your digital marketing strategy which would be further divided into multiple marketing channels as per strategy & budget.
- Acquiring new customers via SEM/SEO
- Optimizing current customer/visitor database
- Stealing customers from competitors
In this analysis report we will talk about:
- Talabat digital marketing analysis/audit
- SEO/SEM strategies for acquiring new customers
- Display Marketing/ Programmatic buying/Video Marketing for acquiring new customers
- Optimisation of Visitors/existing customer database
- Ideas to get customers from competitors
I won’t be covering UX optimisation via App, this post is purely on digital marketing, getting visitors to download app is a mandatory call to action which will accompany any & every marketing activity recommended in this report.
1. Talabat Digital Marketing Analysis/Audit
I have used a free tool “SIMILARWEB” for marketing analysis as most of the good paid tools for competitive analysis are not giving service in UAE. Please note we cannot rely on the data of Similarweb but we can identify major loopholes and strategy on a broad spectrum so objective here is not to verify nos… rather concentrate on the strategy.
Website officially operates in 6 countries with a simple folder URL structure i.e. for each country/language separate folders is created i.e.
- http://www.talabat.com/ae/en/ (UAE)
- http://www.talabat.com/bh/en/ (Bahrain)
- http://www.talabat.com/sa/en/ (Saudi Arabia)
- http://www.talabat.com/kw/en/ (Kuwait)
- Same goes for Oman and Qatar… for Arabic /en is replaced by /ar
basically, the website is SEO friendly and is enjoying organic as the major source of traffic.
On a broad scenario
- They are receiving most of their traffic from UAE (32.39%) followed by Kuwait(28.78%), Bahrain (11.02%) & KSA (9.31%)
- Most active traffic sources are Direct (Good branding), Referrals (Promotion Barter or Corporate Tie-ups), Search (Stable SEO & SEM)
- In Search approx 85.21% traffic is coming via Organic and rest 14.79% is coming from Paid (Adwords) [Leading are the brand keywords]
- Social Media is strong and they have invested in branding. Overall 2.93% of traffic is coming via Social in which Youtube is strongest followed by Facebook, Twitter and Insta.
- They are investing small in programmatic buying with 0.71% of the total traffic coming via GDN, Adroll, Adcash and others
2. SEO/SEM strategies for acquiring new customers
This needs dedication and continual improvement, competitive analysis is a must and strong technical competency is needed, I will give some ideas which can be instantly applied to feed the CDJ.
To check the SEO state of Talabat I did some random searches on 2 broad parameters i.e. Location and Cuisine as these are 2 most important parameters of CDJ in search for any restaurant discovery service.
Results are below:
Search Condition 1: Location: Restaurants in Al Karama
Zomato ranks on the top
- Zomato: https://www.zomato.com/dubai/al-karama-restaurants (Clear folder structure with search term at 2nd directory level)
- Talabat: http://www.talabat.com/ae/en/restaurants/1187/restaurants-in-al-karama (In folder structure search term appeared at 5th directory level) no doubt it will create a weak on page signal to google
Now search: Restaurants in al-Karama (Google.ae) [I repeated the search with many other locations and Zomato was leading the SERPs]
Other On-Page factors are OK, but Schema.Org i.e. structured mark up is not implemented on Talabat whereas Zomato has it, so a serious URL structure conditioning is required plus Schema Mark up is very necessary. (am omitting small recommendations)
Structured Data Testing:
Search Condition 2: Location with Cuisine: Arabic food in Al Nahda
Again Zomato ranks the first
- https://www.zomato.com/dubai/al-nahda-restaurants/arabian (Redirected 301 from https://www.zomato.com/index.php?entity_type=subzone&entity_id=51602&subzone=51602&cuisine=4)
Same problems are detected as above (Deeper directory levels & Schema i.e. structured markup), I need not paste the Screen shot of each search result that Zomato is ruling the SERPS in Google for most location queries.
See the meta tag analysis of Talabat vs Zomato, it would give us a lot clear picture. In meta tag implementation Zomato scores 58 while Talabat only scores 8.
*Talabat is getting a good amount of organic traffic but am trying to hit the weak areas 🙂 after all, objective of a business is to do better.
Please Note, Zomato is not having Arabic version so it gives an edge to Talabat and it rules Arabic searches. Search المطاعم في الكرامة (restaurants in Al Karama) Talabat tops the charts and am sure that a considerable amount of traffic in Middle East is coming via Arabic but if below recommendations are implemented performance will start to roar.
- Adwords: Run Dynamic Search Ads or Dynamic Keyword Insertion or create adgroups manually for each location and for all major permutations of Cuisines and Locations. (This can be easily done with a Custom Excel feed and Adwords Editor)
- Instantly create a URL structure plan or a 301 redirect plan changing all the major URLs to a simplified 3 level folder structure.
- Apply search and breadcrumb Schemas
- Apply all Facebook Open Graph Metas (which is really essential of SEO and Facebook Sharing)
- Apply Twitter Cards (Twitter sharing)
- App Link Tags (for iOS, Windows and Android)
“Talabat should invest upon Adwords automation services, i.e. Automated Search Ads. Idea is to rule SEARCH MARKETING with any and every possible permutation or combination of relevant search query.” (keywordio.com can come to rescue)
For Eg : Search Query is : [Query1] in [Location] where query1 is “Restaurant” and Location is “Bur Dubai” , then auto ads should trigger with destination url of dedicated to Bur dubai. Feed E.g.
*For Arabic search terms SEO and SEM will have a different strategy all together like optimising pages and running SEM ads for below high traffic keywords in KSA (below is just a glimpse, we need extensive research and then strategy will be planned)
Arabic KW in KSA English Arabic Searches/Monthly (KSA) مطاعم الرياض Riyadh Restaurants 12100 مطعم كودو Kudo Restaurant 2900 مطعم هرفي Harvey Restaurant 2400 مطعم الرومانسية Romantic restaurant 5400 مطاعم الدمام Dammam Restaurants 1900 مطعم النافورة Fountain Restaurant 1900
3. Display Marketing/ Programmatic buying/Video Marketing for acquiring new customers
Prospecting is the key, this section just concentrates on branding i.e. acquiring new customers, (segmentation/retargeting etc will be covered in optimisation). I could very well see that they are using Adroll and GDN as their allies in programmatic display marketing, rest when you are on to get better branding, keep in mind that exposure is directly proportional to budgets i.e. to get X no of impressions you have to spend Y amount. Once the traffic is on the website then actual mechanics of Segmentation and Retargeting starts which gives you actual conversions.
Display marketing is the area on which minimum budget is being spent via Talabat and concentration is on content creation, high-quality advert videos can be seen on YouTube which are doing great and am quite +ve they must be spending well on “In-stream TrueView video Ads” for branding.
I don’t know if Interactive Engagement display ads for acquiring new subscribers via various offers is being executed or not, (audit is not possible without account access) but Video engagement ads on GDN can do wonders in branding. Every platform has its own set of audience and if a content is distributed strategically in all the Channels i.e. YouTube, GDN, Facebook etc. then branding can attain next level.
On this I can just give sheer advice :), real recommendations can only be given after audit of their current Display/Video marketing crusades.
4. Optimization of Visitors/Existing customer database
Now that Talabat is doing all the branding stuff terrifically, as I can see that the main source of traffic is “Direct”, I can give them some awesome tips on how to get the most out of it i.e. increasing conversion rates / Getting more conversions. We can delegate a good amount of budget to this section as this will give our MACRO goal aka sales a genuine boost.
Customer Segmentation and Remarketing List.
Am again not very sure how they are maintaining currently but a simple format would be to
- Track search terms in all permutations and combinations
- Filter out the most popular search results of either cuisine/location or combination of Cuisines, Locations etc
- Create remarketing list on all the filtered results
- Create separate Adgroups with custom ads or automate the whole process
For e.g. http://www.talabat.com/ae/en/dubai/delivery-areas/delivery-areas-in-dubai (We have a list of all the areas) now as per searches they have different URL for each scenario i.e. say
As Facebook Pixel Events are not tracked they are not running Dynamic Product Ads / Dynamic Remarketing on Facebook, which is a good opportunity for them.
Talabat should implement Facebook Event Pixel tracking and build segmented audience and then Dynamically target the audience as per their behavior with dynamic ads i.e. Say a visitor searched for Arabic food in Bur Dubai, Search pixel event can be triggered and an AD can be created to target that visitor for arabic food in bur dubai.
A dynamic feed can be created with each scenario and dynamic offers can be made tailored to visitor i.e. say a pic of Arabic recipe with message “10% discount on Arabic Cuisine in Bur Dubai” Blam!! on-spot , with Smartly.io we can execute it perfectly.
We should not loose the opportunity in any given scenario, the process of continual optimisation of Ads is needed when a visitor comes to your website, a 360° retargeting with relevant messaging is needed.
Same goes for GDN network, Dynamic Remarketing with Dynamic Product Ads should be done, in Talabat’s scenario offers on cuisines and locations will be targeted as per segmented remarketing list.
In AdWords while creating a Campaign, we can select Custom Business with a Custom feed (including all combinations) and dynamic remarketing can be done.
5. Ideas to get Customers from Competitors
We are spot on branding, amazingly covering the SERPs, Social media is roaring and engagement is high i.e. All marketing activities are on heyday, so what’s next…
Well, our competitors are having a heavy chunk of customers, why not take a bite on them… 🙂
- If we have our SEO right, we can grab a major chunk of visitors from our competitors but brand loyalists are hard to break
- Offline campaign is the key in which both the restaurant and customer are benefited like Zomato was giving a free 50 AED coupon for the first time purchase on any restaurant in Dubai via Credit Card. I remember I downloaded the App just for that offer while I was dining in a restaurant but alas offer was expired 🙁
- So in restaurant offer will do the job i.e. anyone ordering food via Talabat will get 10% off on next 3 purchases. Offer can be communicated via restaurant/Flyer.
The actual analysis and real recommendations cannot be given as an outsider without auditing Analytics/Webmasters/AdWords and other marketing accounts, they might be using some marketing automation software but again without a proper CDJ optimisation strategy one cannot chalk out an Agile marketing plan. Even if you have a robust plan, implementation is one big pain in A…s 🙂
I tried my best to identify the GAP areas rather than being laudatory of what they have done, sincerely speaking they are doing good but sensibly speaking (from experience) they can do better.
Do leave your comments and queries and if you can add something to my ideas it will be Icing on the Cake.
Update added on 26/04/2016
Example of CDJ:
I was browsing Instagram yesterday (25th of April at night approx 1 am), I normally love to browse location and latest posts to see what is happening in Dubai, and I came across a Bar cum lounge “The Act Dubai” night life was bouncy there and people had posted awesome pics… curiosity built up and I wanted to know the entry price for 2, instantly I searched Google “Price The Act Dubai”
Viola! now I can test the depth of my pocket :), without deflecting to any website “Zomato” gave me the answer, I repeated a same (actually I searched for many lounges as I was enjoying cool nightlife of Dubai “The Power of UGC” ) with “The Vip Room Dubai” and the results were same:
The point is I was totally immersed in “ZMOT”. Discovered via Instagram, searched on Google, and ZOMATO leads, this is something which is in sync with smooth CDJ, starting from trigger till discovering the actual service, point is nothing came in between i.e. branding/direct marketing were not part of this journey.
You have to “mark your mandatory presence” in this journey be it via any method i.e. Paid or organic. I think I made my point clear if not am open for discussion.