Your restaurant website is often the hook for hungry customers. It leads them to your front door and eventually to a table for four on Friday night. At least, that’s what you hope.
When was the last time you took a real look at your restaurant website? Is it attractive, friendly and intuitive? Will it be enough to attract hungry diners to you?
In this article, we’ll talk about how to improve the content of your restaurant website. We will make sure that it is a suitable platform for your website visitors and a signpost to your front door.
Before we talk about what you should put on your homepage, let’s talk about two things you should not put.
The first thing you should stay away from is Flash. This type of animation is distracting and is not visible on the iPad or iPhone.
Second, music is an absolute no-no in the 21st century. Think about the office worker who takes a look at your website at 4:30 p.m. before he calls it a day. He’s looking for a place to eat dinner, but he certainly doesn’t want his boss to know about it. Your music on the website will definitely get him detention. So no music, please.
With more than half of your visitors spending less than 15 seconds on your site, you have little time to capture their interest and deliver the valuable content they’re looking for.
Here’s how to increase the value of the content on your homepage.
Present your menu
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 offer it to them whether they’re using a computer, tablet or phone. It should be easily accessible from your homepage. Briefly tell them what kind of food you offer and what the prices are. This will get you one step closer to new customers arriving 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 link to the top menu navigation to your menu.
In today’s digital age, reviews are important. Social media has paved the way for restaurant reviews to become increasingly important. (tweet this]
Potential diners want to know what their peers think about your food, service and atmosphere. Showcase some of your most positive reviews on the front page of your restaurant website.
Make sure the reviews are easy to find, and also make it easy for your other customers to quickly write a review.
Is it more credible if you say you have the best food in town, or if 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. Maybe your customers praised your restaurant in a review for something you hadn’t even thought of. Reviews help you know exactly where you shine, and then you can use that in your marketing.
Add social proof
If you’ve received awards for your food or been mentioned in the media, you should mention that on the front page of your restaurant website.
Place awards prominently on the homepage. If it’s an exceptional award, you should put it above the fold.
Awards and reviews make you a good place to eat.
Offer a virtual tour
Imagine a couple dating for the first time. If the guy is looking for a good restaurant and you offer a virtual tour, he’ll know right away if your restaurant is right for him.
If you give a glimpse into the atmosphere of your restaurant, you’ve improved your content and invited a new guest.
Include your value proposition
According to ProtoFuse, the most important design element on your homepage is your value proposition. What is a value proposition? It answers these questions:
- What is this page/website about?
- How can it help me?
Your homepage provides an overview of your restaurant. It is the front door. (tweet this) She is also the “reset” button of your website. If they want to “start over” on your website, they click on the home link.
Place buttons in a prominent location
Often your visitors are looking for your location, phone number, or a way to make a reservation. But sometimes they want to order online to simply pick up their meal.
Make it easy for them by including these features on your homepage:
- Add a one-press button for cell phone calls.
- Insert a large button that says “Order Now.” Don’t make your website visitors search from page to page for your online menu.
- Make sure your site information is easy to find. It should be at the top of the page on both a regular computer and a cell phone, because that’s one of the most popular pieces of information visitors search for.
- You can also include a “Book Now” or “Reserve Table” button in a prominent location.
Make sure all the buttons on your phone are big enough for fingers to press easily!
Create a specials box
Guests want to know what specials are available and if they are available on the day they want to dine in.
Enhance your homepage content by providing easy access to specials or coupons. They don’t have to be listed on your homepage, but you should include a highly visible link to them.
In this section, you can also set up an email sign-up so your website visitors can sign up for your emails and have access to exclusive offers.
As you begin to revamp your website’s homepage, don’t forget to pay attention to the other pages of your website as well. In a previous post, we compiled a list of five restaurant website best practices.
In it, we talk about your photo gallery, your online menu with pricing, WordPress, contact and location information, and more. By fine-tuning the rest of your website, you’ll make sure you’re meeting the needs of both your regular customers and new visitors.
Take care of your website’s homepage:
- Is easy to read.
- Provides visitors with important information such as address, phone and opening hours.
- It is simple and clear.
- Has your logo and an easy to read font.
- Includes links to your online menu and how to order if you offer it.
Finally, your entire website, including your homepage, should be mobile-friendly. In these times, it’s especially important to optimize your restaurant’s website so that all visitors have a great experience, whether they visit your site 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 if you want to revamp and refresh your website, contact us for a free website consultation. We’ll make sure your brand is consistent and your online message is strong!