Having a website for your business is extremely vital. These days, when someone wants something to eat, they will search for specific types of food or restaurants in a defined geographic area. That means that restaurant websites need to contain all of those essential elements for them to be found.
While each restaurant website is going to be as unique as the establishment behind it, there are a few things that are vital to include. When it comes to design, these need to be factored in.
Here are ten inspiring ideas to build your restaurant website.
1. Start with Your Most Attractive Feature
The best way to begin your website is to start with your most interesting feature. That will be different for each restaurant, but some commonly used designs include a particular dish, an entire table filled with delicious food, or a picture of the storefront or dining room. Whatever it is that customers love most about your restaurant should be the first image that people see when they visit your site; on the homepage and above the fold.
2. Make Your Website a Physical Space
Imagine your website as a physical space. Imagine that it is a three-dimensional representation that people are going to use to decide whether they should try the real thing. That means adding things like 360 views, loads of pictures, high-quality videos of your staff in action or whatever you would typically feature if you took someone on a tour of your physical location. Use all relevant elements at your disposal which includes video, audio, images and text, to show someone why they should visit you.
3. Know Why Your Visitors Are There
There are three types of customers who visit a restaurant website. The first is the brand new client who has never been to your place but has heard about it through word-of-mouth and wants to find out more. The second type is already a customer but is curious about the new things your restaurant has to offer. The third is the organic searcher who ends up on your site with a Google search, because of your keywords.
Make sure that you are catering to each one of these three types and that you are giving the information they need to know. Don’t hide what you do from these three types of visitors. If you sell tacos, then loudly proclaim that you sell tacos right there on your homepage.
4. Make Your Website Personal
While you work to draft a killer restaurant marketing strategy, don’t forget to make your site personal. This means adding real photos (high-quality of course) of your restaurant, pictures of your actual staff, and the food that you serve. Using stock photos is a terrible idea, and most customers will be able to see right away that you are using stock photography.
Also, make sure that you include information about yourself. Add in the story behind your business, and of course, the people behind it.
5. Make Your Website Looks Pleasant
In addition to making your website personal, make sure that it also looks nice. In other words, you want your website to be as user-friendly as possible. This means having easy to use menus, breadcrumb navigation and all of the other elements that make a website easy for visitors to navigate.
6. Tie in Social Media Profiles
You definitely need to set up social media profiles if you do not already have them and tie them up to your website. Restaurants can do all sorts of creative things with Facebook and Twitter, including listing the daily specials, which might bring in some more foot traffic.
7. Design with Local SEO in Mind
When you design your website, all of the elements need to be friendly to local SEO. That means ensuring that the search engines see you as a local business and not just another website. You’ll want to link to your site from your Google Maps rating, your Yelp page and more. The more locally targeted you can make your site, the easier it will be to rank for local keywords.
8. Make Your Menu Effortless to View
Don’t make the mistake of uploading your menu as a PDF. This is something that so many restaurants do, and it has two big disadvantages: first, you don’t get any search engine indexing for all of the words in your menu if the SE’s can’t crawl it and second, your customers will find it unwieldy and difficult to use.
Instead, make your menu as effortless to view as you possibly can. This may mean setting up pages for each section of your menu and ensuring that they all link to each other. It may need more work, but it will give you a significant boost in the search engines and your customers will be pleased.
9. Track Visitors & Study Analytics
If you do not track your visitors to find out which pages they go to, where they linger and what your bounce rate is for specific parts of your website, you are missing out on a lot of significant data. Tracking visitors to your site will tell you where your website is least appealing and ensure that you are funnelling traffic the right way.
Also, Google has a set of analytics tools that are completely free and are probably in the top five of all analytics tools out there, free or otherwise. Make sure that your site is connected and that you are using Google Analytics to its full potential.
10. Consider Hiring Professionals
Finally, consider hiring a professional web design company to create your restaurant website. It can be difficult to build a website these days that is SEO-friendly for both standard organic search and local search while being optimised for mobile devices and still looks amazing.
Web design companies that have a track record of building optimised, SEO-friendly sites for local businesses are out there. But like with anything else, you should always do your research and ensure that you’re getting someone who knows what they are doing and is still a good value for your money.
This guest article is a work of Sameer Panjwani, Founder & CEO of Mondovo.com, an online marketing toolset that helps you track your rankings, monitor your site stats and research your competitors’. A man of many talents, Sameer occasionally writes about social media marketing, content marketing and SEO. In his free time, he loves reading about the latest trends in SEO as well as spending time with his two little daughters.
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