Posted on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 No Comments
Every restaurant needs a website, and all of those websites need a basic set of content in order to perform well. Use this as a checklist for your restaurant website.
This is the most important one. When a customer lands on your website, they most likely want to know where you are, what your phone number is, and what kind of food you have.
The top of every page on the website should include your address and phone number. On a more detailed contact page, or further down the homepage, you should embed a Google map with your exact location.
Every restaurant website needs a full menu — the same menu that you’d get if you sat down at a table. Offer a printable PDF as well, which will allow people to print it for their home or office.
If possible, it’s also a great idea to show nutritional information. Many people, especially those on special diets, check restaurant websites so that they can plan what to eat in advance.
Did you know there’s such a thing as Food Porn?
How many times have you seen a friend take a picture of their meal and post it on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter?
Even if that seems silly, people are fascinated by good-looking food. It’s only natural, since food is one of the top things that keeps us alive every day.
Does your chef make an effort to present meals in an appealing way? Take photos of them – nice, high resolution photos – and put them on your website. It lets people see what they’ll be getting at your restaurant, and they will start visualizing themselves eating there.
Post nice, large photos of the outside and inside of your restaurant. It will make it easier for people to find the restaurant, and it will show how clean and inviting your dining room is.
Take it a step further and post some photos of your kitchen! People will be thrilled to peek behind the scenes and comforted that you’re transparent enough to show where the food is prepared.
An active blog helps your search engine rankings by giving Google more pages to crawl and more long-tail keywords to rank. It also tells Google that your website is alive and up to date. That “someone is home” and it’s not just an abandoned website.
If you’re going to participate in any content marketing, a blog is the best way to go about it.
And, of course, you can use your blog to posts news and updates about your business, like new promotions, community involvement, or awards that you’ve won.
A brick-and-mortar business like a restaurant should have a presence on Facebook and Twitter. I also recommend Instagram for those food porn pics that you should be taking. On your website, display the icons for the social media outlets and link to your profiles.
Don’t forget about social media sharing links on your blog posts. An easy way to add those is to integrate AddThis, which works for any type of website.
In my experience, the “About Us” or “Meet the Staff” pages always get the most views. People want to know who’s behind a website, especially when they’re not familiar with the company. Even if it’s subconsciously, everyone asks, “who are these people really?”
Include photos and bios of your owners and staff to make customers feel like they’re dealing with real people. Tell the story of how your business came to be. It makes you relatable.
Time-sensitive coupons and promotions should be shown on the home page. If you really want customers to use the coupon, but it on the top half of the page and make it easy to print.
Details about your restaurant such as how to make a reservation or how to reserve a room for parties can go on a separate page, linked to from the top navigation. Just the fact that you show that information will prompt people to think about making a reservation, or remember you the next time they have a large group.
So many small business websites look out of date or as if they were created by a 5th grader. This gives the impression that you don’t care about your company’s image or that you haven’t bothered to update your website in a decade.
Imagine your customer, sitting at home, hungry, trying to figure out where to eat. She finds your website and after taking one look grimaces and clicks the Back button.
It doesn’t have to be that way! Keep your website updated and get a professional design that shows customers you’re in the same year as them.
SEO has changed over the past few years, but it’s still important to do some basic keyword optimization on your website. Pick one or two keyword phrases that make sense for your website, and do a basic SEO audit for yourself. This infographic walks you through the process for WordPress, and it will be similar for any other content management system.
I randomly chose four Sacramento-area restaurant websites to critique, in order to show you some examples of how this could be put into practice.
Oh, Drewski’s! You have a great following on Twitter with recent updates, but it looks like your website hasn’t been updated since 2012 🙁
The Not So Good
The Not So Good
Overall this is a great restaurant website with most important aspects already present. I included some suggestions for improvement above.
By the way, I have actually been to this place, and the pizza was GREAT. I wish I still lived nearby.
The Not So Good
This website is fantastic! It was obviously designed by a professional in the modern era.
Suggestions for Improvement
I have to be picky to find anything to improve on this website.
All in all, wonderful job, Ernesto’s!