Ryan Williams
Jeremy Julian

Social Media Marketing: Website

February 5, 2017

This is the final entry in our Social Media Marketing series. Today we are bringing everything full-circle. Say you have taken all of our advice and become a major leader in the social media realm. Well, what happens when followers go to your website and see that it is clunky, not relevant and frankly, hard to use? All the credibility and good will that you mustered, gets tarnished and possibly lost. Without a website that can drive sales, calls and visits to your restaurant, anything you do on social media becomes irrelevant.

 

That’s where we come in: We are here to give you advice and tips on how to build an engaging site that customers actually WANT to use. This way, you will be able to track the ROI your social media efforts are garnering.

 

If you missed out on any of our previous articles, check out the links below:

 

The Present and Future are all about Mobile

The percentage of overall web usage done on a mobile device has grown from 14% to 25% and this trend will only continue to grow. Since people are spending more and more time on their mobile devices, restaurant websites HAVE to function well on all screen sizes. Otherwise, any marketing efforts are going to be held back.

 

So our advice: if you do not have a mobile-friendly or responsive site, stop what you are doing and get one. We guarantee potential business has been lost due to a lack of a mobile-friendly site. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes: how do you feel when you come across a site that isn’t proportioned correctly on an iPad or smartphone? Frustrated? Do you sigh and leave the site?

 

That’s exactly how potential customers feel.

 

The Power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Once you have a website, it’s vital that it can actually be found by search engines. After all, 89 percent of consumers use search engines to research a product, service or business before making a decision. To take advantage of this, you need to make sure to look at search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.

 

In case you’re not completely sure what SEO means, how it works, or why it’s important, here’s a quick rundown:

  • What: The purpose of SEO is to make it easy for search engines to find your website and list it in their ‘organic’ (as opposed to ‘paid’) results.
  • Why: People tend to trust search engines, so websites that appear high in results pages are more likely to receive traffic.
  • How: Using search-engine friendly methods to improve your website.
  • Who: Everyone – anyone who has information that people want to find on the internet should be using SEO techniques.
  • When: All the time – SEO is an ongoing process. It’s important to monitor the information on your website and make sure it’s current and correct. Search engines also love new content, which is why starting a blog can do wonders for your SEO.
  • Where: Major search engines include Google, Yahoo and Bing. They connect people all over the world to the content they desire, from products to services to information.

 

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz and Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide both give a fantastic overview of the basics and will help you optimize your website.

 

ALWAYS include contact info, location and hours

You’d be surprised how many restaurant websites fail to meet this most basic need. It’s imperative that your restaurant website display contact information, location, and operating hours. Without these, the visitor will likely decide not to dine at your restaurant, either because they don’t know where it is, or they don’t want to risk showing up only to find it’s closed.

Contact information — telephone, fax, and/or email — should be visible on every page of the website. It’s a good idea to place it near the top of the website, where it can be quickly accessed, especially on mobile devices. A plain-text phone number should be used so that on phones, it can be clicked to initiate a call. The restaurant location can be shown using an embedded Google Map. The location can then be used to initiate directions.

 

Use photos to your advantage

One often overlooked need that many visitors to restaurant websites have, is to see what the dining experience is like before stepping inside the restaurant. They want to see if the restaurant is fancy and upscale or casual and family-oriented. This could really help inform their decision as to whether or not they’ll come in and dine. So it’s essential that you include a photo gallery on the website. It doesn’t need to include too many photos. Just a handful of shots that nicely portray the interior decor, outdoor seating (if any), showcase the scenic view, etc.

 

Finally: Integrate with your Social Media

This is where it all comes together. Everything we talked about for weeks. Integrate your website with your social media strategies and channels. All of your social media in some way, should point back to your website. And the content from your website should help supply the content used for your social media. Utilize social media to drive traffic to your website to convert users into customers. All of your tools needs to communicate one strong and cohesive message. By doing this, you will be able to engage with new and current customers, build trust and rapport and drive sales.

 

Need to pass the time before our next article? Check out our friends over at Custom Business Solutions and their next- generation NorthStar Order Entry System.

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