Although websites for local businesses do have a lot of similarities, there are important changes to make for a particular type of business – so a restaurant website design will have specific differences to say one for a builder or a hairdresser. Not only may you have a particular design in mind, but you’re probably aware of how it will have to operate differently, and then the marketing of it from a different angle.
We therefore did some research into the restaurant business sector, mainly because we recently met with a restaurant owner and started understanding what they requirements are. So here are 4 important questions that get asked again and again and the things to be aware:
1. What should the website look like and what other good websites are around?
Thinking about your own restaurant in terms of logo and colours for example and relying on how your own restaurant runs will automatically get you kick-started with ideas. It is very important to keep it simple; a plain background colour can be very effective, especially if it is enhanced with good and clear graphics and logos.
A wise move would be to get feedback from others, especially your customers. They could give views on your ideas or may suggest new ideas you may not have considered. Think about matters you could find frustrating yourself, for instance if you were trying to locate the restaurant but the Google map facility wasn’t on the site; or if you wanted to download a menu to peruse but this was difficult, or there was no online booking facility.
2. How do I create a new website for myself easily and cheaply?
Although it is quite easy to build your own website at no or minimal costs, there are drawbacks to doing this. These include limitations in the appearance, layout and template of the website, time restrictions; i.e. you may need to plough through guides or find difficulties with getting assistance through quality services and websites. A user-friendly suggestion would be to set up a blog. This could be done in the form of a Facebook page, Google itself or the popular blogging platform Wordpress.
3. How do I find the right website designer at the best price?
Whilst there are a lot of top quality website designers out there, there are unfortunately unethical ones who will take advantage of people’s ignorance and charge sky high prices. Word of mouth recommendations from businesses or customers are often the best option.
Be clear exactly what you want, for example think about how the website will be updated and move forward of if you want to be linked to social media such as Facebook to offer promotions. The next step would be to search designers in your local town, on the internet, through newspapers or the Yellow Pages. Of course as providers of IT services in Birmingham we can help with this.
Prices can range from a few hundred pounds for a basic website containing a few pages, up to £2000 for a top notch one including online eCommerce and reservation facilities.
4. How do I advertise and market my website and business to get more custom?
You may need to consider right at the start points such as whether your site will get good SEO results (Search Engine Optimisation). To appear prominently when searched under sites such as Google requires both ‘on-site’ tweaks and meta-data to help your website stand out, and ‘off-site’ links with the rest of the virtual world.
Paid advertising including newspaper and local directory adverts and adverts on Google and other business websites could be considered. Also ensure your website is mobile friendly with accessible links to menus and ‘contact us’ pages.
Understand What You Need
The most important thing is to determine what you’re actually after, and then make sure your actual website fulfils this. Make sure any technical specifications only adhere to these aims and objectives and that you have a way to tangibly measure success of any new website.