You want to appeal to the visitors that land on your page, convert them to customers and keep them coming back for more. In this article we will discover the “Dos” and “Don’ts” of making your website stand out from the crowd:
The first thing to “Do” when you’re looking to enhance your website is to optimize it for mobile and desktop. 95% of smartphone users conduct restaurant searches and 64% of them convert into paying customers. This requires that you consider a few things:
- Check how many people are visiting your website via mobile on Google Analytics and then check your bounce rate: are people leaving your website, and could your mobile friendliness be a factor to them leaving?
- When optimizing for mobile search, do make sure that your phone number opens up the auto dial panel when clicked on. Make sure the email address opens a new email and make sure your physical address opens in Maps.
- Compress your image and pdf files. Customer conversion rates fall by 12% for every extra second that it takes your website to load and compressing your image files can help with this. There are plenty of free online tools to do this.
- Type your menu on your website so the text can scale, move, resize, and be read by search engines.
- Use an image to contain your important information, as this makes it harder to click on for those website visitors looking at your content via mobile.
- Upload your food or drinks menu as a PDF. Doing this immediately alienates visitors on mobile devices as:
- They need to drag or pan around the document as they try to read it.
- They often need to download the file which may eat into their data or mobile space.
- It won’t help your search engine ranking as the text on images is not always readable for crawler robots.
Now, let’s talk about content. These are the types of images and wording that you should include on your website. You want any visitor to your website to know who you are and what you’re about within a few seconds of landing on your page.
- Be clear and concise. A clear description of what you are about is important for both human readers and search engine “readers”. If you are a burger place, state that you’re a burger place. If you serve great cocktails, let them know that. You don’t want people to have to search your site to find out these details. You want them to quickly identify what makes you special and why they should spend with you.
- Be upfront: show your hours, location and services. The past year has seen a constant fluctuation in opening hours and the services you may be offering. Clear messaging around this is important. If you are temporarily or unexpectedly closed, offer information on what those who have booked with you can do to change their reservation. Answer the questions your visitor may have before they ask them.
- Be human. Show what makes you authentic and real. Have an “About” section on your website where you tell your readers a little of your story.
- Make sure that your brand, meaning your core values and beliefs, is highlighted on your page. Add in your COVID19 health & safety protocols and make sure that your images reflect what you’re currently offering e.g. more takeaway images.
- Bog your reader down in too much information. Just like when your customer comes to your physical location, you don’t want them to be overcrowded with too many messages and visuals. You want the interior of your place to be seamless and attractive, your online “interior” is no different.
- Add a splash page. Splash pages act as an introductory screen a user sees when visiting your website. However, splash pages are a thing of the past. They’re outdated and act as a barrier for your website visitors. You want them to be able to find the information they need quickly.
- Separate the parts of your menu in tabs. You must make sure that key information is visible on one page without your visitor having to navigate their way through additional clicks and pages.
The next thing to “Do” is to ensure that your website name domain name is SEO friendly. Your domain name is simply the name of your website. For example: https://business.twisper.com. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the difference between potential customers finding you on the first page of search engine results, and the third page.
Did you know that 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search results? You want to make sure people find you, and in doing so you need to make sure that you have a domain name that will keep you boosted at the top of search rankings.
- Have a domain name that is short and easy to remember, type and say. This is beneficial for both humans and search engines.
- Include one keyword that exemplifies your business while keeping it unique and friendly.
- Top-level domain (TLD) stands to the suffix that appears at the end of a domain name e.g. .com, .edu or .org. If the .com TLD for a domain name want is unavailable, Rand recommends .net and .co as alternatives.
- Include numbers or non-standard characters or unusual spellings.
- Make your domain name longer than 15 characters.
- Include too many keywords: e.g. “best-cocktail-drinks-at-the-bar.com” or “hotel-in-rome.com”. As these keyword rich domain names are often associated with low-quality or spammy websites, searchers and search engines tend to avoid them.
- Add more than one hyphen. Hyphens correlate to spammy behavior and decreases domain name memorability.
- Purchase low-quality Top-level domains such as .biz, .info, .ws, .name, etc. as a means of increasing traffic. These are associated with spammy behavior and are less commonly known.
Is your website name ticking the right boxes? If something is not working you may want to investigate moving your domain. Here are some great tips on doing this in an SEO friendly way.
Your visuals and style are extremely important parts of your website design and getting people to convert from website visitors to customers. You want to capture the attention of those that end up on your website.
- Use photos of your food or drink items. When someone is looking for a bar or a restaurant, chances are that the first thing they want to see is what they can expect to consume there. Think about it, you’ll often see potential customers in your physical location checking out what other tables or individuals have ordered – they want to see what looks good.
- Use high quality pictures. You want to capture the essence of your place in the food, the atmosphere, and your team. Show what makes you unique, show what makes your food good, show what makes your team special.
- Make sure that your images are compressed to avoid slow loading times.
- Link your social profiles. Your aesthetic is not just about the visuals, it’s about looking credible. Your website visitors may see how great your place looks on your website, but they are not necessarily going to just take your word for it, they want to see what other people say and think. Make sure that you’re putting in links to your social platforms, and that you’ve claimed your business profile on TWISPER, where potential customers can not only see your main photos, but the photos and the positive-only recommendations of their network on the app who have visited and enjoyed your place.
- Use too many images. Not only do images slow down your website, but they don’t allow your website visitors to highlight key information such as your number or email.
- Use a bright color as your full website background. Research shows that people like to use read things on either neutral colors such as white, light grey or black. Instead, use brighter colors as accents to your page, rather than the main color blocks. You want to keep things clear and smooth.
What are the takeaways?
There are lots of small changes that you can make to your website to attract visitors to your website and business without spending a fortune on a professional web designer.
- Make sure that your website is adapted for mobile and desktop, taking into consideration elements such as page loading speed and links to Maps, email and direct phone calls from mobile.
- Keep your web content clear and concise so that visitors will know what you’re about within a few seconds of getting on your page.
- Keep your aesthetics crisp and appealing. Entice visitors to your website to spend money with you by making their mouths water. Highlight your best features!
- Implement the changes found in this article and track the results. Google Analytics allows you to analyze bounce rate, time on site, and click-through-rate. These are all good indicators of success. A low bounce rate (below 70%) means that users don’t immediately leave your page when they find it. Also, a high time on your website site (above 20 seconds) shows that you’re grabbing attention. You can also see if visitors are clicking from your homepage to your menu.
- Remember to claim/create and manage your social profiles on Facebook, Yelp, Google+, and TWISPER so that they are all branded and showcase the same high-quality content that your website does.
This month we have been tackling the topic of online presence. We will look at why it’s important for customer engagement, the essential elements that it involves in order to nurture your business’s community, how you can leverage it to expand your community, what you can improve to engage your community and ideas that you can implement to impress your community.
At TWISPER we are all about authentic and positive community; capturing the connection between businesses and the customers that love them in the digital space. We are the first platform with only positive recommendations shared within a community of friends and followers. We connect businesses and marketeers to new customers through their already loyal customers. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest industry news and TWISPER announcements.