After working with hundreds of restaurant owners in Canada, we know that getting more orders for your restaurant online is not random or just about luck. It’s about executing a few things well. The website is the most critical aspect of any restaurant’s presence, and so everything should be optimized to get more orders through it. Luckily, following the steps below will get you more orders online without the high commission fees and keep your restaurant more profitable in the long run. We will break the suggestions into four pieces: on-page website order optimization, off-page website marketing, SEO, and email marketing.
On-Page Website Order Optimization
On-page website order optimizations refer to actions you can do on your website itself to increase orders. Optimize your website for sales and mobile devices. The website should load fast and make it very clear and easy for customers to order online. You want to make sure your online ordering button is at the top of the page, so users do not have to scroll down to see it. Make the call to action very clear. A good call to action gets people to open the menu. Examples include:
- See Menu & Order
- Order Online
- Start Your Order
- View Menu And Order
- Order Pickup And Save
- Order Delivery
The ordering buttons should stand out from the page. Include something like a subtle hover effect to entice the user to click.
On the restaurant website home page, you may also list some features and benefits of ordering through you, such as
- Free Delivery
- Customer Satisfaction
- Pickup Discounts
- Weekly Promotions
Once users click on the ordering menu, they will want to see what they can eat, so your menu must have some nice and accurate pictures of your menu items. Your customers should be able to order quickly and easily without clicking too many website buttons and navigating through several pages. Here’s an example of some top performers: swissdonair.com, sumosumosushi.com, nitzaspizza.ca.
Make sure the online ordering menu is complete, with descriptions filled out for each item. Nobody likes to see a bare menu with no pictures or item descriptions. Don’t make your description too long for each item. Keep things short and precise.
Use your pictures and entice customers with at least one promotion or have combo specials. It is best to have your promotions listed at the top of the menu. Consider using our advanced promotions options if you want to run multiple promotions simultaneously and increase customer loyalty.
Off-page website marketing
Off-page website marketing for restaurants involves getting users to your website. Off-page website marketing involves strategies that you can do entirely offline.
If you are using third-party delivery platforms, you want to ensure you tell people about your website, and you should increase your prices on third-party platforms accordingly to cover their high commission fees. An effective way is to put QR code coupons inside the delivery bags with a tailored message on how they can save for pickup or order through your website next time.
Another effective strategy is to have a big sign/QR Code sign and a message at the front of the door, window and counter. The message can say something like, “Save time and order online. For the best service, prices and weekly promotions, try our new online ordering menu for pickup and save 10% Off.” Make sure to mention your website link below, along with a QR code they can scan. QR Code ordering is part of our standard online ordering plan.
Customers often want an incentive, and changing the behaviour can be challenging. With this in mind, it is vital to have higher prices on third-party platforms that charge high commission fees and to give your customers a small discount or coupon. These offline strategies will get you more unique visitors to your website, which will signal to the Google algorithms to rank your website higher.
Off-page Online Strategies
Offline strategies only work so well. To ensure your site ranks well on Google, you will need to list your domain on many high authority sites such as Facebook, Google My Business, Instagram, Zomato, Restaurant Guru and many others. For a list of top restaurant SEO citations, please see the link here.
Google My Business page (GMB)
Google review management is critical to ensure your business gets more views on Google search. More genuine and positive reviews from your customers are a ranking factor, which Google rewards with more impressions (business views) and a higher website rank. Ensure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) matches your website exactly and are consistent across all major social media channels. Further, post regularly on these channels with updates on your restaurant, such as new promotions, your delicious menu items and updates to your restaurant.
Online activity in your business in the form of Google reviews and social media posts shows Google your business is alive and up to date.
If you are still looking for more visitors, orders and calls, consider advertising on Google Ads within a certain radius around your restaurant. With Google Ads, you will reach more people looking for related words, services and menu items your restaurant offers. To avoid wasting ad spend, I strongly advise consulting with the help of a Google Ads Expert and using exact match or phrase match keywords in your ad targeting.
Facebook/Instagram for extra orders and engagement
Ensure you create a Facebook business page and add the Start Order button to the top of the page linking it to the website and the online ordering menu. Make sure your NAP ( name, address and phone number ) precisely matches the Google My Business Page and your business website.
If you don’t have a large following or your FB/Instagram page is new, consider spending about $3 to $10 a day to advertise your restaurant business and encourage online orders to your website. Advertising is an investment in your business that will get you more orders in the long run. Advertising will be especially effective if you are a new restaurant business and are looking for more customers.
You have complete control over how much you want to spend via Facebook Ads and how long you want to be running your FB/Instagram campaigns. Assess the results of your marketing campaign effectiveness by seeing if it gets more orders to your business in the form of walk-ins, phone calls and online orders.
Make sure to come up with a plan of what you are hoping to achieve to measure the success of your results. Measures of success may include
- Measuring brand awareness metrics including engagements, likes, number of people reached
- Increasing traffic to your page: seeing how many clicked on your website
- Providing a coupon code for FB Ads on the online ordering website to see how many people redeemed, shared.
Facebook/Instagram ads have gotten increasingly more expensive over the years, so like any investment or strategy, you should not put all your eggs in one basket and also focus on some SEO efforts, including link building on the sites below:
SEO and Business Citations
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – which in a nutshell means ranking your website higher on Google without spending money on ads.
Business citations are part of an SEO strategy to help rank your website without paying for advertising. Since you are not paying for ads ( clicks to your website), SEO is a long-term process that helps organic traffic and the ranking of your website. Since SEO is a vast topic, we summarize some of the best restaurant websites you should add your website link to.
After setting up the TripAdvisor profile, add a link back to your website so customers can click on it and place an order quickly. Make sure to fill out your profile and ask customers for reviews to give it that initial SEO boost.
Bing search accounts for about 5% of the market share worldwide. Having a website backlink on Bing Places will help your SEO and Google ranking.
Yellow pages were quite dominant a few years ago. They offer both free and paid plans. We don’t recommend spending any money on their services simply because there is better value in advertising on Google and the Meta (Facebook, Instagram) platforms.
Yellow pages are a high authority site, so verify your business, complete your profile, and link back to your website before someone else can claim your business page.
The same goes for Yelp, which is another website directory that customers visit when looking for restaurants. However, the main point for creating a Yelp business profile and adding a link back to the website is to get more orders and to increase your website SEO
Zomato is one of the better restaurant-specific directories, and creating a link back will help your restaurant SEO ranking over the long term and get some extra traffic to your site.
If you have an existing list of customer emails, consider sending out emails every once in a while. I recommend using a marketing tool such as Mailchimp to send email messages in bulk, but which is spam compliant and allows customers to opt-out of emails. A great example of an email campaign would be to email your customers once about your new online ordering menu and offer them a discount on their first purchase.
Do it For Me Marketing /Autopilot Marketing.
All of these can be a challenge and overwhelming to implement, which is why we offer “Do It for Me Marketing Plans” and “Autopilot Marketing” to compliment your online ordering. With “Do it For Me Marketing Plans,” we build you an optimized sales website, offer payment integrations online, advanced unlimited promotions, social media posting and advertising help, as well as SEO to boost your traffic rankings. For Autopilot Marketing, the online ordering system will auto-target customers who have already ordered with SMS text messages and emails encouraging them to order again if they have not done so in a while. It will also target customers that have abandoned the order for one reason or another. Both of these are premium plans; for more information, don’t hesitate to contact us today!