Studies show that between 70-80% of consumers research a business online before visiting in person or making a purchase. Since consumers are starting to rely heavily on which businesses to visit based on what information they find online, a good online presence is vital to be “found” by these potential customers. Did you know that over 50% of small businesses don’t have a website? Why not set yourself apart from the bar or restaurant down the road by using a website to begin your online marketing initiative?
You may be hesitant to create a website, since web design can be a costly or even frightening endeavor. But fear not! Your website doesn’t need to be flashy to make an impact. You can keep the design of the site simple as long as the site is relevant, easy to find and kept up-to-date with the information customers need to know.
If you’re ready to set yourself apart from the competition, here is the information that you should include on your new website:
The goal in designing a website is to make information available to any potential interested customer. To achieve that, keep the contact information big, bold and easy to find. This should include your business name, address and phone number. If you decide to have multiple pages on your site, this info should be displayed in the header or footer to ensure that it’s clearly available no matter what page the user is on.
You should also include an “About Us” section or a short description of what your business is all about. What type of location are you? A bar? Restaurant? Gaming parlor? Do you have an interesting theme or concept? Highlight what sets you apart from the rest!
Customers will ask themselves, “So what exactly can I do once I visit your establishment?” If the answer is eat, then include a copy of your menu. Are your slot machines the hottest in town? Then make sure to include that (and maybe a picture of some big winners with their written permission). If you also offer amusements, create a section devoted to your pool table and darts. If you also host events or have live entertainment, it’s always a good idea to include posters, flyers or links to purchase tickets. Linking to any social media pages with event information would be a good idea, too!
Have you ever visited a business during its listed business hours only to find the doors locked and no one in sight? Nothing is more frustrating than trying to visit a business that’s listed as open, but is closed without reason. Especially since you did your research!
Make sure you don’t do this to your customers by keeping the hours online updated frequently. If your business hours change seasonally or based on demand, then keep it in the front of your mind to always update your website (and social media) with the new hours as soon as you update them on the front door.
Photos can help convey what your business is all about and what a customer can expect when they visit your location. Photos are an opportunity to give a little preview before the customer even steps foot in your door.
For any type of establishment, we recommend pictures of the inside and outside of your establishment, including any signs or landmarks nearby. You can also include pictures of your video gaming terminals, amusements (pool tables, darts, TouchTunes) and even your customers or bartenders. Again, if you take any photos of people, make sure to get their permission before using the photos on your social media profiles or website.
For bars and restaurants, we recommend pictures of your food or drinks and any events or entertainment that you provide. Check out our blog post on How To Take Better Photos to Market Your Business for tips and tricks on photo taking.
How to Contact
You may have just created a fantastic website and answered every question perfectly BUT it’s always possible your potential customers may still need to ask a few more questions. Make sure to include the easiest way to get ahold of you. Sure, email is a fantastic way to get in contact with a business, but what’s the point if no one checks that email address? If you only communicate with customers by phone, that’s okay but make sure your phone number is easy to find and leave the email address off the page.
The same goes with social media. It’s a great idea to link to your Facebook page on your website, but make sure that you’re checking it frequently and responding to any inquiries that you get.
Your website should be an easy way for customers to connect with you. By including these five pieces of information, your website will be able to paint a picture that clearly shows what your business is all about.