Did you know that more than 50% of guests will visit your website before deciding whether to dine or not?
This is precisely the reason why you need to make sure to include the right things on your website to convince people that you’re worth their time and money.
I’m going to show you the 8 must-have items on your website to convert your online traffic into paying customers that will come and dine at your restaurant.
The issue is that many owners think that their website is just a nice-to-have feature, but if you fail to realize how important your website is, you’re going to lose tens of thousands of dollars each year.
And without further ado, let’s dive right in.
1. Make Your Website SEO Optimized
What does SEO stands for? Search Engine Optimization.
Simply put, when someone types a phrase in Google and searches it, there’s a ranking system that determines which results show up on the first page.
More than 80% of people only click through the first three listings that show up. And this is only the first page!
The closer the listing is to the top of the search page, the stronger its SEO is. The higher the SEO, the higher the ranking, the more exposure you have, the better for your business.
You Need To Get Backlinks
We’re not going to dive too deep into how to get better SEO, but one great strategy is creating more backlinks.
Backlinks are other credible sources that link to your website.
For example, a blogger or publication might come across your website. If they link back to your website, it gives your website more credibility. This shows Google that your site is more credible because another website referenced back to it.
Build more backlinks by talking to more publications and PR journalists, and collaborate with other people to get more credibility for your website.
Use A Unique Domain
If you want to be a little bit more unique and stand out amongst the crowd, I would recommend using a unique domain. Instead of using .com you can use another domain such as .us.
This gives you that uniqueness that people can actually memorize so instead of 720sweets.com, you would go with 720sweets.us.
This give you another opportunity to build brand recognition and creates a sense of community.
To learn more about domains or purchase your own, visit this website here.
2. Have All The Essentials Easy To Find
Your website should definitely include these four things:
- Business address
- Contact number
- Social media handle
- Hours of operation
So often I visit a restaurant’s website to see what time they close, but it feels like a scavenger hunt or a puzzle.
It might show their hours of operation at the top of the site, but then their contact info is on the bottom. Or their hours on their Facebook page is out of date. It’s just crazy.
You have to make this information super easy to find and updated. I would highly recommend you include all this essential information in one place, up top somewhere that’s easy to see. The easier it is to find, the faster someone can make a decision to order from you.
3. Include An Easy-To-Read Menu
The menu is something that everyone wants to see when they come to your website. Customers want to know what you’re offering.
Make It Easy To Read
Have descriptions for each item that you’re serving. Put pictures in!
So many times I have gone to websites where the menu is all in a different language, especially Italian restaurants. The food item is in Italian so I won’t know exactly what they’re offering which could potentially prevent me from visiting – even though it’s because of my own ignorance.
This is why you need to make sure that your website and your menu is super easy to read, even for an elementary school kid.
Make Sure It’s Up To Date
So many times restaurants don’t meet the customer’s expectation well enough because their menu is out of date.
I can’t count how many times I’ve gone into a restaurant to order a specific dish to find out that the menu’s out of date and was last served two years ago.
This doesn’t manage your customers’ expectations, and in turn doesn’t create that ideal experience that you want to your customers to have.
4. Have Quality Photos
Don’t ignore this.
Nowadays, everyone eats with their eyes, so you need legitimate, high quality photos of all your main menu items.
Additionally, you want to have photos of the ambience and the interior of your restaurant.
Let’s say I’m trying to find a fancy place to bring my wife for a nice meal. In order for me to surprise her, I would want to see what the ambience would be like. If there’s no pictures I wouldn’t know. I don’t want to bring her to a place that has the same ambiance as McDonald’s!
Same goes if I were to have a host a birthday party at your restaurant – do you have a big enough menu offering? Does it look nice enough for a birthday party? Is there enough space?
Having photos of your interior setting that actually showcases your ambience is crucial, because it captures attention and helps customers decide if you’re offering the experience they’re looking for.
5. Share Social Proof
A lot of people forget about this one!
The most popular example is customer reviews or testimonials. Some things that you can incorporate into your website would be Yelp or Google reviews on your website. Photos and user generated content are also great examples of social proof.
Now you may be thinking, why do I need this?
Your website is an opportunity to turn cold visitors into paying customers and a lot of people are missing tens of thousands of dollars in sales, because they don’t understand this.
What WE say about our restaurant is nowhere near as valuable as what OTHER people say about our restaurant; so you should include as much social proof on your website as possible.
6. Have Online Ordering Available
Since COVID-19, online ordering and delivery have and will continue to be core fundamentals of your restaurant’s revenue.
You need to make this a feature on your website.
Having the option for curbside pickup and online ordering is crucial to your success because people’s spending habits have changed.
People are much more aware of their healthy & safety. Some people might not want to dine out, but they still want to enjoy your food.
Now, I understand that there are third party delivery apps such as UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates and all these different companies that you can rely on. But at the same time, you have to pay up to 30% to these companies. If you have your own online ordering system, you only have to charge 3% instead.
If you guys want to learn more about what I have to say about third party apps, definitely check out this video [here].
7. Your Story
A lot of people miss this mark. “Why would people even care about our startup story?”
When people want to try your menu items and see a lot of people raving about your restaurant, they’re excited to visit.
If you also include your story or inspiration your customers will have a deeper understanding of your business, and appreciate your restaurant even more that there’s an emotional aspect.
This pulls everything together, and helps push more people into becoming regular, loyal customers.
8. Mobile Friendly
Statistics say that more than 81% of people search for places to eat through their phones.
When was the last time you went on your desktop to search for where to eat? You most likely whip out your phone and search for ‘restaurants near me’.
If your website doesn’t show up nicely on mobile devices and people can’t see the pictures or your menu properly, they’ll just go back to the search page and check out the next restaurant.
In addition, mobile responsive is extremely helpful in gaining more SEO points!
There you have it, the eight must-have items for your website so you can turn cold visitors into paying customers.
Now, it’s time to take action. Which one are you going to start first?
Maybe start by having the essentials on your website, all together in one spot.
How does your menu look? Maybe you want to update that, along with some new pictures to make your website more appealing and easier to read.
Whatever the thing may be, making your website more robust will help you attract many more eager customers.
If you want to explore more about these kinds of things, and way to gain more customers and traffic, check out the my other restaurant marketing resources.