These days, more and more diners are turning to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to quickly find information about nearby restaurants, bars and reservations. But did you know that the majority of restaurant websites are not designed or optimized for mobile use? According to Google research, over 60 percent of people using mobile devices return to Google in order to find websites that are mobile-friendly. And when close to half of searches for local restaurants are conducted on mobile devices, it’s crazy to know that many restaurants aren’t taking full advantage of designing their websites with mobile in mind. If your restaurant website isn’t formatted for mobile use, and if the desktop version of your website uses flash, the pages typically won’t load properly on a handful of mobile devices, resulting in frustrated diners who will look elsewhere to get their grub on and imbibe. And what restaurant owner wants that?
If this doesn’t convince you, here are three more great reasons why your restaurant website should be mobile-friendly so you can rise above the competition and get more new and returning customers through the door.
You’ll Attract New Diners Almost Instantly
Mobile users can be your restaurant’s best customers. Why? Because if someone is searching for a place to eat on their phone or tablet, they’re typically out on the town and hungry — right now! If your website content is easily digestible on mobile devices, a new diner is 27 times more likely to call or visit your restaurant than someone who views your website on a computer. A good tip for reeling in those new diners is to keep your mobile website simple: hours of operation, a menu and contact information should be easily readable and accessible without having to sift through unnecessary content to get to your website’s bread and butter. Even better? Make use of mobile-friendly online ordering and reservation solutions to generate even more business — and profits.
You’ll Make Your Customers Feel Special
As a restaurant owner, you know it’s in your best interest to make sure that each person who walks through your door feels comfortable, important and taken care of. One of the best ways to show customers that you think they’re awesome is to entice them in with exclusive, special deals that are readily available on their mobile devices. You may be thinking that this “exclusivity” approach is old and tired, but it’s actually still alive and well! Just think about how popular Living Social and Groupon offers have become over the years. An even easier way to generate special deals is to create and post your own coupons that can be readily accessible on your restaurant’s mobile website. Perhaps a “buy 1 entree get 1 free” offer is in the cards for new customers. If you make some good deals easily available, new diners will feel special and ready to come in and eat right away.
Your Restaurant Website Will Rank Higher on Search Engines
It’s true! A mobile-friendly website will dramatically improve your restaurant’s chances of appearing at the top of Google search results. This is because mobile websites are treated differently by search engines and fall into another, much smaller category all their own — and separate from desktop searches. Your restaurant could reap some serious rewards from having a mobile-friendly website if users are searching for you on a mobile device. Remember that a vast majority of restaurant websites aren’t mobile-friendly, so you could monopolize your industry with a user-friendly mobile website to stand out from the competition. A few words to the wise: keep your mobile website layout super simple, prioritize content and create a mobile sitemap to rank even higher.
Does your restaurant have a mobile-friendly website? What successes have you seen as a result from having one?