10 Signs It’s Time to Redesign Your Restaurant’s Website
Your restaurant’s website is the online face of your business, giving Internet users a glimpse into what your restaurant has to offer and, ideally, what they can expect from your establishment. In many cases, your restaurant website may be the first – and possibly only – impressions potential customers may get of your restaurant, meaning that your website can be pivotal to attracting customers or forever turning them off of your restaurant.
To assure that your restaurant is always presented in the best possible light, positioned for more customers and optimal growth, the following shares 10 tell-tales signs that now is the right time to redesign your restaurant website.
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Your Website Hasn’t Been Redone in at Least Four Years.
Internet and website technology is constantly advancing. So too are the best practices for optimizing and ranking websites. Consequently, if your site hasn’t been redesigned in the past four (or more) years, it’s very likely that the website:
- Appears to be clunky or tired
- Can be difficult to use, especially on mobile devices
- Can be even harder to find in local restaurant searches
- Gives the impression that you don’t care about the site or that you’re out of touch.
These impressions can translate into a lack of trust with potential customers, possibly leading to assumptions that the food and/or service at your restaurant may be similarly lackluster or subpar.
Your Website Looks Dated.
Regardless of how tech-savvy your potential customers may be, if they’re regular Internet users, they can spot a tired-looking site from miles away.
Dated websites can be challenging and unappealing to use. They can also raise questions about the quality of a restaurant’s food, the attentiveness of its staff and/or whether the restaurant experience will be as unimpressive and uninspired as the website appears to be.
Your Website Doesn’t Have Any or an Up-To-Date Menu.
One of the first things people look at when they’re checking out restaurant websites is the menu. If you don’t offer this information (and make it easy to find and look through), there’s little chance that new potential customers will want to find out more about your restaurant. In fact, it’s far more likely that they’ll turn to and visit your competitors who do have an engaging, easy-to-use menu online.
To determine if your menu is enhancing or detracting from your restaurant website (and the user experience), here are some key factors to consider:
- Are all of the menu items up to date? Are the featured prices accurate? – If not, the menu is not helping your website or your restaurant.
- How accurate, clear and enticing are the dish descriptions? – The better these descriptions are, the more likely you are to entice potential customers to try out your cuisine.
- Are there any or good pictures of some (or all) dishes? – Pictures can speak a thousand words, even before people start reading the menu. So, if you don’t have any photos or if the current photos just aren’t that great, it’s probably a good idea to add some mouthwatering pictures of your food to your online menu.
Your Website Has Poor Functionality.
Does your website have broken links, blank pages and/or broken contact forms? Are certain features – like those for making online reservations or placing orders – simply not working?
If your website is not functioning as it should:
- It could be riddled with anything from dated plugins and broken code to security problems and other issues.
- The website rankings are likely suffering, meaning that it can be more difficult for online customers to find your restaurant.
In these cases, a redesign and overhaul can be essential to restoring functionality and optimizing the site, setting it up to be better received by both online customers and search engines.
Your Website Is Difficult to Navigate and/or Offers a Poor User Experience.
Is it difficult for people to find information on your restaurant’s website? Is the navigation cluttered, disorganized and/or riddled with broken links?
The more challenging it is for users to navigate your website, the worse the user experience will be. This can have negative impacts like (but not limited to):
- Permanently turning people off of your restaurant – In fact, about 4 out of every 5 internet users say that it takes just one poor website experience to forever turn them off of a business.
- Tanking website rankings – Search engines place a premium on user experience, and they tend to penalize sites with poor user experiences by dropping them in rankings.
Your Website Has a High Bounce Rate and/or Has Experienced Significant Drops in Rankings, Traffic and/or Conversions.
Bounce rates, rankings, traffic and conversions rates can naturally fluctuate from month to month. When, however, high bounce rates, along with poor rankings, traffic and conversions, persist for more than two or so months, they can be symptoms of more serious issues with the site, like poor functionality and/or an overall bad user experience.
In these cases, a total overhaul in terms of design, site structure and site content can be necessary to reverse these negative trends.
Your Website Takes Longer than Four to Five Seconds to Load.
Four to five seconds is about the longest period of time that the average internet user will wait for a page to load. After that, most people will click back and look for another site. Consequently, if your site (or any pages or videos on it) take longer than about five seconds to load, various design and development work may be crucial to reducing loading times and bounce rates in order to improve the user experience.
Here, it’s also important to point out the following findings regarding site loading times and user expectations and behaviors:
- Nearly 50 percent of users expect websites to load within 2 seconds.
- If a website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, about 40 percent of users will leave that website
- For every 1 second that it takes a site to load, conversions rates drop by at least 7 percent.
The bottom line here is that, when it comes to loading times, every second counts, and faster loading times are pivotal to drawing users to your site and keeping them there.
Your Website Is Not Mobile Friendly.
Over the past year alone, searches on mobile devices have surged by more than 50 percent. While industry experts expect this trend to continue in the coming years, what’s perhaps more compelling is this fact: more than 2 in every 3 mobile internet users are far more likely to visit a restaurant that has a mobile friendly website (as opposed to a restaurant that does not).
This is especially true for people who are ready to visit a restaurant and make a purchase, as those looking for restaurants on mobile devices are typically people who are looking for somewhere to eat their next meal.
Consequently, if your restaurant’s website is not responsive or mobile friendly:
- You are losing customers to your competitors who do have mobile friendly sites.
- Revamping your website to be responsive and mobile friendly can be essential to staying competitive, getting noticed and making sure that your website is working for you and your customers.
Your Website Does Not Align with or Properly Reflect Your Restaurant’s Mission.
What is your restaurant’s guiding mission? Is it to provide affordable, tasty cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere? Or maybe it’s to offer exotic cuisine to high-end customers who are looking for a fancy dining experience?
Whatever your restaurant’s mission may be, it’s critical that this mission is clearly presented and communicated through your website. If it’s not, then your website is not properly representing your restaurant, and you’re running the risk of confusing or misleading potential customers.
Your Website Is Not Engaging or Appealing to Your Target Customer(s).
Who is your ideal customer? Does your website have the messaging – in terms of design, written content and visual content – to connect with and engage your ideal customer?
For example, if your target customers are those looking for a high-end dining experience, your website should have an elegant, chic feel, along with sophisticated, polished language and exquisite, classy photos. In other words, your restaurant website should offer a parallel high-end experience that reflects the experience your restaurant intends to provide.
If your restaurant’s website is not appealing to your target customer(s), it’s not benefiting your restaurant – and it may actually be turning your ideal customer away (because they do not think, based on your website, that your restaurant offers what they want).
Invest in Your Success with the Best Restaurant Website from GTG Elite
Whether you need to develop, update or fully redesign your restaurant’s website, you can turn to the marketing and website experts at GTG Elite for exceptional service, solutions and results.
As a full-service marketing firm, GTG Elite has proven expertise in advancing the success of restaurants.
We are known for partnering closely with our clients to:
- Understand their needs and objectives.
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GTG Elite caters to high-end clients who are ready to commit to a 6-month minimum contract, depending on current brand status. This partnership is necessary to assess and transform brands, as well as to deliver optimal results.
GTG Elite’s record of excellence, professionalism and highly responsive service has earned us impressive testimonials and 5-star ratings on Google and Yelp.
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GTG Elite is so confident in our marketing and website services that we offer all clients a money-back guarantee. If we don’t deliver great results, we will fully refund your money. This means you have nothing to lose and A LOT to gain by partnering with us.