Digital Marketing for Restaurants using Google Tools

June 7th, 2018 Posted by Online Marketing No Comment yet

The first and the most important step towards a digital marketing strategy for restaurants is to create a professional website (Essential features for every restaurant website). Without a website you don’t even have a digital presence, leave alone a digital marketing strategy (Why does your restaurant need a website?). You don’t have to be a tech guru or spend large amounts of money to create a stunning restaurant website. Restornt.com helps you create a gorgeous restaurant website in minutes with all the features required by a modern-day restaurant (Checklist for creating a restaurant website).

Now that you have created your restaurant website, the next logical step is to enhance your online presence with a wide range digital marketing tools offered by Google. While Google offers a large number of marketing tools, this article only considers the 5 top Google tools that are most relevant for a restaurant website and are easy enough to be used by any restaurant owner without requiring detailed digital marketing knowledge or technical skills.

1. Google My Business
One of the most powerful free ways to advertise your restaurant is through Google My Business, which enables companies to manage their presence on Google Search and Google Maps. The tool can bolster your rankings in local search results. Ranking high in local search shows you’re a legitimate and relevant business: you wouldn’t rank #1 in Google for “Italian restaurants near me” if you’d closed down six months ago. Plus, if you rank high in local search, more consumers will choose your restaurant over a competitor’s.

All you have to do is claim your Google My Business listing and your business can get featured in the search results (as well as in Google Maps) for local searches like the one pictured below. Check it out — all the businesses within the red call-out in the screenshot below are local Google My Business results for the search “Italian restaurants in London”.

2. Google+ Business Pages
If you are a restaurant, setting up and maintaining a Google+ Page goes hand in hand with your Google My Business listing (see above), making Google+ very critical for you. And considering your Google My Business listing will include a link to your restaurant’s Google+ Page, it’s important to take some extra time to make your page the best it can be. You can checkout Restornt’s own Google+ Page here.

Reports have been released showing the impact Google+ can have on both paid and organic rankings in the Google search results. Google+ is your basic social network with a few new offerings. The layout is typical Google. It’s simple and clean. The photos are used as a feature of profiles and business pages. Google+ has all the favorite features of similar social networks: Photos, Video, Commenting, +1-ing, and Friends.

3. Google Analytics
How many of your website visitors are brand new versus returning? How long are people spending on your site? Does it have a high bounce rate? All of these important analytical questions can be answered by Google Analytics, Google’s free website analytics product. Google Analytics can give you smarter insight into your website traffic and help you understand how people are finding and navigating your site.

Restornt websites are tightly integrated with Google Analytics out of the box. All you need to do is follow the step by step instructions to setup a Google Analytics account and you can view all of your Google Analytics reports directly from your Restornt website dashboard.

4. Google Alerts
Google Alerts enables you to monitor the web for mentions of specific keywords or phrases. Once set up, you’ll receive either email alerts or results via RSS whenever these phrases have been mentioned online. For instance, you can sign up to get notified whenever someone mentions your restaurant, products, executives, or your competition. This PR tool is a great way to stay on top of your restaurant’s online reputation and react to online mentions of your brand in a timely manner.

5. Google Adwords
If you want to give your organic efforts to rank in search a bit of a jumpstart, it might make sense to dabble in Google AdWords, Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) product. If you have yet to try it, here’s how it works:

You create ads that target specific keywords related to your business, and your ads appear above or to the right of organic search results on Google when people search for these keywords (see screenshot below). The cost your ads depend on the competitiveness of the keyword you’re targeting, but you only pay if visitors actually click on your ad.

Keep in mind that AdWords can quickly become an expensive marketing tool, and unlike organic search, it offers quick wins rather than longer-term, lasting (and free) results. That said, if used smartly, PPC can help you plan your organic search strategy.

Apart from having a dedicated website, not all restaurants need to use every Google tool on this list. However, when used in the right way — it can make your business leaner, smarter, and more efficient when communicating to your customers.

A Simple Online Marketing Strategy for Restaurants

February 16th, 2018 Posted by Online Marketing, Restaurant Website, Social Media No Comment yet

Restaurant customers search for restaurants on their mobile phones, receive marketing messages digitally, and use the internet for customer service and research restaurants by reading online restaurant reviews. If you are not engaged in online marketing, your restaurant won’t be visible to most customers, even if they are walking by your business but with their eyes glued to their phone screens.That’s why we are going to present you with the basics of online marketing for restaurants, so that you can get the most out of your online presence.

1. Win with a Website
Your most important step for online marketing is building a website that adjusts for any device automatically (Why does your restaurant need a website?). Responsive websites make it easier for people to find information on their phones. Your website should be easy to navigate for customers and easily updated by you or a member of your staff.

Your restaurant website should have vertical sections so people can easily scroll to find pertinent information for your restaurant (Essential features for every restaurant website) – contact info, maps, menus, offers, opening hours and a photo gallery. The restaurant industry is at the top of the list when it comes to the most mobile traffic, therefore it makes sense to design your website through the lens of a smart phone.

Your website can be made by you or by an agency. You can also create one easily by using Restornt’s online platform (Checklist for creating a restaurant website).

2. Set up a Google Account
Besides being the undisputed master of Search, Google has a suite of products that assist restaurateurs run their business online:

  • Google Business
  • Google Maps
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • Google Analytics
  • Webmaster Tools
  • Adwords
  • And more!

The best part is — it’s a free service.

What you do need to do though is keep the information updated as customers will be searching you out and using the driving directions to your restaurant in Maps, checking your hours of operations, writing reviews and making a booking on their mobile phone by clicking you phone number all via Google.

3. Socialize
A good social media strategy is integral to a successful restaurant marketing strategy. Social media is where you talk to your regular customers and where you market your restaurant to new customers. It needs to be taken seriously. Since there are various social media platforms, you need to know which are the most appropriate for your business according to your objectives:

  • Facebook is the most complete social network to keep your customers coming back for more.
  • Instagram is ideal to reinforce your restaurant’s brand image, especially among foodies.
  • Twitter will help you reach a more executive clientele that wants to find out about the latest developments at your restaurant on a daily basis.
  • Google+ will help you get found more quickly on its search engine and assist you with your marketing initiatives.

4. Review the Reviewers
Best to keep an eye on any review sites as customers can gather information as well as post opinions of your restaurant. Review sites and apps include:

  • TripAdvisor
  • Yelp
  • Zomato
  • Foursquare
  • And the list goes on

Ensure that you monitor these sites, claim listings where possible, take note of reviews and keep the information updated. If you do receive a bad review, deal with it in a professional manner and remember your reply will be seen by anyone researching your restaurant, so don’t get personal or caught in name calling.

Digital marketing for restaurants is getting more and more complex, but if you focus on your customers and the simple strategies mentioned above, you can really make a difference on your bottom line.

Essential features for every restaurant website

December 7th, 2017 Posted by Features, Restaurant Website No Comment yet

1. Simplicity
This would be the most important feature in a restaurant website. You want your customer to seamlessly explore your website and get the relevant information they want without having to go through multiple pages and clicks. Experts say that majority of the customers leave a website if they don’t find the information they are looking for within 4 clicks

Simplicity forms the key design principle for all websites created on Restornt. After visiting a Restornt website, users can access any information they want with 3 clicks or less.

2. Mobile Friendly
A recent survey showed that around 83% of restaurant websites globally are accessed through a mobile device (mobile phone or tablet). Given such findings, it is a necessity for restaurants to have a mobile friendly website. A restaurant website not optimised for mobile is losing customers by the minute.

Websites created on Restornt have a responsive mobile friendly design. All website functionality (food menu, Google Maps, social media, events, photo gallery) can be seamlessly accessed on any mobile device.

3. Online Food Menu
Most restaurants provide a PDF-based food menu on their websites (if they have one). This results in 3 problems for the restaurant

  • Very annoying for the customer to download PDF files to browse through the food menu
  • Tedious and time consuming for the restaurant owners to make changes to these PDF files in case of changes to the menu items or prices
  • Menu items are not indexed and searched by Google or any other search engine

Restornt solves all the above issues by providing a simple configurable online food menu. The entire food menu appears as a normal web page that can be easily configured by the restaurant owner. End users can filter through various categories (starters, mains, drinks, dessert, etc) and browse the menu on any device (PC, laptop, tablet, mobile).

4. Maps and Location
One of the most important functionality of a restaurant website is to provide the address and location details of the restaurant. However, simply displaying the address of the restaurant on the website is not enough as the end user is interested in the map of the location and the directions to get there.

Restornt offers seamless integration to Google Maps providing the map and direction functionality directly on the home page of the restaurant website.

5. Social Media
There are a lot of social platforms out there, and even if you might not be active on all of them your customers surely are. Therefore it is paramount for you to enable your customers to share your website, images, food menu, and events within their social network.

Restornt supports your social media marketing strategy by integrating with some of the major social media platforms. Your customers can share every page of your Restornt website with their social networks any device.

6. Picture Gallery
One of the strongest assets to a restaurant website is a comprehensive photo gallery to display its food and ambience. Photo galleries are useful in displaying the quality of your restaurant and services, and helps to create a visually dynamic and appealing website.

Restornt provides an easy to manage photo gallery to highlight your restaurant pictures. All images are automatically optimised for website display and search engine consumption. Being a mobile friendly website all the images are scaled appropriately for any mobile device.

7. Special Offers
Ability to showcase important events, offers, and exclusive deals on a regular basis helps the restaurants to widen their customer reach and keep their patrons informed. With Restornt you can publish and manager one-time or recurring offers with ease.

8. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is a great way to get traffic to your website. Not only do you get more traffic to your website, but you get more customers into your restaurant. From a business standpoint restaurant SEO is extremely important in today’s world.

Restornt is built on top of WordPress which is one of the most powerful and SEO friendly content management system. So all sites built on Restornt are loved by search engines. Additionally, Restornt integrates with Google Analytics giving you a comprehensive dashboard with all the analytics details of your website traffic.

If your restaurant already has a website, it is important to evaluate if it has all the functionality required for a modern-day restaurant – simple, mobile friendly, easy to update and manage, online food menu without PDF, maps and direction, social media, special offers, photo gallery, search engine friendly. Restornt offers all the standard functionality and takes care of the website design, hosting and maintenance. It is always a good idea to start the customer on the Restornt Standard (Free) plan and then once satisfied move them to the Premium (Paid) plan.

Why does your restaurant need a website?

September 20th, 2017 Posted by Restaurant Website No Comment yet

Restaurant Website

As a restaurant owner, you have always aspired for having a well-designed restaurant website. But, between design, web hosting, and site updates, it might feel overly complicated and very expensive. You may even argue that you have well established local customers that don’t need a website to find your restaurant. While there are several benefits of having a professional website, we explore the most important reasons relevant to the restaurant business.

1. It’s all about bringing more customers
If you are anything like me or millions of other modern-day customers, the first thing you do while planning a night out or visiting a town is to browse for restaurants in that area. Google does a good job at listing the restaurants but what if a restaurant doesn’t have a website for you to explore their food menu, opening hours, and pictures. You would certainly move on and search another restaurant that indeed has one!

By having a website, you increase the potential of attracting first-time customers. It is essential to attract repeat customers as well. By promoting various events and menu specials, you can stay connected with your loyal customers and bring them through the door.

2. Create brand awareness for your restaurant
A website gives the first impression of your restaurant, giving your customers an idea of the atmosphere and offering before even stepping a foot inside. Attract your customers with food menu, pictures of appetizing dishes, happy patrons or a busy chef. Give them a feel of what they can expect when they walk through your doors. People are a lot more comfortable trying a new restaurant if they are assured that they will enjoy the experience. Your website will provide that assurance!

3. Low Advertising Costs
Print ads and commercials are expensive. With a website, you can display an endless amount of print information at a fraction of the cost. Information is available 24/7 to anyone with internet access and you can easily update out-dated information on your website whereas the cost of re-printing flyers is far greater.

4. Provide important information about your restaurant
A good website answers basic questions right away — menu, location, hours of operation, and special offers are the essentials. By answering these basic questions not only do you engage your customers, you also decrease the amount of time your managers and staff need to spend answering phone calls.

5. Differentiate yourself from competition
Competition is fierce in the restaurant industry. You want to stand out from the crowd. If all your competitors have an online presence it only makes sense that you should too. A well-presented easy to use website will help you highlight what you do well and may persuade customers to pick you over alternatives. Lack of a website may also suggest that you are not willing to invest into your business.

In summary, if you don’t have a website you are missing out on potential customers — it’s like you don’t exist. If you want to beat the competition and stand out from the crowd you need to make your presence felt — loud and clear. Having a website is the basic way to communicate your existence.

But you don’t have to be a tech guru or spend large amounts of money to create a stunning restaurant website. Restornt.com helps you create a gorgeous restaurant website in minutes with all the features required by a modern-day restaurant. Choose from our pre-built templates for restaurant, pizzeria, bakery, or customise your very own design to meet your requirements. Why not give it a try and signup for a free account.

Open for Business

July 7th, 2017 Posted by News, Restaurant Website No Comment yet

Open for Business

It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here. After several months of intensive work, talking to our customers, designing, coding, testing, gallons of coffee, acres of pizza, we are more than happy to announce the soft-launch of RESTORNT.com.

At RESTORNT we have one and only one objective — to make it simple, easy, and cost effective for restaurant owners to create their own website without having to go through the hassle and overhead of website development, HTML coding, web hosting, and ongoing maintenance. You focus on your core business of running a restaurant while we manage the IT.

With all the modern features to attract today’s customers, you can create your new restaurant website in minutes. Choose from our pre-built templates for restaurant, pizzeria, bakery, or customise your very own design to meet your requirements.

Simple Pricing
Rather than spending thousands on web design, development, hosting, updates, and maintenance, RESTORNT offers you a stunning mobile ready website for £10/month (when paid annually). Still not convinced, why not try it for free (with some reduced functionality of course!)

Dont just take our word for it, try it now and create your dream restaurant website in minutes. With our dedicated support team, we are happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you might have.