Managing a restaurant is no piece of cake, and neither is it online. The number of variables or factors to take care of are aplenty: answering orders online, replying to customers, managing and fixing problems on your website, posting on social media, doing damage control are some of the few. Top that with the feeling that your efforts are not leading you to gain any new customers and you’ve got the recipe for disaster. Which is why it is important for you to have a with a team of professionals that can help you get out of that mess, and turn efforts into results.
Want to reap the benefits with an effective web design and marketing team? Read on!
If you want to create buzz and increase traffic and customers to your restaurant, you will need a solid team of web design and marketing professional to help you. Here are some reasons why you need a team, and why you can’t just do it yourself:
A bad design will drive customers away: there is nothing worse than a high bounce rate on your website. If users who visit your site choose to leave instead of continuing to navigate your site, that means that they are not satisfied with what they see. This could be for a number of reasons, such as confusing navigation, dead links, slow loading time, bright colors or designs, or simply not viewable on their smartphones.
A proper web design team will design your restaurant’s website with the end-user in mind, one that is professional-looking, sophisticated, and easy to navigate and find what you they looking for. An amateur or cluttered-looking website will only make your restaurant look less reliable, lose credibility and customers over a website that is better designed. If someone runs into a contest on your restaurant’s Facebook page, they should be able to go to the website and view your menu online and place an order without much of a hassle.
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Online orders will ease the sale: the days when orders used to be made on the phone are slowly slipping away. Instead, customers have moved on and online. Having an online ordering system set up on your website will surely increase sales and profit for your restaurant. This will put the process of ordering food right at their fingertips.
Show your restaurant’s human side on social media: while your website is an essential tool for marketing your restaurant online, social media is a great way to get them to discover you. Most internet users are active on social media – 72% to be exact, which means that they have an account in either Facebook, Twitter, or any other social platform. Being on these sites is important to get people’s attention and drive them to your site – hopefully to make an order online. Not only that, but a profile on social media allows you to reach out to customers and showcase your restaurant. You can share candid, behind the scenes pictures of your staff, a recipe of one of your menu’s most ordered dish, or exclusive contests or promotions for your fans. This will create hype about your establishment and a more intimate or human connection with the customer. Being on social media also allows you to jump in on conversations being had about your restaurant.
Respond to what people are saying about your restaurant: With so many review sites out there like Yelp, Urbanspoon or TripAdvisor where people can go and write about their dining experience, restaurateurs have to step up to the plate. How? Simple. By responding to them. You can register on said sites and reply to each client directly. This way, you can address each issue clients bring up, negative, positive or false. Doing so will not only give viewers a positive impression of your establishment, but will also give you the opportunity to win some back a customer after a negative review. A team will help you in finding all that is being said on these online review sites and how to handle any bad word of mouth being spread.
An online reputation management system will allow you to find all reviews that are being posted online and help you, the manager or owner, be on the know of what diners are saying about your restaurant.
Be found when people look up “best restaurant” on Google: while your restaurant might already have its legion of loyal customers, you still have to be create opportunities to acquire new ones. For this, you need to invest in some search engine optimization, or SEO. The goal should be that when customers search for food, your website should show up. For example, if you are a restaurant in Vancouver that specializes in Italian food, your website should pop up first when people look up “Italian food Vancouver” or “Best Italian restaurants Vancouver”. For this to occur, you need to optimize your site in the best way possible and rank well on Google.
Improving your presence is not a ‘one-time’ thing: it isn’t just about setting or tweaking something here and there and forgetting. Sure, it will improve your visibility somewhat, but only temporarily. There are some tactics that can optimize your site and can be done once, but this is not enough. Without an integrated plan, it will be nearly impossible to get the results your restaurant needs. There needs to be a commitment and plan with a strategy that adapts to changes such as Google’s algorithm, which is inevitable. Not only that, but there are other aspects of online marketing that tend to change rather quickly. Having a team of solid professionals that can fully put their time into this and strategize for change, is therefore necessary. Attempting to do so on your own will prove to be extremely difficult.
As you can see, the aforementioned reasons all have one thing in common: they are all time-consuming and require a technical know-how and level of expertise most of us don’t have. Hiring a team of professionals who have the right amount of expertise to design your restaurant’s website and market it is much better than trying to do it yourself. After all, there are a number of ways you can market and promote your restaurant through the Internet. But you can’t just do them all. You need to have a plan, and the right tools and knowledge to be able to execute them.
If you think that your website’s marketing strategy could improve for the better, give us a try. We will help you identify the areas that need to be improved, completely free.