Why Your Restaurant Needs a Mobile Optimized Website

shutterstock_175540520

As a restaurant owner, do you really need a mobile optimized website in addition to your regular website? The answer is a resounding yes!

One of the most common reasons that many restaurant owners do not have a mobile website is because they think their old website is enough. Even if you have a great regular website, it is important to keep in mind that your customers likely cannot access it properly using their smartphones. This means that they can usually only access it when they are at home, not when they are out and about and more likely to stop by your restaurant.

In the last year alone, mobile usage has grown at an exponential rate. Not only are most diners locating restaurants through the Internet, but most of them are using their smartphones to conduct local restaurant searches. If your customers are searching for your restaurant online using a smartphone, however, and they come across a site that is not mobile optimized or responsive, they may experience trouble in accessing important information. Such information could include your address or a menu.

The site could be difficult to navigate or hard to view. It might even experience trouble loading. A frustrated diner who is looking for a restaurant nearby could easily hit the back button and instead dine at one of your competitors, who has a mobile optimized website. This is a customer that is gone and you may never have a chance to get them into your restaurant again.

A mobile optimized or responsive website can help you to stop losing customers and begin attracting new customers. One of the great benefits of having a customer find you on a mobile search is that there is a good chance that they are looking for a restaurant at that moment. They are likely already committed.

Additionally, mobile websites can also help your business to appear higher in search engine results. As we all know, the higher you appear in search results, the more likely it is that a user will click on your listing. This provides you with yet one more way to stand out from the competition. Did you know that 95 percent of most restaurants do not have mobile optimized websites? Despite the fact that mobile searches are on the rise, most restaurants have not kept up with the times. By offering a mobile optimized website, you will automatically be able to stand out from the competition and ensure that diners find your website first when they are out and looking for a great place to dine.

In planning a mobile or responsive website for your business, it is important to make sure it is easily accessible and user-friendly. For instance, it can be a mistake to force users to download a PDF to view your menu. This is an extra step that often takes too long. Once again, an impatient and hungry customer may turn to the competition.

It is also a good idea to think about valuable tools you can build into your mobile website, such as the option to reserve a table. A click-to-call feature is another handy way to provide users with a better mobile experience and ensure that they are able to contact you.

You might also think about adding a mobile maps feature to your website. This makes it much easier for diners, especially out-of-towners to find your location and ensures that customers do not need to memorize your restaurants address. Additionally, make sure that your restaurant’s business hours are easily visible on your website.

You may also find it beneficial to include reviews from sites such as Yelp on your mobilize optimized website for your restaurant. Remember that many customers today make decisions based on such reviews. Since they are likely going to search for reviews anyway, make it easier for your customers by including them on your site.

If you are not sure how to make your website mobile-optimized, there are currently some great tools available on the market that can help you. In fact, it is possible to design a mobile-optimized version of your regular website even if you do not have any web design or coding experience. One website builder tool that gives you the option to build a mobile optimized site is Weebly. Using their drag-and-drop mobile website builder, you can have a mobile version of your site in almost no time. Wix.com also offers a similar option for building a mobile version of your website.

Since your customers are actively searching on their smartphones for a great restaurant in your area, why not make it easier for them to find you by offering a mobile optimized website? Doing so can help you to stand out from the competition, drive new business and give your restaurant a great reputation.

Posted on Friday, January 16th, 2015