6 Website Tips to Increase Your Restaurant Profits
Restaurants need to adapt to a completely different marketing landscape as they open their doors in post-COVID19 world. Both the restaurant industry and marketing agencies have changed so much that restaurateurs need to have a totally different marketing strategy.
why the restaurant marketing strategy needs to change
The restaurant industry looks very, very different after the COVID-19 pandemic. Operating parameters will be completely different with social distancing norms, customers will be hesitant to venture out, local municipal laws, and guidelines. Restaurateurs will have to come out with a set of revised marketing ideas to ensure footfalls and grab customers' eyeballs.
Most restaurant marketing agencies and restaurant owners have given scant attention to (even ignored) restaurant websites. Restaurant websites can yield huge dividends in restaurant marketing and promotions. It's not expensive, it's easy and provides you a powerful (and, much better) alternative to other platforms.
Remember, one of the most common searches on Google are "restaurants near me", "restaurants nearby" and "best restaurants near me". These generate huge volumes and, as a restaurant owner, you don't want to miss out on a single search. Given this background, we recommend that you include a revisit of the role of your restaurant website in your marketing plan.
Tip #1 Make your website Google SEO friendly
There are hundreds and thousands of searches daily as consumers search for restaurants, pubs, bars, takeaways, DJs, live events, and more. This is a great source of absolutely free and great traffic. Making your restaurant website Google SEO friendly is easy and requires very little effort. Make sure that every web page has proper page titles, headers, meta descriptions and has a unique search-engine-friendly (SEF) URL. Try to give exciting, attractive, and attention-grabbing text in the titles and meta descriptions so that your click-through-rate increases.
Tip #2 Create amazing content
Content Marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools that one can think of. Your target audience is vast and easily identifiable and they love food, drinks and a cool, exciting lifestyle. Any F&B establishment has tons of ready content that can be used for content marketing and for attracting customers and building a powerful brand. Food photos, cocktails, interiors videos, recipes, insights on food, customers having a wonderful time are powerful content that can drive traffic to your website. Google loves great content and if your website has fresh, regular content posted then Google will reward you with a higher ranking.
Check out how we used a customer photo-gallery on 55 WallStreet's website to increase traffic and stickiness here
Tip #3 Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and responsive
More and more websites are viewed on mobile smartphones than on desktops. This is particularly true for the target audience for the F&B industry. We estimate that over 80% of a restaurant's traffic is on mobile smartphones. A webpage that isn't responsive on a smartphone will lose traffic. It is easy to create a website that is responsive and looks as good on a mobile phone as it does on a laptop or a desktop computer. Run Google's Mobile-Friendly Test and/or ami.responsivedesign.is/
Tip #4 Create a strategy for attracting high-value customers
In the hospitality business, we know how a large group can change the nature of the business. One large group not only boosts sales but also infuses a high level of excitement which in turn attracts more customers. Large groups can be corporate groups enjoying team dinners, lunches, corporate events, senior management dinners.
Enquiries for groups larger than a hundred people have been generated through websites created by us. Our customers love these bookings. Similarly, you can easily attract customers for large groups like birthdays, bachelorette parties, anniversaries, reunions and farewells.
Importantly, large groups have extremely high Return-on-Investments (ROI). All one needs to do is set up attractive landing pages, follow appropriate guidelines and then promote it suitable channels - example, LinkedIn is a powerful platform for Corporate Groups, whereas, Instagram and Facebook are excellent platforms for private groups. Of course, one must include Google paid advertising as this is one of the best ways to increase visibility to the right target audience.
Tip #5 Include Facebook Pixel code on your website
Facebook Pixel is a very powerful tool to improve optimization of your online advertisements. Facebook Pixel is a code that you place on your restaurant website which collects data that helps you in optimizing your Facebook ads, remarket to people who have taken some action on your website and create targetted audiences.
It requires a few minutes for a digital marketer to create and install Facebook Pixel on your website. This dramatically improves your effectiveness and is a key element for any marketing strategy.
Tip #6 your website should be blazing-fast
Google estimates that a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load loses 30% of its visitors. The slower the website the higher the chances of traffic loss, penalization by Google on rankings, and erosion of brand image. I have seen pages that take more than 15 seconds to load and this is a shoddy portrayal of the brand by a lethargic, incompetent agency.
If your website is slow then get it fixed immediately. And, it is easy to do so. Simple resizing and optimization of images and videos, using a powerful, local hosting service, and using fast templates are simple ways by which you can increase your web page speeds significantly. We use GTMetrix to run a speed test and it helps us keep our websites fast.
We ran a GTmetrix test and here are the results for a page that had about 100 large thumbnail images which were 800x600 pixels wide and another 100 which were 260x260 wide. With about 200 images the page loaded in 0.9 seconds when tested from Mumbai, India. That is a pretty impressive score!
of course, there are many other useful additions to your website that you can implement but these are the main ones. You will be surprised at the tremendous benefits that you will get by following these simple tips for your website. These suggestions are essential ammunition for a restaurant's marketing strategy, reaps huge rewards and is an inexpensive way to promote your brand