A great online experience isn’t just a nice-to-have for restaurants anymore – it’s essential to your success.
Per IMPACT, Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead.
Whether on a desktop or on a smartphone, the ease-of-use of your website is important – but with mobile device usage quickly increasing, you can’t ignore making your website mobile-friendly.
Your website isn’t just an online pamphlet. It needs to be a living, breathing machine that engages visitors, facilitates community discussions, and capture leads.
Plus, no social media strategy is truly complete without a place to send your followers to. Here are several reasons why you want your restaurant website to be impeccable.
You Want To Make A Great First Impression
You only get one opportunity to make a first impression. And with attention spans plummeting, you have literally seconds to grab the attention of your website visitors and tell them what you’re all about.
Much has been said about online reputation management, but developing an attractive website is your first line of defense, because you control the message. With a bit of work, you can get your website to rank above social media profiles and online review sites like Yelp and OpenTable.
Make your website the first place prospects go to learn about you – not the last. Set the tone with your website.
You Want To Let Your Customers Know What’s Available
Inevitably, most restaurants have signature menu items they want their prospects and customers to know about. It’s amazing what difference a single menu item can make.
Oftentimes, one of the first things people want to know about your restaurant is what kind of food you serve. Whether they’re planning to meet a friend, or take their family out for a nice meal, they want to make sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
In any restaurant, menus are often being tweaked and updated to reflect customer demand and interest. But that’s why it makes for such great web content – people love to see what’s new. It may take work to upload and share your latest menu online, but it will boost engagement.
You Want To Show Off Your Restaurant
Whether you serve beautifully crafted dishes, you have eye-catching decor, or your restaurant is located in a picturesque setting, showing off great photos and videos gives you a chance to highlight what’s great about your eatery.
Attractive photography helps the prospect to see themselves sitting inside your restaurant in their “mind’s eye.” They may even say to themselves, “I could see myself in a place like that.” People are visual. Quality photography is essential your online presence.
You Want To Keep Your Prospects & Customers Updated
These days, call to actions and newsletter opt-in boxes aren’t just afterthoughts in web design. They should be integrated with your brand identity and personality to connect your online experience to your offline, in-person experience.
From news announcements and promotions to event calendars and online ordering, keeping your customers engaged needs to be a key part of your online strategy. Engaging and relevant content will keep your visitors coming back to find out what’s going on at your restaurant.
What you do not own, you do not have control over. It seems like every day new entrepreneurs are learning this lesson from scratch.
You don’t control Facebook, Twitter, Medium, or LinkedIn – in some cases, not even the content you publish to these sites. What you do own is your website, and you should effort to make it your central hub on the web. Building out your site will make you more discoverable online, and create more entry points for people to discover the great food and experience you have to offer them.