As we know all too well in the restaurant industry, first impressions matter for the restaurant business growth. Big time. So you want to make sure your website is easy to navigate and looks as good as your food. Here are our favourite tips for ensuring your site keeps customers coming back for more.
Tip #1: Start With The Basics
We’re talking about your address, phone number, and restaurant hours here. You want to make it super easy for your potential customers to locate and contact you. That info should be front and centre on your homepage so people don’t have to click around to find it (plus, it helps improve your ranking in Google search results!). Speaking of Google, you’ll want to make sure your info is up to date on Google My Business, too.
Tip #2: Mind Your Menu
Did you know that a whopping 82% of Canadian diners regularly check out menus online before ordering out? Can’t argue with that. So it’s a good idea to make sure that your menu is up to date, easy to find, and easy to share, so that it can be found on both your website and in search engines. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure it’s not in unreadable PDF or image form but in HTML (or text) form so search engines can read it and find you more easily
Tip #3: Less is More
When it comes to designing your website, it can be tempting to add more, more, more. As much as you may want your visitors to know the whole story—what you offer, how you’re different, and what makes you an expert in your field—sometimes less is more. To keep customers interested in what you’re dishing up, keep it simple. Remember, your contact info and menu are the stars of the show so make sure they don’t get buried.
Tip #4: Make It Mouth-Watering
We all know that everyone eats with their eyes first so it’s a good idea to make sure you include tummy-tempting food shots. You don’t need pics of all your items. Just the headliners should do the trick to set the hunger trap. Need some help in that department? We’ve got your back. Check out these helpful tips to really make those pictures pop. And if you want to kick things up a notch, add a few restaurant shots on your site to show off a little ambiance.
Tip #5: Be Mobile Friendly
This one’s a biggie. Because most people search for “restaurants near me” on their phone, you want to make sure your site shows up nice and neat on mobile devices. If people can’t see the pics or menu properly, or it takes too long to load, they may go back to the search page to check out the next restaurant. To keep them on the hook, make it easy for them to look.
Tip #6: Encourage Email Sign-Ups
Not only is email marketing a great way to build customer relationships, it’s also a great way to build your customer database and keep your restaurant top of mind. Offering email newsletters are a simple, yet effective, way of keeping your customers in the know with any new news, recipes, tips, promos, or anything else that has to do with your restaurant. All you have to do is include a sign up prompt in the footer section of your site and you’re good to go. And keep in mind that privacy and/or anti-spam laws apply when you’re collecting this type of information, so just make sure you’re being compliant.
Tip #7: Be A Social Butterfly
Creating a consistent brand experience is crucial when it comes to marketing your restaurant. Plus, you want to make it as easy as possible to keep in touch with your customers. What’s the simplest way to do that? Connect your social media pages to your website by embedding the links right on there. And make sure the look and feel of your social totally jives with the look and feel of your site to keep it consistent. Want some more social tips? Check these out.
Tip #8: Reveal Your Rave Reviews
Because reviews and testimonials play such a huge part in building customer confidence (and getting more sales!), why not throw a couple up on your site? Ask some customers to review your restaurant and pick 3 or 4 simple, well-deserved quotes raving about the food and service. It’s the positive social proof you need to attract more customers and it also improves the Search Engine Optimization of your site (which can help customers find you faster).
And there you have it, the must-haves and the nice-to-haves for any successful restaurant website. Nail those and your site will be the one to beat.