Having a robust online presence has been crucial for restaurants. Still, this past year we’ve seen people spend even more time online and make it routine to turn to the Internet to search for and order from restaurants. The following tips are always best practices to keep in mind, but they may be more important than ever during this year and looking ahead.
Strong Website Design
This first tip is just as important as it ever was. When thinking of web design, first and foremost, focus on functionality. Ensure your website is clean and easy to navigate so customers can easily find locations, your hours of operation, how to place an online order and more. Mobile design should be a priority as that’s where people are spending more and more time. It’s also, of course, important to make sure the website reflects your brand identity and that your design is helping to drive a state of crave. High-quality photos and branded videos will go a long way to entice your customers to visit or order online.
Optimize for Search
Never underestimate the power of SEO. It’s crucial that when people search keywords related to your business that your restaurant appears in their search results. Google Analytics and other tools can help you identify the keywords best for you brand. If the budget is there, utilizing paid search ads can certainly be beneficial. Also, make sure your Google My Business page is up to date and get more tips in our previous guide. You want to make sure that people are getting the most accurate and recent information when they pull up a Google search result for your restaurant.
Engage with Reviews
As many customers use third-party review sites to inform their dining out decision, it’s important to be aware of your presence on those sites and what your customers are saying. Responding to positive reviews and thoughtfully replying to the negative ones in your brand’s voice shows that you respect and value your customers. You should also gently encourage your guests to leave reviews to help grow your restaurant’s presence on those platforms since many people make decisions based on the number of positive reviews.
Amp Up Your Social Presence
And finally, we all know social media is a great way to boost your online presence but are you using it strategically? Identify the platforms that make the most sense for your business and focus your energy there. You’d rather invest in a robust Instagram page with stunning photos than focus your energy on tweeting with little engagement. Also, be sure to create a content strategy that drives genuine engagement and encourages UGC.
These are all tried and true ways to boost your online presence, but it can be good to take a moment to reevaluate your efforts in these areas and see where there could be room for improvement or reinvestment. As time spent online by consumers only continues to increase, you’ll be happy you made the time to do so now when you reap the benefits down the road.