EXPERT INSIGHT

10 tips on getting your pub website to click

By Mark McCulloch

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Mobile phone, Google

Mark McCulloch: make sure the basics are right
Mark McCulloch: make sure the basics are right
Mark McCulloch, former head of marketing at Pret A Manger and YO! Sushi, and founder and CEO of consultancy WE ARE Spectacular, offers tips on making sure your website is fit for purpose.

Let’s look at the facts. The only reason you should have a website is to drive sales (although many feel they should have one because everyone else has).

Here are 10 aspects you should consider when fine-tuning your site.

■ Mobile first. Make sure your website works on the main types of mobile phone better than anywhere else. The whole world is looking at its phone, so you need to look good. Single-page, scrollable websites are quite handy and very fashionable at present, so they are well worth looking into. They will also save your users from doing lots of clicking.

■ ‘Book now’ in three places. This is an old hotel website trick (I used to build those) and at all times gives people the opportunity to book or buy there and then. It increases your chances of business success three-fold.

■ A,B,C,D (always be capturing data) — this is a mantra I like to live by. Make sure people can give  their details easily — an email address is enough for you to then get back in touch. Don’t be greedy and ask for their inside leg measurement. It is the start of a relationship and you have to work hard to earn that information (make sure that links to your social channels are in the top right-hand corner, and prominent).

■ Menu. This is the number-one page that people will want to look at. Have the most up-to-date menu there, make it downloadable to all devices, shareable, and with vital information such as pricing and provenance — this is what people want to know about.

■ Where you are. Make sure you have obvious and clear information on where you are located, details on parking facilities, local attractions, links to Google or Bing maps, and details of the exterior and interior.

■ Be search (engine) savvy. Think of the hundreds, if not thousands, of words and sentences that people could type into Google or Bing to track you down. From ‘best pub in Crawley’ to ‘canal walks near pubs’, there is a lot of work to do in this area for all pubs and restaurants to capture each and every eyeball.

■ Sharing. Allow people to share their favourite dishes, drinks and key pages on your site. People like to share nowadays, so help them to do just that. Encourage customers to post about their experience on social channels and review forums such as TripAdvisor.

■ Big food images — put them everywhere. I am sure you are proud of what you offer, so ensure people have a real idea of what’s available. That image of the best fish and chips or pie could swing sales your way.

■ Blogging. Look to integrate a blog into your website and try your hand at blogging weekly if you can, so this will build up content that Google and Bing will give you recognition for. It will also help you shoot up the rankings when people are searching for someone that offers what you do.

■ Separate pages for food and drink. Content is king and the more you can do to include a greater number of stories, facts and details about your food, ingredients and drinks range, the better. You will be seen as a real specialist in these areas.

In addition to these elements, there are other things to consider when improving your site.

You can look to add great partners to suit your clientele, such as MatchPint (a website and iPhone app that tells you which pubs are showing specific sports occasions live in the UK).

WE ARE Spectacular is a branding and marketing agency based in central London. Take a look at the website at www.wearespectacular.co.uk

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