Transforming Your Restaurant’s Online Presence – Why a Great Website Matters More Than Ever

Despite our high-tech times, countless restaurants still have only a basic web page as their primary online presence. Many are using a Facebook page, which gives potential visitors an awful first touchpoint.

With mobile ordering and food delivery platforms at large, restaurateurs must ensure a solid online presence. A well-built website could be the perfect virtual shop front for consumers searching for good food online, allowing you to convert online visitors into customers and customers into patrons.

Why Does Your Restaurant Need A Website?

Many popular ordering platforms charge a hefty portion of the sales, resulting in more and more restaurants turning to their websites as channels for direct orders. These platforms can eat up to 20–30% of your profit per order. As a result, you might have to increase your prices, which will in turn deter customers from placing an order. An online ordering system such as 3s-Pos enables your restaurants to receive orders directly, control your brand, and build a relationship with the customer without intermediaries.

The Mobile-First Approach

As more people than ever are now using smartphones, your restaurant website needs to be mobile-optimised. Having a responsive website optimised for small screens is not enough. You, as a restaurant owner, need to invest in a mobile-specific website that has the ability to facilitate users regardless of what device they’re using. Your mobile website should be built to offer fast eye paths and intuitive navigation, as well as easy, legible menus for each item, offering a complete mobile viewing experience.

Speed Matters

Another major aspect you should work on is speed. With so many options available, users won’t wait minutes for your website to load. Most people will leave your website if it takes more than a few seconds to load. Therefore, it’s imperative that your site be lightning-fast. The speed will also help you with your SEO rankings.

You can achieve this by optimising images and using servers closest to a user’s location (Content Delivery Network, i.e., C.D.N.) to serve up your website. Design AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for instant loading. Follow expert tips for designing your website to ensure speed and usability. Utilise caching techniques, minify CSS and JavaScript files, and choose a reliable hosting provider to ensure your site performs optimally. Remember, a positive (or negative) mobile experience might just be the difference between gaining or missing out on new customers.

Functionalities

Your website’s functionality should be focused on making the ordering process as easy and fluent as possible. Implement an intuitive online ordering system that can be seamlessly attached to your kitchen operations. It should offer more than “add to cart” functionality. It should provide customers with all the information they want to help them make their ordering decisions.

This includes offering detailed information about the ingredients, dietary facts, and reviews. Your system should also allow customers to customise their orders, make secure payments, and track their orders.

The Importance of SEO

SEO

Even the fastest and most functionally solid website is worth nothing if customers can’t find it. It’s like opening a 5-star restaurant in the middle of the Sahara desert without telling anyone. That’s where SEO comes into play. SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the most affordable and proven way to make your website more reachable and bring customers through your restaurant doors.

Keep SEO as your first priority when you start to plan your site, right from the first step, and keep on optimising as you go. Each and every aspect of your website will influence your SEO. Therefore, it’s critical to optimise your website in terms of web structure and content for certain keywords. Include your restaurant’s name, location, and cuisine type in title tags, headers, and throughout your content. If you serve across several locations, develop individual locational pages for each of your branches to take advantage of local SEO.

Start a blog as a part of your restaurant; write about recipes, what’s new in the restaurant industry, what equipment to use for a better experience, and target relevant keywords in each of your blogs. This way, regardless of what a customer searches for, your website will pop up in the top spot on Google around different topic areas you write about.

Paid Advertising to Boosts Visibility

SEO agency

While organic SEO should definitely put you in the driving seat, paid advertising is a fuel that can also drive your restaurant. With the level of competition there is in the restaurant industry, you can’t solely rely on SEO. To get those positive margins you dreamed of before opening your restaurant, you will have to run paid advertising campaigns too.

Consider launching a series of PPC (paid-per-click) campaigns targeting a specific area. Use multiple PPC channels, such as Google, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, to target customers searching for restaurants in your area or specific dishes you offer.

Run targeted ads during your peak ordering hours so you get the most for what you spend. For instance, raise your ad spend during lunch hours or on Friday evenings when more people are inclined to order takeout. Remember, PPC gets quick results, but not long-term results. That’s why a combination of SEO (for long-term results) and PPC (for quick results) is the best starting point, especially for a new restaurant and/or website.

Establishing Engagement & Community Building

Your website should not be just an ordering mechanism; it needs to help you build relationships with your customers. Get an email and SMS marketing system that lets customers subscribe to newsletters. This is perfect for promoting specials, new menu items, and restaurant updates.

Combine social media channels with your website so that you have a cohesive online presence. Have customers follow you on social media. Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook are perfect for treating customers with sneak peeks into how you cook, how you maintain a healthy work-life balance for staff, and how you take care of your customers.

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