Designing a website for your restaurant does not need to be a daunting task. Though many owners feel overwhelmed by all of the things that they feel like they need to accomplish, but getting a great website does not need to be one of them.
Let’s look at some of the primary do’s and don’t of creating a great restaurant website.
Don’t – Over complicate it
Your website does not need to be a masterpiece though it shouldn’t be garbage. It needs to be attractive. When people come to your website they will be judging your restaurant based off of what they see. So your website should be in line with your restaurant. What is the feeling a patron gets when they come to your restaurant? Whatever it is, your website’s visitors should feel the same thing. Or at least as close to it as possible.
Do’s – Get to the point
Certain industries should go in-depth on their website regarding their history, owners, staff, procedures, etc, but for a restaurant you should be mindful of everything you put on there. There will be the occasional few who are interested in your history, but more than likely they just want to know the critical things. So make sure that your phone number, hours of operation and address are clearly visible on each page. If you feel like this is over your head contact Perspective Edge: Jacksonville SEO, click their name for their contact information.
If your restaurant is a historical landmark, then by all means go into detail on a separate page, but just remember to keep your main landing page as simple and straightforward as possible.
Don’t – Make people search for your menu
This is a personal pet-peeve of mine. When I go to a restaurant’s website, I want to see their menu and I can’t stand it when I have to hunt or worst yet, go to a different website to find it.
I know now one really likes them, but check out Mc Donald’s website it is simple and straight to all of the information you want.
Make it simple for your visitors to find your menu and make sure it is kept uptodate. One of the worst feelings is looking online and deciding on a restaurant because they have your favorite dish, only to get to the restaurant and be told that they haven’t served it for months. There’s no quicker way to make a patron very, very, very upset.
Do – Make sure you are easy to find online
Local SEO is huge now and you need to make sure that you are optimized for it.
What is it you ask?
Well, if you do a search with your city name, for example, Jacksonville Restaurants, the first results you see will be restaurants in Jacksonville. They are usually first in the results on computers, but from what I can see, always the case on mobile devices.
When someone searches for an Italian restaurant in their city from their mobile phone they are likely looking for a restaurant to go to right now. This is a huge advantage over other industries that have long conversion processes. If you’re not showing up in those results then again, give the Internet Marketing company I mentioned above a call. Their Yelp is http://www.yelp.com/biz/perspective-edge-jacksonville and it has all of their contact information. Because you want to be showing up in the local results.
Here is a screenshot of what it looks like.
Do’s – Give visitor’s plenty of pictures of your food, real staff, and eating environment
Your website needs to be your showcase. It is one of the few places you have complete control of and can give the full picture of your restaurant. Don’t leave it to a third party critic or a user posting pictures and reviews to their Facebook page. Take control and show the world how amazing your restaurant is. If you don’t, you leave it up to chance on whether someone else will or if they will do the opposite.
Don’t – Be cheap on web hosting
Many restaurant owners host their websites on cheap servers. The problem with this is that these servers are slow and thus make your website take longer to load. If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load the majority of your visitors will click the back button and go to a different website.
It is worth it to have good, fast and reliable hosting that will load your website quickly for all of your visitors.
Do – Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Nearly half of the people who come to your website will be on their mobile device. If your website is not mobile-friendly you will miss out on an enormous amount of real visitors.
When someone is going out to eat they want to know what kind of food you have. We are a people of convenience and if can’t easily find and open what we are looking for we would rather go somewhere else that caters to us.
Mobile devices are your friends. Give coupons to people who go to your website on their mobile device. Most likely they are looking at your website from their phone when they are out and about and are choosing where to eat right then. It would be ridiculous to think that only people will be coming to your website when they are in front of their computer. If that was the case then I doubt you will get many patrons from your website.
Also, Google has just announced that they will stop ranking websites that are not mobile friendly. It is critical to have this taken care of if your website is not optimized for mobile devices. Check out Google’s Mobile-Friendly test website.
There are many more Do’s and Don’ts, but I will have to get to those another time. For now remember:
- Get to the point
- Make sure you are easy to find online
- Give visitor’s plenty of pictures of your food, real staff, and eating environment
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
- Over complicate it
- Make people search for your menu
- Be cheap on web hosting