Your website is often the hook for hungry customers. It’s what leads them to your front door and ultimately a table for four every Friday night. At least, that’s what you hope.
When was the last time you took a real look at your restaurant website’s homepage? Is it attractive, friendly and intuitive? Will it be enough to lead hungry diners to your door?
In this article, we’re going to talk about how to improve the content on your restaurant website homepage. We’re going to ensure that it’s an appropriate platform for your site visitors and a road map to your front door.
Before we talk about what to include on your homepage, let’s talk about two items not to include.
The first thing you should stay away from is flash. This type of animation is distracting, and it’s not visible on the iPad or the iPhone.
Secondly, music is a real 21st century no-no. Think about the office worker sneaking a peak at your website at 4:30 before he leaves for the day. He’s looking for a dinner spot, but he most certainly doesn’t want his boss knowing he’s doing it. Your on-site music will land him in detention for sure. So, no music, please.
Since more than half of the visitors to your site will spend less than 15 seconds there, you have a brief amount of time to capture their interest and provide them with the valuable content they are looking for.
Here’s how you can increase the value of the content on your homepage.
What do people really want to see when they come to your restaurant’s homepage? They want to see what kind of food you serve.
You need to provide it for them whether they are using a computer, tablet or phone. It should be easily accessible from your homepage. Tell them briefly what kind of food you offer and the price range. This gets you one step closer to new customers at your door.
Consider a small photo gallery of your menu options with a link to your larger menu. You can also add a large button or top menu navigation link to your menu.
In today’s digital age, reviews are important. Social media has paved the way for an increased importance on restaurant reviews. (tweet this)
Potential diners want to know what their peers think of your food, your service and your atmosphere. Showcase a few of your most positive reviews on your restaurant website homepage.
Make it easy to find the reviews, and in turn, make it easy for your other customers to quickly leave a review.
Is it more believable when you say you have the best food in town, or when Diane Smith writes about it in a review on your website? Diane, of course.
Let your customers describe your restaurant for you. Then, you can use their words in other areas of your website, too. Perhaps your customers left a review complimenting your restaurant on something you hadn’t even thought of. Reviews are great for helping you know just exactly where you shine, so you can share that in your marketing.
If you’ve gotten any awards for your food, or if the media has mentioned you, be sure and include that on your restaurant website homepage.
Place awards in a prominent place on the homepage. If it is an exceptional award, consider adding it above the fold.
Awards as well as reviews give you authority as a great place for great food.
Consider the couple going out on a first date. If the gentleman is looking for a fine dining establishment, and you’ve provided a virtual tour, he’ll know right away if your restaurant is the spot for him.
Provide an inside view to your restaurant’s atmosphere, and you’ve improved your content and encouraged a new diner.
According to ProtoFuse, the single most important design element on your home page is your value proposition. What is a value proposition? It answers these questions:
Your home page provides an overall view of your restaurant. It’s the front door. (tweet this) It is also your site’s “reset” button. If they want to “start over” on your website, they’ll hit the home link.
Often, you visitors are looking for your location, your phone number or a place to make a reservation. Other times they want to order online for easy pick-up.
Make it simple for them by adding these features on your homepage:
Make sure all of your buttons are big enough for fingers to press easily on a mobile phone!
Diners want to know what your specials are, and if they are available on the day they decide to dine.
Improve your homepage content by providing easy access to specials and or coupons. They don’t have to be listed on your homepage, but you should include a prominent link to them.
In this same area, you can add an email sign up so your website visitors can sign up for your emails and have access to exclusive promotions.
As you start revising and working on your website’s homepage, don’t forget to pay attention to the rest of your pages as well. We compiled a list of five restaurant website best practices in a previous post.
Take a look at these as they talk about your photo gallery, online menu with prices, WordPress, contact and location information and much more. Fine-tuning the rest of your website ensures you’ll meet the needs of your return customers as well as new visitors.
Take care that your website’s homepage:
Finally, your entire site, including your homepage, should be mobile friendly. It’s vital this year to optimize your restaurant’s website so that all visitors have a great experience whether they are visiting your website on a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone.
Do you have a great homepage? How about a blog on your website? Is your website mobile friendly? If not, or you’d like a website tune-up and refresh, contact us for your free website consultation. We’ll make sure your brand is consistent, and your online message strong!