Anyone working in the food or restaurant industry knows that you sell food to people first with their eyes, and then with their taste buds. The odd thing is that despite knowing this fact many food-related website owners forget that website visitors consume with their eyes first. In fact if you look at most of the websites run by restaurants in your area they focus heavily on text (menus, etc) in the overall site design, but fail to sell your eyes on the sizzle of that steak, or the aromas of the pasta dishes they want you to order, and then tell your friends about.
Creating a great foodie website isn't exactly rocket science, but I've put together these handy tips to help you along in your digital, culinary journey.
You might have the most amazing menu on the planet, but a picture paints a thousand words, as they say. Based on that the very first thing any visitor to your foodie website should see is a stunning, high-resolution photo of your signature dish - it should have so much of the "Wow!" factor that the visitor's stomach starts growling. Sell to their eyes first and their appetite will follow. Oh, and make sure that first image takes up most of your homepage because you want it etched into their retinas for the rest of the day.
You know that fantastic menu I mentioned in the last point above? At a guess your menu is all text-based too, right? There are no images to show exactly what each meal looks like, and just how delicious it might actually be? You're missing out on a major element of visitor engagement here because you've already sold them with the signature dish image on your homepage, so now you should be building on that experience by displaying images for every single item on your menu - even the sodas. Just make sure these images are optimized for fast loading, otherwise you could suffer an SEO penalty for a site that looks great but loads like your visitors are still on dial-up.
Although those calligraphy-styled fonts might look wonderful from an aesthetic point of view they'll do nothing to sell your business - in fact they might have the exact opposite effect. Great typography is something which most websites owners ignore at their peril. The color scheme of your typography also plays a role here, with the simple fact that tasteful use of the color red in your typography, and overall website design, can and will promote the feeling of hunger in your visitors. Don't ask me why - it's just how the human brain works.
Once you've put all this effort into creating a professional, mouth-watering website for your business it's really important that you let your visitors do most of your content marketing for you by adding a reasonable selection of social sharing buttons to your site. People expect to be able to share great foodie websites with their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest friends, so make this as easy as is humanly possible for them.
For some odd reason the majority of food-related websites feature annoying music which automatically plays when the site loads. This might have been acceptable, and maybe even a bit quirky, in 1998, but right now it's the height of bad taste. Not only is it tacky but there's a very good chance that streaming audio from your website is going to crash the web browser of whoever is visiting your site, encouraging them to never, ever visit your website again.
What do you think of my quick tips for building a great, food-related website? Why not join the conversation by leaving a comment below?
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