Your Restaurant Website - Asset or Liability
Well, you have finally got your restaurant website designed and you're pretty happy with it. You have shown it to your friends and they loved it. Now, you think you can show off your services, build your eatery's brand and attract more customers.
Chances are that you may have achieved all these goals if you have got your website designed by a professional.
And, then, again, you may not have hired a pro. Or spent too litte time or too little money. Just like a great website can help you build your restaurant's brand, a bad one can harm it.
Page Loading - Is your website fast?
One thing that every expert on website design and digital marketing agree on is that a website should load fast. In our research, we found that many restaurant websites were depressingly slow. I have taken some examples and have explained how to check if your restaurant website is up to the mark. Hope you enjoy it.
Use Google Tools to find out
Now this is seemingly a tricky one. If you have a fast internet connection then even the slowest website will load fast. On the other hand, if you have a fast website but a slow connection, it can load slowly!
Google hates slow loading pages and relegates it to lower rankings in its search results. Also, it drains consumers bandwidth and gobbles up data usage on smart phones. A slow loading page also indicates that the technology used is suspect.
Fortunately, Google has made it very easy to find out to measure the page speed. Google Page Speed Insights helps you do this. We have taken an example of Big Pitcher (you can see for yourself by clicking this link) a popular pub on Old Airport Road. The website of this restaurant looks nice but I was taken aback by the the results from Google.
It actually showed up as 0/100 for mobile and 0/100 for desktop.
I am pretty sure that the owners of Big Pitcher have no idea that the website is in such bad shape. I just checked today 15th December 2016 and have found that the website has been tweaked and the readings are now 26/100 and 37/100. If this tweaking has been done because of this blog then I am super happy. However, it still is way below what it should be.
Update on Big Pitcher
Big Pitcher awarded Hotkhana.com the website management. And we are happy to report that we were able to bring in a huge change in the functionality, speed and content of the website. The Google Page Speed has now increased to mobile - 89/100 and desktop - 95/100
To test your website on Google Page Speed, simply go to this link and enter your website URL and click analyze.
Now, let's look at one of the biggest and most famous chains in India - Mainland China. Let's see what Google's analysis says about them.
The results were confusing. I tried six times and every time the Google Tool gave the message below.
This could mean that the website is so slow that Google is not even able to pull in the data. You could try for yourself and maybe come up with better luck by clicking on Mainland China Google Page Speed Insight.
This doesn't mean that all restaurant web pages are slow. There is technology and skills which can boost the page speed. And, no, it is not about getting the fastest hosting server. You could spend very little money on technology and still get great results.
Summary - Restaurant Websites
- Page speed is very important. Slow page speeds can be devastating
- Slow page loading is detrimental to SEO
- If you have a website of your eatery, use Google Page Speed Insights and check. In case, the results indicate anything less than 60/100, get in touch with another website designer
- While good hosting can help increase your page speed, there are many other factors. Don't get suckered in buying expensive hosting or fall for meaningless jargon
- Your website can still be restored. It is easy and quick. More importantly, it's not as expensive as you think
Your restaurant website is a powerful tool. Don't neglect it.