When was the last time you turned a critical eye toward your restaurant website? Is it attracting the customers you want? If you haven’t refreshed your site in the past few years, consider these helpful tips:
- Put the most important information front and center. Think of what’s important, and place it in a prominent position. Usually, customers are looking for hours, maps, directions, menus, reviews, specials, and coupons. All of this information should stand out or be easy to find on your site—if it’s not on your home page, it should be no more than one click away.
- Your website must be mobile-friendly. With nearly half of all websites being viewed by tablets, smart phones, and other devices, your website must seamlessly condense into a site that is easy to navigate while still offering information from your regular site.
- Update your design. Your website’s design should match the dining experience. If you own an upscale, intimate restaurant, your site’s design should complement it. Colors should be muted, the font used should be inviting, and the overall look should be chic. If your restaurant is a neighborhood staple that’s kid friendly, then your website can use larger graphics, brighter colors, and a friendly look.
- Your website must be social-media friendly. Be sure that anyone who finds your website can be transported to your Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, and Pinterest pages with just a click. It’s an easy way for someone to share their great experience at your restaurant. These icons should be at both the top right or left of each page—and place them at the bottom of each page, too. (But don’t make the mistake of replacing your website with a Facebook page; you need both!)
- Show off your food! Whether you prepare organic items with a monthly chef’s table, or dole out down-home BBQ, you want to make your customers’ mouths water. Hire a professional photographer who has experience taking shots of food and display them on a graphics rotater on your site.
- Consider developing an app. A restaurant app can deliver information quickly and concisely. Since many people have smart phones, an app can be used to build your brand through an experience that gives potential and current customers what they need—immediately. Offer coupons and specials that are only available with the app, and soon you’ll have a new way of connecting with your diners! Click for other ways to incorporate technology into your restaurant.
- And, of course, make sure that your website is optimized for SEO (search engine optimization) so that potential diners can easily find you through an Internet search. Content, design, and SEO will deliver local and regional customers right to your doorstep. Click for more tips on how to get found fast online.