10 Tips on How To Create a Successful Restaurant Website - Design & SEO GuideAug 23, 2023
In today's intensely competitive food world, your restaurant's website isn't just a digital address—it's the lifeblood of your brand. In fact, when done right, your website can be your top salesman, working tirelessly for you 24/7, drawing in customers and showcasing your best offerings. But get it wrong, and it could turn into your worst enemy, driving potential diners away. Imagine a visitor eager to experience your dishes, but they're met with a clunky website, unclear messaging, or outdated information. That first impression? Ruined. And in an era where first impressions often happen online, can you truly afford such an error? Dive into these essential tips and ensure that your restaurant thrives in the digital age, rather than becoming another sad story.
Tip #1 - Let’s talk about the Above the Fold Magic on Your Restaurant Website:
Above the fold means what they see when they first visit your website, without scrolling or doing anything. The initial visual of your website acts as a digital handshake. It's crucial to immediately capture attention and convey what your restaurant is all about. Therefore you need to highlight what is unique about your restaurant. For example if you offer live music and dancing, you need to showcase that right away. Because not too many restaurants offer that. It doesn’t have to be something as extravagant as live entertainment. It could be that you make fresh bread to order for your gyro sandwiches. That’s actually what I used to offer at my restaurant, so I made sure to show a video of us making the fresh bread. Anything that makes your restaurant standout over the competition. But make sure to use high-quality images or short video clips. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take your own pictures with your phone. It just means that make sure you use the right filters and take nice close-up shots of your dishes. Your goal is to create a dynamic and engaging first impression of your restaurant.
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Tip #2 - Add On-page SEO To your Restaurant Website:
To be discovered online, especially by locals, optimizing your website for search engines is crucial. This includes using relevant keywords, optimizing title tags, and adding the correct content on your web-pages. Let’s focus on the homepage since Google starts there when it compares your website to your Google Business Listing. The primary keyword that you choose has to match your primary category on your Google Business Profile. Because when you add your website to your Google Business Profile Google will check your website’s content and compare it with the category that you choose. So if you own a Mediterranean Restaurant in Anaheim. Make sure you choose Mediterranean Restaurant as your Primary category on Google Business Profile. In this case your primary keywords for your homepage would be Meditteranean Restaurant in Anaheim. So that means that your title tag and your H1 should both have these keywords in them. And the content of your homepage needs to mention these keywords as well. Just make sure not to overdue it, just mention them were it could occur naturally.
Tip #3 - Make sure to have a Clear Call to Action (CTA) on Your Restaurant’s Website:
Your website's primary goal is to guide visitors towards a specific action. This could be making a reservation, ordering online, or signing up for a newsletter. Your CTA should be prominently displayed, using contrasting colors and compelling text. A/B testing different Call To Actions can also help determine which one resonates most with your audience. But keep in mind what is most important for your restaurant. If your business is more about pick-up orders and deliveries than your primary CTA should be Order Online Now. If for example you own a nice sit down restaurant then your CTA might be Reservations. It’s okay to have more then one CTA, just make sure the main one is more prominent.
Tip #4 - Create an Opt-in on your Restaurant Website to capture email addresses:
Building an email list is like having a direct line to your customers. And keep this in mind, if you don’t capture your website visitors attention with some kind of offering incentive, like a free dessert, to capture their email address that customer might not ever remember you or visit your website again. But once subscribed, you have them for life. You can then send them personalized offers, updates about events, or even birthday discounts. This does not only drive repeat business but also promotes loyalty. So make sure to create an opt-in to capture your website visitors name and email address. And make the birthday info optional. If you write that you will get a free meal on your birthday then they will definitely be a fan for life. Try to get creative with your incentives.
Tip #5 - Make Sure To Add Your Brand Colors on Restaurant Website:
Consistency, in branding, builds trust. By using the same colors, fonts, and design elements as your physical branding (like menus or signage), creates a seamless experience for your customers. This familiarity can evoke emotions and memories associated with your restaurant, making them more likely to engage and remember your brand.
Tip #6 - Create One-Click Call for your Restaurant Website:
In today's digital age, where smartphones dominate our daily lives, the user experience on mobile devices is very important. Here's why a one-click call feature and other mobile-friendly touchpoints are essential: Convenience is King: We live in a world where people want information and services instantly. A clickable phone number on your website means a potential customer can call your restaurant without the hassle of noting down the number or switching apps. This seamless experience can be the difference between a booked table and a missed opportunity. By eliminating unnecessary steps and reducing the friction, like copying a phone number or searching for it, you're streamlining the user's journey, increasing the likelihood they'll make a reservation or inquiry.
Tip #7 - Showcase Your Best on Your Restaurant Homepage:
Highlighting your top dishes and drinks serves multiple purposes. It simplifies decision-making for new customers, ensures they experience the best you have to offer, and increases the chances of positive reviews. Using high-quality images paired with short, tantalizing descriptions can make this section irresistible. But make sure not to overwhelm with extra choices, choose your top 3 favorite dishes and your top 3 favorite drinks and showcase them with a short description right on your homepage
Tip #8 - Sprinkle in Some Reviews on Your Restaurant Website:
Social proof is a powerful tool. By showcasing genuine reviews next to dishes or within relevant sections, you're providing reassurance and building trust. But I don’t recommend creating a dedicated page to showcase all your reviews. As my friend Alan Berg says, put the review where it counts the most. It's also beneficial to have a system in place to manage and respond to reviews, both positive and negative, as this shows that you value customer feedback.
Tip #9 - Include Menu on Your Restaurant Website’s Navigation Bar:
Your menu is arguably the most visited section of your website. It should be easily accessible, well-organized, and mobile-friendly. Do not create a PDF as your primary restaurant menu. Because it’s very hard to read and you are missing out on all the SEO. You are basically not giving any information to Google to index. All you are doing is making it hard for everyone. So, please just say NO to PDF. But if you want to add a PDF as an extra option so they can printout easily, then please be my guest.
Tip #10 - Update Your Restaurant Website With New Content:
In the dynamic world of the internet, a website that remains unchanged can quickly become outdated, leading to a decline in visitor engagement and trust. Here's why and how you should keep your website updated: Most important, Boosting SEO: Search engines, like Google, favor websites that are regularly updated. Fresh content, be it in the form of blog posts, updated menus, or event announcements, can improve your website's visibility in search results, attracting more organic traffic. And staying Relevant in the Industry is crucial for your food business. The food and restaurant industry is always evolving, with new trends emerging constantly. Regular updates can show your audience that you're in tune with the latest trends, be it a new dietary preference, a seasonal dish, or a themed event like halloween. Regularly updating your website isn't just about aesthetics; it's a strategic move that can drive more traffic, increase sales, and enhance your brand's image in the digital space. In the competitive restaurant industry, staying fresh and relevant online is as crucial as the quality of the food you serve.
Now if you are looking for marketing ideas for your restaurant business then make sure to checkout this video right here. There, you have it 10 tips that restaurant owners need to know to run a successful website. Pick a few of the strategies that you learned today and implement it to your business right away. Because remember, if you do something differently today, for your business, you could live a better life tomorrow. Until next time take care and more importantly take good care of your customers!
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