May 9, 2022 by Edwin Gerace
Case study for restaurants / Digital Trends
Restaurants are losing out on potential customers because of not having a website. A recent study indicated that about 26% of restaurant clients perform an online search before visiting a restaurant, and 50% report that their first source of information is a review site such as Yelp. Additionally, over 30% of individuals visiting from out of town visit restaurant websites in their respective destinations to make a dining decision. Lastly, research shows that 8.5 billion searches are made on Google every day. Those are all potential clients that restaurants lose daily because they do not have a website presence online.
Though food websites like Glovo and Uber Eat give restaurants visibility to many potential hungry customers, the challenge is that many restaurants get lost in the crowded spaces of these food Apps. Unless the restaurant is on the home page, visibility is minimal for smaller unknown establishments. Therefore, a website is necessary for a restaurant to create its brand presence, tell its story, and showcase its unique foods. This is especially beneficial for specialty restaurants like Organic or Vegan restaurants. Find out what we offer for website development services by clicking here.
When the restaurant website is up and running, you need to inspire visibility and traffic by promoting it. Some practical, actionable ways are Geofencing marketing, a location-based marketing service that restaurants can use to target and engage their audience. This is done by sending relevant messages to smartphone users within an established area or predetermined boundary. The benefits of geofencing include precise targeting of an audience with the right content at the right time. For example, they are alert of Happy Hour snacks and drinks during the promotion hour to passers-by or large employers; with 94% of smartphone owners spending more time using their phones than watching television, the probability of converting these passers-by into customers increases.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is another marketing strategy that restaurants can increase traffic to their websites. SEM refers to using paid advertising in search engines. Examples of this are Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing which requires advertisers to pay for each click made on their adverts. The advantage of this is that it is very affordable and very targeted. Your advert only shows up for people looking for specific keywords that the restaurant has bid on. Therefore, these are customers ready to buy your particular food. For example, a search for ‘Italian pasta’ or ‘Tacos’ will bring up the restaurant in the search results.
Therefore, search engine optimization and geo-fencing are effective online-based tools that increase the online presence of a restaurant’s website.
Although online presence is requisite for restaurants, restaurants’ website needs to be responsive and promoted. Consequently, the restaurant’s online presence should be interactive and allow its clientele to make inquiries or leave feedback. A recent report indicates that restaurants with responsive online platforms have higher brand awareness. Step 1 is to have a virtual storefront (Website). Step 2 make sure 100% of all information is correct, including social media links. Step 3 Promote your site, your specials, and your unique offering. Do everything to drive traffic to your website, and social channels cause sending traffic to HubSpot or a 3rd party site is not helping your online presence but helping your competitors.
Restaurants need to be where their customers are looking, and that’s online. However, restaurants are stuck trying to be seen on food App sites instead of owning their brand presence with a website. When you have a website, make sure that the site is visible in search engine results. SEM helps with this visibility, while Geofencing provides restaurants with location visibility at the right time and the data to better understand their customers. Consult with Giraffe on what online solution is best for you.
Undeniably, having a more established website online presence and using these and other marketing strategies is critical for any restaurant’s survival. Having a site can not only help drive traffic to your restaurant but can steer customers to you instead of your competitors.
At Giraffe Marketing, we specialize in all three of these areas and can help your restaurant create a solid online presence that will target potential consumers. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you achieve success!
February 9, 2022 by Edwin Gerace
A website’s design determines how customers find your website online and whether visitors click (or “bounce”) away or stay on your site.
With 91% of U.S. shoppers online by 2023, a high bounce rate means missing out on a lot of potential customers. A website that’s trustworthy and easy to use, on the other hand, makes shoppers feel confident making purchases online.
There’s a lot that goes into building a website that’s easy to find, easy to use, and looks good, which is why many small business owners choose to partner with digital marketing agencies like Giraffe Marketing LLC for website development and design.
Business owners on a budget can explore drag-and-drop website builders. DIY builders like the ZenBusiness website builder are an option for basic business websites with customizable templates and streamlined integrations with social accounts and Google maps.
What sets well-designed business websites apart from mediocre ones? These are the elements that ensure a positive experience for your customers.
Search engine optimization helps businesses rank high on Google and other search engines. Designing an optimized website involves several elements including:
Website accessibility and SEO go hand-in-hand because many of the practices that make websites easy to find and use also improve accessibility for disabled visitors. For example, structuring content with descriptive headers, providing alternative text for images and keeping forms simple and easy to read.
Website navigation should be intuitive with descriptive categories and labels that align with user goals. Avoid hiding navigation with drop-down menus. Visitors are less likely to explore when options are out of sight, out of mind. Place navigation in the header, footer, and sidebar where users expect to see it and include a prominent search bar for users who know what they’re looking for.
Calls to action, or CTAs, turn website visitors into leads. CTAs trigger an action such as making a purchase, subscribing to emails, or downloading information that captures a lead. Effective CTAs are short, simple, and strategically designed to draw attention. Consider where your customer is in the sales funnel and tailor CTAs to deliver relevant content.
Website security is important for a business’s reputation, revenue, and search engine ranking. Users may be warned to stay away from insecure or suspicious websites. This makes it harder to reach and convert new customers. Small business websites should protect customers with an SSL certificate and use a free tool to scan for vulnerabilities.
Website analytics provide small business owners with key insights into how visitors discover and use their website. With Google Analytics’ free tool, you can see how visitors came to your website, which pages they visited, and how long they spent. Business owners can use demographic data from website analytics to optimize web design as well as marketing strategies.
Your website is what represents your business online. Don’t you want to show off your best side? Let Giraffe Marketing help you design a website that engages and converts your customers with digital marketing designed for small businesses.
October 11, 2021 by Edwin Gerace
Websites are one of a small business’s best marketing and branding tools. It’s the vehicle that lets you drive traffic to your products and services, interact with customers, and elevate your presence on the internet. A well-designed website can even help narrow the playing field between small businesses and larger operations. The key to a successful site is ensuring it operates in a way that’s tailored to meet your company’s unique requirements. Giraffe Marketing, LLC can help you design the perfect site that will serve your needs today, and into the future.
Having a website professionally designed is a big undertaking, so it’s wise to consider your anticipated growth trajectory when making decisions about function and content. While you can always revise and edit content in the future and add new bells and whistles, there are some features that are easier to build in from the start. A professional web designer can help you access our needs, products, and services, and make recommendations accordingly. If you have a limited budget but some applicable design skills, you may be able to get by creating a serviceable DIY site. Various programs are available that allow you to develop basic wireframes and add content as needed.
It’s a fine line between a website that’s attractively designed and easy to navigate and a jumble of information that’s tough to drill through. While every business has different needs, primary content for your site should include, at minimum, an “about us” section, a button for “services,” and “contact” information. According to Forbes, you can also enhance offerings by including a blog, a company directory or staff bios, demo videos, or an interactive chatbot feature, as well as a newsletter or photo gallery. If you sell products or services online, you’ll need a shopping cart system or e-commerce software that allows people to select, purchase, and ship products. In this instance, product photos and descriptions will also be a requirement.
For maximum efficiency, your Customer Relationship Management (SRM) tool should be integrated with your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This will help optimize your internal processes. The easier you make it for your customers to navigate your site, do business with you, and contact you, the more consumer-friendly the site will become. Remember your social media links as well – this will help people continue to associate with you off-site. You can also use search engine optimization (SEO) words to help rank higher in search engines, and analyze metrics tracking to better understand consumer habits, including page clicks, time spent in various sections of your website, and conversion rates.
A website should help you gain brand recognition, so ensure all elements of the site follow your established brand standards. This includes using your logo, your font, and your company colors throughout. You could retain an ad agency or graphic designer to create your banner, or save time and money by using an online banner maker that allows you to come up with a design that’s customized for your business. You can then use it on your website, as well as on other mediums, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or your YouTube channel. All you have to do is use a banner generator, find a banner that matches your brand guidelines, and customize it with an appropriate font, color, or even animation.
Websites are the hallmark of a business and serve as a visual and interactive representation of your company. Use your site to tell your story, express your appreciation for your customers, and promote the elements of your operations that set you apart from your competitors. Don’t forget to put your website address on everything you print or display – according to SCORE, the cross-promotion will help generate even more traffic and help your business grow.
Giraffe Marketing, LLC offers comprehensive web design services, social media strategies, and email marketing solutions. Reach out by email for a consultation!
Photo by Pixabay
March 22, 2021 by Edwin Gerace
Website Security Facts and Must-Have Steps for Your Small Business
You’ve just launched a brand new website for your business. It’s sleek, user-friendly, and already bringing in more traffic. Maybe you even thought about SEO to attract even more customers, but have you also thought about how to secure your new website? If not, you could be putting your entire business at risk.
You already know you can find valuable marketing resources on the Giraffe Marketing website, but you can also find guides like this to boost your website’s security.
First Some Frightening Statistics
Do you know how much the average cybersecurity breach can cost a small business just like yours? In 2019, the average was right around $200K for a single security incident. That’s a huge loss for just about any business and many of those impacted ended up going under completely.
Even more frightening is that more than 50% of all small businesses experience some sort of breach within a year. You could get lucky and end up in the other half, but why risk it? Instead, you can give yourself some peace of mind by taking simple steps to secure your website and any other source of data for your business. Keep on reading to find out how.
Now Some Practical Security Solutions
Take one look at cybersecurity reports like the one linked above and this one, and you may have trouble sleeping at night. While the reports are unsettling, you need to know that preventing attacks that could sabotage your small business doesn’t have to be complicated.
Perhaps the most practical and stress-free solution is to find a freelancer who can take charge of your website’s security and put your mind at ease. There are countless cybersecurity data protection professionals waiting on job sites, so you can find the freelance help you need. If you’re not sure where to start, try reading through reviews and comparing individual rates.
Until you can find and hire an experienced freelance cybersecurity pro, there are simple steps you can take to add basic security to your website. Add SSL certificates and web application firewalls(WAFs), and then be sure to use antimalware software for added protection.
Tips to Keep Cybersecurity Costs Low
By now, it should go without saying that budgeting to protect your small business website is a worthwhile investment. Remember, a single security instance could leave you with hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. So if you have to spend a few hundred or thousand to hire a freelancer or add security layers, that’s a small price to pay in comparison.
You should also note that hiring a freelancer (also known as a contract employee) is indeed one of the most recommended ways to save money on cybersecurity. Freelancers usually come with their own equipment and supplies, which offers quite a bit of savings. You are also paying on an as-needed basis and you won’t have to worry about potential lawsuits or costly training.
One last tip for minimizing the costs of securing your website is to keep your passwords to that site secure and to make sure any staff members with access are properly trained. These security best practices shouldn’t cost you much, but they could end up saving your business.
Triage Steps to Take After a Successful Attack
Preventing cybersecurity issues is like trying to prevent any other emergency. Your best line of defense is to be prepared and put proper security measures in place. Having said this, there is no way to fully prevent a hacker from successfully targeting your website. After all, even major corporations and government institutions have fallen victim to cybersecurity attacks.
This means if you want to be fully prepared, you need security measures and a recovery plan in place. If you suspect a breach, stop using your website ASAP. You’ll also need to let your customers and/or employees know if their information was accessed during the attack.
Securing your small business website isn’t just an option. It’s a necessity if you want to protect your business from profit losses. A cyberattack could even sink your entire business, so take the steps needed to keep it secure and keep your business going strong for years to come.
Giraffe Marketing LLC can help small businesses with their digital marketing needs. Call us today at 803-609-7653 or visit our website to schedule a digital audit.
Photo Credit: Rawpixel
March 9, 2021 by Edwin Gerace
I hope that those points help you answer the question. So is the question really is “can I afford to not have a website in the digital revolution”. If you want to have a successful business and want to generate income, then you must accept that you can’t afford to. See below for some options that make the process affordable and streamlined.
We custom design each website to reflect the unique character of your business. All design packages include the purchase of domain name, optional stock images, and revisions as needed. Package prices vary by the number of pages you need.
September 8, 2020 by Edwin Gerace
What is Giraffe Marketing? We are a website development company created with you in mind. We will work with you create to a unique website that brings to life your businesses’ brand image and products with a custom made website.
But what makes us different? Giraffe Marketing websites are designed to reflect you and your business. They will allow you to show your customer base your value and proposition while establishing an online presence that is tailored to you and your business.
Your custom built website will allow your client base to spot your brand through highly interactive features built to engage. Your virtual storefront allows your customer to interact and have full access to your site and business 24/7. Your new custom website could be the perfect solution to expand your client base or introduce the world to your new brainchild.
At Giraffe Marketing, we are here to help bring your business to the online world. We can’t wait to work with you!