We recently reviewed 100s of websites to find the 37 best catering websites.
In our research, we figured out what works, what and what doesn’t.
Here are 6 simple questions to help you figure out if your website is up to scratch.
If your kids don’t like your site, it’s probably time for an upgrade.
Check it out!
1. Is your website getting the leads you need?
The best way to tell whether or not you need a website update is by judging your current site’s performance against a few simple goals.
Start by deciding if your website is more like a brochure—i.e., a virtual business card for your company—or a sales tool that your team uses to guide prospects through your process.
For brochure sites, consider setting goals related to these metrics:
- Overall traffic
- Time on site
If your website is a sales tool, consider including these goals:
- Contact form submissions
- Leads generated from the internet
Once your goals are set, it’s time to ask the big question: Is your website reaching your goals?
If the answer is no, or if you’re having trouble deciding your goals in the first place, then it’s probably time for a sit-down with leadership, the marketing team or a web professional. If you are reaching your goals, awesome! But it’s still important to maintain analytics.
2. How is your SEO?
Google “[your key product or service] [primary geographic area].” For example, “Catering Seattle.”
The companies you see are your strongest online competition.
Take an honest look at their websites.
What do you like? What seems clunky and outdated? Does every page offer specific, tailored information? Or are there too many pages and it feels overwhelming? Does the information come across in a straightforward, engaging manner? What are they doing with the space on the page? Are the photos clean and crisp? What does the scrolling and clicking experience feel like? Is their website simply selling, or does it tell a story with the customer at the center? Does it help qualify between prospects? Are they more food-focused or service-oriented?
Think like a new client:
Based on the websites, which company would you choose?
Maybe you noticed during your Google search that not many actual companies appear. Maybe you see more sites like Yelp, WeddingWire, Thumbtack and so on? That’s because over the past five years, the percentage of results that are actual companies has dropped from 70 percent to 30 percent.
For caterers and venues, that means your profiles on those sites are growing to be way more important. It used to be Google → Your company. Now it’s Google → Aggregator site → Your profile → Your company.
It turns out there’s much more that goes into SEO than appearing at the top of Google. You also need to have a complete profile and strong presence on the sites that appear before you and your competitors’ sites.
3. How much traffic comes to your website?
Traffic is one of the easiest ways to judge the effectiveness of your website. When considering a new website, take a look at your Google Analytics data as far back as you can. Now answer these two questions:
- What is your total traffic?
- What is the trend in your traffic over the years?
Total traffic: Decreasing traffic means that your website is dated—and it’s just getting older. It’s a clear signal that back when your website was made, it had the requisite factors to generate traffic, but as these factors have changed over the years, your website has not kept pace. Now, traffic is going elsewhere—likely to the competition.
Traffic trends: It’s a bit more difficult to determine the meaning of steady traffic. Mostly because defining “good” or “bad” traffic depends on your industry and location. So steady traffic could either mean you’re stuck in a hole or on top of the world!
4. Does it look good on a smartphone?
61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a business if they have a mobile-friendly site. So without a mobile-optimized website, you’re losing out on precious visitors.
Take out your phone and inspect your website. Is everything in the right place? Is the font size legible? Does everything fit onto the screen? Or did your regular website pop up with fonts and sizes too small to read?
Compare your mobile website to a mobile website like Apple’s to get a feel for how a properly optimized website appears. Do you notice a big difference?
5. Do your kids like it?
Younger people, “digital natives”, have a natural eye for good design. If you can, find someone in their teens or twenties to review your site!
What do they like about it? Are the pictures pretty? The colors? What do they notice about people on the team page? Do they read any of the headers aloud? How long did it take them to click a button?
6. Is it ADA accessible?
There’s been a lot of talk about lawsuits resulting from non-ADA-accessible sites. And while it’s true that lawsuits are up, most cases stem from the same few lawyers in NY; it’s really not as widespread as it seems in the news.
That said, accessibility is a must. Millions of Americans and people around the world rely on accessibility protocols to be able to use the internet.
Here’s our summary of the situation. And of course, we’re marketers, not lawyers! We recommend getting legal advice if accessibility is a real concern.
- It’s possible to get sued for owning a non-accessible site because websites are “public entities,” which means persons with disabilities can file suit if unable to use.
- But strangely, there are no official standards for what makes a website accessible.
- The best you can do is to follow the guidelines created by W3C, the international community responsible for maintaining a healthy internet. These accessibility guidelines are known as WCAG.
If your website is more than five years old, doesn’t look appealing to the kiddos, isn’t centered around the smartphone-using customer or doesn’t meet ADA guidelines, it probably needs an update!
Looking for inspiration? Here’s our list of great catering websites.
What do you think? Are there more important questions to consider? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you’d like some help assessing your website, feel free to paste a link and we’ll give it a look!