You might be thinking to yourself, “I had a website made four years ago that works fine… can’t people just look at that on their smartphones?” The answer to your question is simply, No.
The Internet’s role in a restaurant’s success has grown exponentially over the past few years. Now, the majority of diners are finding restaurants through searches on the Internet, and you might be surprised that nearly half of local restaurant searches are done on smartphones.
Unfortunately, if any of your customers are searching for you online and come across a website that is not mobile-optimized or responsive (a website that automatically shifts your images and wording to best display for each screen), they may be having a lot of trouble getting important information, like your menu or your address, if they are on a smartphone.
95% of restaurants do not have a mobile site. Without mobile optimization, visitors who use mobile browsers will find a site hard to view, difficult to navigate, annoying, and unpleasant. The end result is typically frustrated diners who quickly hit the back button and head to a competitor’s mobile friendly website. Over 60% of people using mobile devices return to Google in order to find websites that are mobile-optimized. Those potential customers are gone, and may have found their new go-to pizza place down the street instead of coming to you.
You can stop losing potential customers with a mobile site—and start attracting new ones!
75% of consumers choose a restaurant based on search results. Mobile users can be your restaurant’s best customers. If diners are searching for somewhere to eat on their phone, they’re usually looking for
someplace to eat—right now.
Mobile Websites Help You Appear Higher in Search Results
A mobile-friendly website will dramatically improve your restaurant’s chances of appearing at the top of Google search results because they are categorized differently in Search Engines. Remember that a vast majority of restaurant websites aren’t mobile-friendly, so user-friendly mobile websites are another great way to stand out from your competition.
Accessibility and User-Friendliness Are the Keys to Success
Does your current website require customers to download a PDF just to view your menu? Restaurant websites (mobile-optimized or regular) should be focusing on accessibility and user-friendliness, without too many unnecessary decorative elements.
I plan on redoing my website; how do I make it mobile-optimized?
The simple solution is to make sure your new desktop website is “responsive.” Responsive websites are mainstream now when it comes to websites. Basically, it is a website that automatically shifts your images and wording to best display for each screen. The benefit is that you only need to manage one website.
Do I need to rebuild my regular website now?
If you don’t have the resources to rebuild your current website right now, a temporary fix could be to have a separate mobile website built. This way when a diner searches for you on a smartphone, your mobile site will be visible. When diners search for you on a computer, your regular website works just as it always has. There are some downsides to having the two different websites. Both websites need to be managed and updated instead of just one. In addition, the two sites could have a negative impact on your SEO. The mobile site should only be used temporarily to prevent losing customers now. If your current website is not designed in a responsive way, it is out of date and rebuilding it should be considered.