We’ve spoken about building a website for your restaurant as one of the first tips to start promoting your restaurant.
Not only walk-in customers but also potential ones that are on the bus, at home, on holiday, will have the chance to have a look at your restaurant, get curious about your menu and eventually contact you via email, phone or social media (even better if you have a booking system on your website!) to reserve a table.
Being 2018, there are some DIY options on the internet on how to create your own website.
While sites like Wix and Squarespace may seem like they offer an inexpensive solution, they do not provide an effective solution. And, in truth, these sites may cost you a lot more in the long run than a website built by a proper web designer/developer.
Here are five reasons why you should avoid website builder options.
They are a big NO to SEO
This is perhaps the biggest issue with restaurant website builders.
They are terrible when it comes to ranking in Google—even though they sell themselves as being SEO-friendly.
One of the reasons they are not good in the long run for you is that they tend to have a confusional structure of code because of the way they let users customize their sites.
While these may allow users to create the site they want, the masses of code tends to lead to a poor on-page structure which can slow the website down significantly. There’s nothing you can do to improve the code of your website to make it faster, either. And there won’t be much opportunity to optimize your website’s on-page SEO apart from changing page titles and we know that Google algorithm changes quite often.
That means no structured data, not being up to date with the current Google algorithm or Facebook pixel.
In short, you get a good looking website but one that may never rank well in Google.
Your website is just a Copy-Paste
You are proud of your kitchen, the food you use, the fantastic atmosphere in your restaurant. All of these features make your restaurant unique. But if you use a site built by a website builder, you will be using the same template as thousands of other restaurants. What does that say about your restaurant?
It certainly doesn’t scream amazing unique experience. If anything it says “we don’t care about our brand and we may not care about your experience”.
If you’re an independent restaurant using a website builder, you’re no better than a chain restaurant.
You might not be mobile-friendly
Being 2018, you must have read somewhere that being “mobile-friendly” is the first approach you take while building a website.
There’s no guarantee you’ll get one if you use a restaurant website builder. Even if it looks good on one mobile device, it may not be built to look great on them all.
And if the code isn’t optimized, then Google and other search engines may struggle to crawl the website.
On one hand, your customer will have a bad experience because of the inefficiency of your mobile version.
Google rewards “mobile-friendly” websites by pushing them higher on the ranking page. This means that, on the other hand, even Google will have a bad experience while crawling your website.
You don’t get the support you need
What happens if your website stops working or part of it breaks?
The matter could be resolved in less than an hour if you used a web design agency.
If you use a website builder, you could be the one having to work out how to fix the problem or you could be on hold for hours on the phone. Or you could be waiting for days for a reply to your email. In short, if something goes wrong or you need to change something, you’re on the hook for it. And as a busy restaurant owner, that is probably the last thing you want.
Your site may not do everything you want
Do you want to be able to take online orders through your website?
How about having your own booking system on the “contact us” page?
f you use a website builder, it is doubtful that your website will be able to have this functionality. And if it does have it, it probably won’t work well. That’s because websites built using website builders are meant to be basic.
They aren’t meant to be used by forward-thinking restaurants who want to get the most out of their website. And because you are just one customer in a million, you aren’t going to get the functionality enabled that you need.
What Can Restaurant Owners Do Instead?
Hopefully, you understand why we believe you shouldn’t use a website builder to create your new site. It’s not just us, either. There are dozens of articles on Google that will tell you the same thing. What can restaurant owners do instead then?
It’s simple, use a trusted restaurant marketing to create your website.
You will pay more initially but you will save on the long-run:
- You will actually own your website outright
- You will get a great looking unique website built to rank in Google
- Support for updates, changes and any issues
- Get expert advice and support along the way