Are You Making These 5 Mistakes With Your Restaurant Website?

Are You Making These 5 Mistakes With Your Restaurant Website

Spend time on your website, and you’ll see more customers in your restaurant.

You have a website. Super. But, just having a website is often not enough.

Does it matter what it looks like? Yes. Does it matter how well it works? Yes. When was the last time you updated content or style? Have you ever reviewed your website as you think your potential customers might?

Your website needs to stand out in a crowd, and it needs to be easily navigable with highly optimized pages. We’re going to ask the question, “Are you making these 5 mistakes with your restaurant website?”

Through this discussion we’re going to look at some common mistakes people make with their websites and ways to fix them. Correcting your website errors can’t be something you put off for another day. Website mistakes will cost you website visitors and ultimately affect your bottom line.

We visited a live stat page to find out how many Google searches have been done today. According to the site, Google processes an average of over 40,000 search queries every second. This equals over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year.

With these stats in the back of your mind, ask yourself if fixing your website mistakes can wait? If you came up with the same answer we did, you’re ready to ask, “Are you making these 5 mistakes with your restaurant website?”

Mistake #1: Hard to Find Information

Most people visit a restaurant website for very specific information. Here are the top five things your diners are looking for when they visit your website:

  • The menu
  • Your location including a link to Google Maps
  • Your hours of operation, the available parking and contact information
  • Specials and happy hour information including promotions found on social media
  • Online reservation system that works well

Don’t play hide-and-seek with your information. Make it easy for web visitors to navigate your website. Put your phone number and address on every page. Include a contact us page that has your hours, location, maps and other important information.

Make your menu and your online ordering system readily available from every page of your website. Make it easy to use. If you’re not sure, enlist the help of friends and family. Ask them to navigate your online menu. Ask them if it’s enticing, and if they found what they were looking for with minimal effort.

Don’t skimp on these areas. Make sure website visitors have an easy path to these top five things they’re looking for on your restaurant website.

Mistake #2: Problems with the Text

Is your copy easy to read? Writing is hard, but it gets your point across on your website. It pays to be clear, so write copy that is easy to understand. Have several people proofread it so you can fix any grammatical or spelling errors.

A great tip: read your copy out loud. This is the best way to avoid awkward sentences. (tweet this) You’ll catch things you wouldn’t have if you had proofread it silently.

Do you have enough text? Too little text can be as much of a problem as too much text. Take the time to describe your menu items with clarity and descriptive text.

Pay attention to your typography. Is your font large enough to be read? Is it dark enough? Can website visitors distinguish between headlines, body copy and links? Is there enough contrast between the background color and font color?

Get Directions

Make it easy to navigate your website and find your restaurant locations and a map.

Mistake #3: Unappealing Photography

Photography is one of the most important aspects of your restaurant menu. Along with descriptive text, your high quality gorgeous photos are what will compel people to visit your restaurant or order off your online menu.

Your photos convey what your restaurant stands for more than anything else. (tweet this) Take the time to snap professional photos of your menu items as well as the interior of your restaurant. Give web visitors the ability to zoom in on your photos.

Your online menu depends on great photography. Use it to your advantage. Your photos should let the visitors “taste” your delicious food.

Mistake #4: No Blog

A blog is a great way to communicate with your restaurant customers. Let it show the personal side of your restaurant and your staff. Offer original content with value. A blog lets you:

  • Create fresh content (great for SEO)
  • Connect and engage – offer recipes, cooking tips, video testimonials and more
  • Drive traffic and get inbound links

Mistake #5: Lack of Optimization

Many people forget to optimize their title and meta tags. Title tags are the way search engine crawlers evaluate your page’s relevance. The meta description is what visitors see in search results.

Both title tags and meta tags should contain keywords to increase your page ranking in search results. Each page should have its own unique title and meta tag.

Why Do You Need to Make These Changes?

Have you ever traveled to a new city and looked online for a place to eat? How about restaurant searches in your own home town?

We bet the answer is yes, because, according to a Constant Contact study, restaurants are the most searched industry by consumers through both mobile applications and browsers. The study also found that 81% of consumers have searched for a restaurant on a mobile app and 92% through a web browser in the last six months.

This is why you need a solid, mistake-free restaurant website to promote your superior food and excellent customer service.

The Take-Away

Now that we’ve discussed some of the biggest mistakes you can make on your website, let’s talk a bit about what happens if your website isn’t responsive, or even worse, if you don’t have one at all.

A study this year actually found that nearly 50% of small businesses don’t have a website. When asked why not, many businesses said they didn’t need one.

Of the businesses that do have websites, many of them are not responsive, or “pro-mobile.” With the advent of Google’s mobilegeddon earlier this year, it’s never been more important to have a mobile-friendly website.

A recent survey found these startling statistics:

  • When searching online, 40% of people will choose another result if it is not mobile friendly.
  • 70% of mobile searches lead to action on websites within one hour.
  • 40% of people conduct searches on their tablet, vs. the 60% of people who use their phone to conduct their searches.

To conclude, if you don’t have a website, there are no more excuses. Get one now. If you have a website, but it isn’t pro-mobile, revamp your site or risk losing business. If you’re making any of the five mistakes with your restaurant website mentioned here, take a few days and fix them.

Spend time and thought on your restaurant website, and in the end, you’ll increase website conversions and see more diners walking through your door.

At Restaurant Engine, we build responsive, mobile-friendly restaurant websites with dynamite online menus. Contact us today for your free website consultation. We are here to help you stand out in the crowd and stay ahead of your competition with your restaurant website.

Images: Horia Varlan and Bill Dickinson

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  • http://renegadeplanner.com renegadeplanner

    I know that blogs are great for keeping web sites indexed and searchable, but I’m not sure I agree that a blog is essential for a restaurant web site. What I think is even more important is interacting with customers on social media. If people tweet you to find out if they can make reservations, but you never respond, customers will go elsewhere and maybe never come back. It’s so important to engage with potential customers online – you can have a huge influence on their choice to visit your establishment versus your competition.

  • Saniya Arain

    Your online media presence has become essential for engaging current and potential customers.Most people visit a restaurant website for very specific information.I have seen such ideas about restaurants at Bistroservices.com, Please visit http://bistroservices.com/