And how to come out with successful web contents that converts clicks into cash.
Organizing your restaurant website content can bring headaches even to techie web natives, so don’t feel overwhelmed just yet. We got you.
Principles like SEO for ranking in Google and customer flows seem like a chore and there are complex website builders out there with templates that make it look easy right before turning into a restaurant owner’s nightmare.
We’ll cover all of that and more throughout our helpful How To section but let’s start with the basics first
1. Pick A Memorable Restaurant Online Name (Domain)
First things first, before content comes your website’s web address, or URL.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to choose a restaurant website URL that is easy to type in the browser’s address bar whenever you’re a bit hungry and you’re thinking about placing an order or taking a peek at the menu.
Your domain address should be easily identifiable with your brand, easy to pronounce and even easier to remember by customers.
Think of it this way… would it pass the radio test?
In other words, if you were to promote your website on the radio, would the listeners be able to find it afterwards? For example, restaurant-burger-shack-my.com would definitely fail the test. Why? Try spelling it with all characters, not just the words. Go on…. That’s what we thought 🙂
A passing example would be RestaurantBurgerShackMY.com, and maybe even burger-shack.com, as it’s less complex than the failed candidate mentioned earlier.
2. Simplicity is the Key – Make The Navigation Easy
This has to ring a bell – you search for something online, find a website that seems to be what you were looking for and when you enter said website, you can’t seem to find the information you needed.
The content seems messy, the navigation seems complicated and all you wanted was to find the contact page (for example) and you can only find it after spending too much time and energy.
Now think of it this way… how likely were you to give up on reaching that contact page?
The same applies with everything.
Website visitors simply don’t have the time or the patience – why struggle finding something on your page that’s not there from the very start when they can just click the browser’s Back button and go someplace else?
It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of the users and imagine what information they need. And also, ask yourself this – how will your visitors find your website?
It might seem a little bit backwards but there are 2 main scenarios here.
3. Get INSIDE Your Customers Mind
Scenario 1: They already know your business
A potential customer used a search engine to find your restaurant by name (e.g.: “restaurant burger shack”) – this means that the user already knew about your business, your brand.
This is important because now we must think about the customer’s behaviour.
What does this person need to find?
We guarantee it’s not pictures from your kitchen or shots of the staff. In most cases, these are users that are searching for either your ordering button to get delivery/takeaway, the menu or a way to make a table reservation.
Scenario 2: They’re searching for something generic
Let’s say users reach your website while searching for “burger restaurant in Kuala Lumpur”.
If they end up on your webpage, they need to feel like they found exactly what they were looking for. This means that you should make it clear from your headline what’s your specialty – in this case, italian cuisine – and where you are – Naples.
So now that you confirmed your restaurant is what the user needs from your headline, and we already started thinking about the customer’s mindset, what would be the next step?
Here it’s a bit different than the first scenario.
These people are not yet ready to reach out to you, they’re still in the research phase. Next logical step for them would be to take a look at the menu and check out the dishes and, of course, the prices.
If they need to download a PDF file or an image to see the menu, you already lost some points.
It’s disruptive and the opposite of user-friendly. We’ll cover more on this topic and others below:
4. The Recipe of SUCCESS in Content Structuring
We know you’re all about recipes and this one is no different than the magic you do in the kitchen. You offer dishes that you know customers would love. Why would your website be any different?
Make it so the potential customer only needs to think about your dishes, not where the menu might be hiding. There are important sections your restaurant’s website should have and others that are just extras and both you and your potential client can easily be without.
The hero area of your homepage is your business card
What would you write on your business card? Would you write an elaborate intro and description?
How many people would read it?
The same applies here. In a web page layout, the hero is the top section of the page, the first thing the customer sees. It serves to tell the visitor what the page is about and sometimes includes a button – the call to action (e.g.: Download now, Buy now, Order now, etc.).
Like we mentioned earlier, it’s important to give the users the information they need. That’s why your hero should contain:
- Who you are – your restaurant’s name
- What you do – cuisine type (western, chinese, etc.)
- Where you are – town, maybe even district or area
Navigation menu should be intuitive
A pro tip would be to make sure your most important sections of your website are accessible from the navigation menu (also known as a header) – the top bar at the beginning of your page that contains your logo, button (in some cases) and important links you want the user to click on.
We showed earlier the importance of having access right away to the menu, location and contact details or online ordering button so your navigation should definitely include those.
Add the restaurant menu in a visible area
We talked about why a visitor arrived on your page so we know by now that these users come to check out the menu, quite possibly to check if you do delivery or at least pickup as well.
This means that the menu should be as high as possible in the page – perhaps in the hero area or the navigation menu, depending on the design.
It should clearly reflect what dishes you serve, the price, menu of the day (if it applies), any special promotions or loyalty rewards and for extra juice, some mouth-watering images of your dishes.
Let them know where you are and how to reach you
Maybe you already added your town or district’s name in the hero of your web page but what about the address? We’d recommend not adding the whole thing in your headline but instead a bit lower in the page but still keeping it visible and easily accessible.
Additionally, we recommend including a map for your customers so they can see exactly where to find you.
Pro tip: you get bonus points if you add a location pin and include a Google Maps integration. Not only is it useful for SEO (search engine optimization), thus ranking higher in search results but it also means that clients arriving by car will be able to easily navigate there.
Include an image gallery of your best dishes
Have you noticed most of us are used by now with ordering from a menu without truly knowing what to expect from the dish? The interesting fact is you wouldn’t buy a pair of jeans without knowing what they look like, right?
When you’re inside a restaurant, you don’t normally give it a second thought because of this – you’re already there. But when it comes to an online space, the users still have plenty of chances to give up placing an order or booking a table. A good way to remind them why they are on your web page and what they’ll get is by having a gallery on display with your best-selling menu items.
Make it easy for customers to book a table
Whether you include a contact form or list your phone number(s), it’s important to let the customers easily reach out to you to make a reservation.
We would personally recommend including a link for the contact page or section even in your header – this is super helpful for potential clients that searched your website online just so they can book a table.
You could even use a tool so that anyone can check automatically if there’s any room left for their party. This means that you also save precious time that your staff can now use on something else instead of answering the phone and checking each time someone calls.
If all this seems like a hassle, don’t despair or give in to expensive solutions that may cover just your hosting and template. If you want your website up and running and already structured nicely with the information you fill out, we cover that and more!