In part 1 of this post, we talked about the importance of a website. Today, we are going to talk about the aftermath.
So, you have finally launched your amazing new website! Then what? This is a question a lot of people struggle with after they launch a website. The norm is to set it and forget it but it does not work that way. After a website launch, the work should not come to a stop. A website should always be considered a work in progress because honestly, it is never completely done a business can never become stagnant. You may decide to tweak your content to better represent who you are. You may also decide to change the way you attract your customers by putting together promotions or other marketing strategies.
Here are 7 ways to keep your website evolving after a website launch.
1. Blog Regularly
Blogging is a great way to keep your content fresh. It is also a great way to encourage search engines to grab new content from your website for better online search traffic.
2. Review Website Content
Review your website content at least once a month to make sure everything is correct and current. Don’t get into the habit of only making updates to materials at your physical location. Your brand and promotions must be consistent across the board.
3. Backup Website Regularly
Backing up your website regularly can save you from a huge headache when unforeseen issues concerning your website happen. If you’re using WordPress there are many plugins (paid) out there that can schedule automatic backups to save time and effort. If you are busy running your restaurant and/or you’re not tech savvy, a great option would be to look into maintenance package options available from your web design studio. Maintenance packages are catered you and your business to take the worry out of your day-to-day so I would highly suggest it.
4. Platform and Plugin Updates
If your website is on the WordPress platform, you are probably used to hearing this. Make sure your website’s CMS and plugins are on the most recent version. Not taking the time to do this, leaves your website unprotected from hackers. Losing your website wouldn’t be good right? If you are not well versed in performing these updates, contact your web design studio immediately to get enrolled in a plan that can take care of this for you.
5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
When updating your website, make sure all image alt tags are in place, add appropriate keywords, and follow the proper search standards when adding new information. Doing this will enhance your search engine results so that your website continues to show up when a potential customer searches for your type of restaurant service. Learn more about SEO.
6. Create Freebies
Everyone likes free stuff so reward your loyal email subscribers with them. Offer coupons, birthday treats, or anything you can think of that would benefit your customers. Make them happy ?.
7. Social Media
Share your website on social media and get the word out about your restaurant and your food. Check out my post about how “Social media is your friend“.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to check out more of our tips that can help your online home soar!
Questions? We would love to hear them. Comment below or give us a shout.
Social Media is Your Friend
Are you doing the social media thing? Facebook? Instagram? If you’re not, you are definitely missing out some platforms that could help put your name out there. The key is to be active on these platforms i.e. post and comment regularly to get the word out and in turn increase the number of people visiting your website. Food is actually a big hit when it comes to social media, especially on Instagram. I believe it because Instagram is a visual platform. People just love to see great pictures of food so there is a lot of engagement in this area. If you aren’t using it yet, here are some great restaurant marketing ideas you can use for your business today.
Some quick tips for Instagram, the platform I personally love
- Post at least once every day.
- Post photos of your food and research hashtags that have a great engagement in your field.
- Post photos of common ingredients your restaurant loves to use.
- If you’re a bakery, let users see your talent by posting the amazing cake decorations you create.
- Double tap ❤️ and comment on posts you like.
- Don’t use photos that have a lot of text on them. Instagram does not like that very much.
- Give users the opportunity to see what goes on behind closed doors.
- Allow users to see you so they can fall in love with you.?
So, what say you? You gonna do it? Comment below on your experiences.
Make sure to display events on your website
Do you have events at your restaurant? Make sure your customers hear about them from your website. Add a calendar of events to get people excited and thinking about the next place to burn the after-work hours. Even take it a step further and add a few images of past happenings. If you are currently not having events at your restaurant, I think it’s a great idea to start thinking about it. Starting out with events like bringing in local artists, starting a game night or hosting a coffee & mingle event can really raise the bar on your social rating.
Displaying events is a great way to attract a crowd and when the crowds come around, they buy ?.
Now let’s face it. A lot, and I mean a lot of business is done online nowadays. I heard somewhere that 72% of millennials research and shop online before they visit a location. So think about that for a minute. If the future is researching online, shouldn’t every business including yours be represented there, especially restaurants who are by nature part of the social world? The answer is yes you should.
Your website. Your home
So with that said, as a business, you need to have a home online. A central online place where visitors can go when they visit you, without distractions. You need a place to convince customers to come to you instead of going to Joe Schmo down the street. A website is your online home and its role is to be an extension of your restaurant’s physical location or you as a sole entrepreneur. It should be a place where a customer can order from you right there or provide information on how they can get to you when they want to visit. Not having an online space is literally like leaving money on the table.
A website should be a place where customers feel like they are welcomed. It should be a place that greets them with open arms and provides them with the information they might be looking for or entice them to want to visit you. A website should not just occupy space. It should not have just an image that leads to nowhere or content that has not been updated in years. As my previous creative director used to say, “put some love into it”. Pay attention to the details as you would for your physical restaurant. Ask yourself, if you would be ok with having your physical restaurant set up halfway before your customers come in? Definitely not. This is how you should think about your website’s content i.e. text, images, menu items, blog posts etc.
Getting the best out of a website
In order to get the best out of your restaurant’s online space, don’t just have anyone create your website for you. Don’t let one of those advertising companies that use the same template for every type of business create one for you and definitely do not think of creating it yourself unless you are also skilled in the world of web design. The website should have the necessary features help the online and mobile viewer have a sense of ease when viewing it. Your designer should know the design style and fonts that work the best, the necessary features for a responsive (mobile-friendly) website, understand hierarchy and content placement to lead your customers to the place you intend them to go and above all understand what makes a good restaurant website.
Once you get a website up, you should not stop there. Stay committed to the online extension of your restaurant and make sure to continuously give it what it needs to allow your website to do the work for you while you sleep.
So what do you do after your website goes live to keep it from getting stale? Look out for my next post on the subject where I will be providing you with a list of strategies that can help you keep up your website and get it continuously bringing in customers and revenue.
Is your website mobile-friendly?
Geez, I hope it is. Statistics show that 83% of consumers use their mobile device to search for a place to eat. It really becomes a problem when your customers have to pinch and zoom on their devices to view your menu, find where you’re located and view your story on your website. Mobile-friendly websites are designed to promote legibility no matter the device screen size. Don’t fall into the category of restaurants that do not reach their customers or risk losing customers due to a website that cannot easily provide them with the necessary and most basic information.
If you are not sure you have a mobile-friendly website, seek help from your designer or ask us. We are always happy to educate and provide you with information that will help your business grow.
Comments are also welcome below!