If you don’t have your own website for your restaurant you’re missing out on an important marketing opportunity.
This guide to restaurant website marketing will explain:
- Why you need a restaurant website
- What content to publish on your page
- Where to find help making your restaurant site
I Already Have Facebook and Instagram. Why Do I Need a Website?
Yes, that’s a great start! But your social media posts are an entirely different type of marketing than having your own restaurant webpage. A web domain of your own is a private space to showcase what you do differently. Don’t stop posting on social media. Add a dedicated website.
Social media posts let you engage with your fans and get viral shares but a website offers something different to your visitors. It answers your guests' questions from your perspective and lets you control the conversation.
Getting Ranked In Google Search
Without a restaurant website there is one key benefit you’re likely missing out on – Google local search results.
When diners in your area search for restaurants, Google is smart enough to give results that are for restaurants nearby. Since 80% of people do a Google search for a restaurant or bar before they visit, this is a prime driver for developing new customers.
What Should Be On My Restaurant Website?
Think From Your Customer’s Perspective
Do you know your target customer? Consider the website from their perspective. What do they want to know before choosing where to eat?
Your website is your chance to make an impression on them — that tops the competition! If there are 3 ramen houses within 15 miles of each other, why should a hungry diner choose yours? A spiffy website that speaks to your target market could definitely be what tips the odds in your favor.
Provide Details About What Guests Can Find
Including the critical information will help guests and Google understand what your restaurant has to offer.
Primary information should be prominently displayed:
- Restaurant name
- Type of cuisine
- Hours of operation
Additional information should be easy to find:
- Happy Hours
- Online menu
- Online ordering
- Online reservations
- Inspiration and backstory
Additionally, think about the searches your target customers are typing into Google. Include these search words naturally on your page when writing about your restaurant.
Example keywords for diners looking for specifics:
- Live music
- Patio seating
- Pet friendly
- Happy hour food
- Has high-chairs
- With a dance floor
- Happy Hours
What makes your restaurant unique? Now’s the chance to lay it out there to attract guests!
Use Your Website To Increase Profitability
Your menu should definitely be on your website. It will entice customers and help them plan what they want before they come in, speeding up service.
If you do delivery already, with a little more effort you can integrate online ordering too. Services like Grubhub.com make it easy. Diners are increasingly looking for food delivery options from restaurants. Adding this service can help to grow your business.
If you’re not seeing a full dining room every night, online reservations is another excellent way to pull in more guests. People like to know they have a secure table when they go out, but not everyone wants to call in to make a reservation.
If you’re worried about the increased foot traffic, online reservation integration can come with the added benefit of a front of house management platform. This will help you provide a more consistent service while serving more guests — without chaos.
Rezku offers restaurant owners affordable technology that facilitates online ordering and online reservations plus a lot more.
So How Do I Make My Restaurant Website?
Set Your Restaurant Website Goals
Before you start a website for your restaurant, you should carefully define your goals.
What do you want to accomplish? Make a list:
- Rank better in search
- Show off the venue
- Get more reservations
- Take online orders
- Put my menu online
Knowing where you want to go is the first step to getting there.
Deciding On A Website Host
Web-hosting is a service provided by technology companies with massive computers that give your website its home. Imagine it’s a little like renting a condo. To have a web page people can get to, you need it to be hosted by one of these services.
Free Hosting — Tempting But Amateur
There are some free sites, but they come with a catch. You might have to allow pop-up ads and you won’t have a “real” domain name, it will include the name of the free website service. If you don’t have anything at all you might consider that something is better than nothing.
For those interested in free hosting, TriPod.com and Angelfire.com will get you started with little effort and no cost.
Why To Consider A Paid Web Host
Not having your own domain name and unrelated pop-up ads can make your restaurant website appear amateurish. It could hurt the way potential customers see your business.
You may think your target customers won’t mind these things—but don’t be surprised if your competition lures in more foodies with a nicer website. Restaurant owners who want a real website and total control will register their own domain name and use a paid hosting site.
You can find affordable options like HostGator.com, GoDaddy.com or BlueHost.com. Plans suitable for most restaurants are around $10 a month and give you complete control over everything.
The challenge here is that if you’re not very technical, you won’t have a lot of support. It will take some effort to learn a new skill but your site will look more professional.
The tools for building a website today are easier to use than in the past. If you find that you enjoy learning new things you can set up with WordPress and find most of what you need to learn in YouTube videos and online forums.
I Want A Professional Website Without Having To Be A Geek
Alternatively, you could decide not to worry about learning web hosting and WordPress and still have a great looking restaurant website by hiring a designer.
The web is full of capable freelance web-gurus who work relatively cheaply. Professional looking restaurant websites can be custom-built for a couple hundred dollars.
If you’re interested in hiring a freelance web-designer, check out Fivrr.com and Upwork.com. If you’re not looking for remote hires and prefer someone you can sit with one-on-one, good old Craigslist.com will help you find locals in the biz.
If you go this route, hire someone with a portfolio of clients who does this work professionally. This will save you from annoying and expensive headaches. It’s better to spend a little more and take the worry out of it.
Consider your restaurant website as just as important as the sign outside your building. The web isn’t going anywhere, and it’s the main resource diners use to decide where they’re going to eat. Get your message out there and rank in Google!