dunkin_donuts_what_are_you_drinkinAll over the world, there are a LOT of places to get coffee – grocery stores, gas stations and mom and pop cafes. Of course, there are also the big-boy multinational chains like Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Burger King.

Let’s face it though: while Dunkin’ Donuts has to think about all its competitors, the company is really in a coffee war with Starbucks. For goodness sake, they’ve got a “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Starbucks” T-shirt for sale in their online store.

Since Dunkin’ is going to coffee war with Starbucks in apparel and, in recent years, blind taste tests, the company should be ready to do java battle in search engine optimization (SEO). “Coffee” is a search term I thought Dunkin’ would be all over since “America Runs on Dunkin.’” When one does a Google search for “coffee,” Starbucks’ homepage is the seventh result on the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Dunkin’ doesn’t come up at all on the first or second SERP.

However, when examining Dunkin’s source code, the word “coffee” is present countless times, in the meta description and elsewhere. So, aside from keyword stuffing, which is frowned upon by Google, what can Dunkin’ do to move up in the results?

Other than continuing to create organic, engaging content in its Behind the Beans blog, probably not much. “Coffee” by itself is a very broad search term, and it says something that even Starbucks (which has “Coffee” in its company’s name) came in seventh on the first page.

Dunkin’ should stay true to the user experience, something Google echoes in its SEO starter guide: “Search engine optimization is about putting your site’s best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.”

Yet Dunkin’ does have other coffee-related terms that I did not think of covered in its meta description:

-“Iced coffee,” for which Dunkin’ comes up fourth on the first Google SERP.
-“Hot flavored coffee,” which brings up Dunkin’s website as the first result on the first Google SERP.
-“Regular/decaf coffee,” which nets no Dunkin’ results on the first or second SERPs.

Time to make the DONUTS (not doughnuts)!

As for Dunkin’s OTHER big product – ahem, “donuts!” – there’s no surprise that the Dunkin’ website comes in as the second result on the first Google SERP (just behind the Wikipedia entry on “doughnuts.”)

So, what about that other spelling – “doughnuts?” Dunkin’ does not have this particular spelling anywhere in its homepage meta data. In spite of this, Google has the Dunkin’ homepage on its first SERP for the term “doughnuts” as the seventh result.

This seems like an on purpose omission on Dunkin’s part. They spell “Donuts” a certain way and perhaps, they don’t want to dilute their brand by including a spelling of “doughnut” they will probably never use.

Dunkin’ runs on the web
Here’s how Dunkin’ fared on Google with other search terms I thought they may use as part of their SEO strategy:

“hot coffee” – not on the first or second SERP; appears once in homepage source code.
“iced latte” – first result on first SERP; appears once in homepage source code.
“Coolatta” –  not the first result, but dominates the first SERP; appears once in homepage source code.
“Munchkins” – sixth result on the first SERP (“Wizard of Oz”-type Munchkins come first); appears zero times in source code (surprising since Munchkins are signature Dunkin’ item).
“breakfast sandwiches” – third result on first SERP; appears once in source code.
“flatbread sandwiches” – fourth result on second SERP; appears zero times in source code.