Xstremely useful information on Web, Graphics, SEM, SEO, Data/Telecom & Social Media.
14 May 2013
Web Design Tip of the Week
Your website is more than likely the first thing a potential customer sees when making their decision to dine at your restaurant.
So it is more important than ever that your website is optimized for converting website visitors into customers. The key is to make sure you know what those customers are looking for, and give it to them.
To address this issue, here are five things that a website visitor should see when they reach visit restaurant’s website:
- Operating Hours
Make sure your operating hours are very clear and easy to understand and are on every page of your website. Update them immediately when your schedules change, whether it is holiday hours, closing for maintenance or special circumstances, such as private events or severe weather. If your kitchen closes before your bar area or main dining room, make sure to note that time as well. Nothing is more frustrating than making plans to meet your friends at a restaurant, only to arrive and find that it’s closed or the kitchen stopped serving 15 minutes ago.
- Contact info
Make sure that all of your contact info visible on every page. This includes your phone number and street address along with either a live map or link to driving directions. Using plain text for your contact info makes it easy for mobile smartphone users to access as most mobile devices will convert these into touch links that allow you just to push and call. It is also a huge help for search engines to know your location and contact info. Bonus: Add links to the social media sites you’re most active on (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc.).
First-time customers want to see your food menu to help them make a dining decision. DO NOT make them download a PDF file to their computer or mobile phone just to see your menu(s) and pricing. Your food menu should be seamlessly designed into your website, just like any page. All it takes is a click and your visitor is browsing your mouth-watering selection. Also be sure to keep your food menu(s) current, even if that means daily updates. Your website’s content management system should allow for this. Displaying an outdated menu is very frustrating for first-time visitors when they arrive with a particular dish in mind, only to find that it is not available. That can guarantee they won’t turn into repeat customers.
- Your best reviews
Customer feedback is one of the most subtle, but powerful, marketing tools your business has. And there’s no industry where customer testimonials have a bigger impact than the restaurant industry.
Just look at how heavily customers rely on sites like Yelp, UrbanSpoon and Trip Advisor. Your reviews matter and they should not be confined to those restaurant directories. Take your best reviews and showcase them right on your website. This is a great way to provide an added sense of excitement as your first-time visitors are browsing your food specials and other pages of your site. A great review could be just the push they need to book that reservation or place an order.
- Photo galleries
Even if you spend days crafting the perfect text for your website’s homepage, people will gravitate to your photos first. They tell a story just as well as a copy of your menu can. It is crucial to have beautiful photography on your website. You can hire a professional photographer, or if you’re just starting out, a digital camera with the right lighting could do. Just don't put bad photos on your website. This will turn people away quicker than no photos.
Try to provide a variety of photos that showcase both the exterior of the restaurant (making it easy to spot on arrival), the interior (what’s the atmosphere like?), and the food (nothing sells food like photos of food!)
24 April 2013
Multimedia Tip of the Week
By 2015, it is estimated that close to a billion consumers will be using mobile devices only (no laptop, no desktop), and many others will be using their mobile devices more often than their other devices. For small businesses, this means that maintaining a mobile presence is highly important, if not essential.
The main choice many business owners face is, “Should I have a mobile website or an app?” Luckily, the answer is clear: both!
Recently, 500 small businesses were surveyed that have mobile websites and apps, and 81% said both are equally important! Here are the highlights:
Mobile website versus mobile app:
- Value. 61% said an app provided a better return on investment.
- Customer preference. 81% said customers preferred the app to the mobile website.
- New customer generation. 75% said app was better for customer generation.
- Repeat business. 86% said app was better for creating repeat customers.
- Usage. 61% said app was used more often.
The app pretty clearly has the edge in the opinion of most small business owners. But that doesn’t mean that apps are right for everyone. The infographic found at the right contains the rest of our findings, and a wealth of information for small businesses considering “going mobile.”
02 April 2013
SEO Tip of the Week
Local Search Engine Optimization is a burgeoning new subcategory of website development and marketing. All of the major search engines put a lot of emphasis on local content. One way to draw more visitors to your website is to create landing pages targeting specific cities and neighborhoods. If you are thinking about a local online marketing campaign, make sure you don't put a lot of money into be #1 on Google schemes or filling your website with useless content. Here are some tips:
- Don't overthink keyword concentrations - To attract the attention of the big search engines you will probably set up landing pages that focus on local keywords or if your company is a local business, making sure your home page text has targeted keywords that links to pages within your website. For example, if you sell tires near Louisville, you might combine some product-specific keywords with different neighborhoods and towns around the city. Your SEO keyprhases might include "Goodyear Tires St. Matthews" or "Firestone Tires Jeffersontown". Ideally your website content will have a 1-3 percent keyword density for each of these terms. On the other hand, don't keyword stuff which means putting a ton of keywords on a page that really doesn't make sense just to get ranking. The search engines watch for this. To be safe, start with a few keywords in mind and write naturally. You will get much more reliable results, especially in the long term. If you have great content you don't have to worry about the search engine algorithm changes as you will be good to go.
- Putting local specific terms where they don't belong - Google's latest updates were focused on locale-specific information. The search engine can tell the difference between well written content and content written just for SEO. Your website pages should include some information on local areas. They should not have paragraphs that resemble Wikipedia entries. As an example, you might connect with target readers with a sentence that reads "Our tires will keep you safe while you roll across Shelbyville Road". You will not get the same response and the search engines will punish you for using a sentence like "Louisville has a metropolitan population of 1.2 million. Buy our tires." Make sure local specific content makes sense on your site.
- Not monitoring statistics - Never assume that web users always use the same keywords or phrases when searching for a product or service. You might need to target different keywords for different geographic areas. Your website analytics/statistics will show you that. Also look to see how long users are spending on each website or landing page. Relevancy is important and well designed local SEO campaigns require constant quality checks. Monitoring analytics and keyword use will help you keep your content fresh and valid.
28 March 2013
SEO Tip of the Week
In our previous post we looked at a couple of ways to get your website banned from Google. Today we are going to look at more tactics that will get you banned from Google's search.
- Use Doorway Pages - Google defines doorway pages as those that are large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase. Google always frowns upon manipulating search engines and deceiving users. In 2006, BMW suffered Google’s wrath for setting up doorway pages to attract search engines and redirect traffic to its German website, BMW.de. BMW’s page rank was reduced to zero. While BMW stated it did not intend to deceive users, the company added, “However, if Google says all doorway pages are illegal we have to take this into consideration."
- Selling links that pass PageRank violates Google’s quality guidelines; this includes advertorial pages with embedded links that pass PageRank. Google recently penalized Interflora, even removing it from branded search results, for using advertorials to solely influence search rankings. An example of this, is that Interflora reportedly sent bloggers floral arrangements in exchange for links. This was once considered a gray area, but is clearly black hat now.
- Scraped Content - In 2012, Google blacklisted a network of websites run by the family of U.K. Parliament member Grant Shapps after the search giant found the sites breached rules on copyright infringement and that they were based on scraped content. This latter black-hat tactic is typically when webmasters use content from other sites to try to increase credibility and the volume of pages.
- If your site belongs to a blog network whose purpose is to create backlinks, Google will de-index them and penalize you. In 2012, this happened to Build My Rank, which ultimately closed down and relaunched as HP Backlinks. The relaunch, however, has many people wondering if (and when) Google will go after the network again. Your best option is to not purchase backlinks.
Keep in mind that when you get those email and calls from companies saying they can make you number one on Google, they are probably using some of the tactics that we have discussed over the two posts, so steer clear and use a reputable web company to handle your online presence. You will be glad you did.
Ref: Website Magazine March 2013