How to Market your Cafe Business Online | Part One
YOUR WEBSITE AND ONLINE PRESENCE
Should I? Shouldn’t I?
You should. Or rather, you must. Image is everything and in today’s world, a business without a website is a business without a face. A website also helps you to be found on search engines (such as Google), and opens up other avenues of online advertising, such as pay per click advertising (PPC) and blogging.
We know what you are thinking, “websites cost tens of thousands of dollars!”. You are partly right in that websites can be tens of thousands of dollars, but you can also get a website for very little money. These days you can build beautiful, custom websites for nothing more than a monthly hosting fee and without knowing even a snippet of code.
There are several “build your own” websites available. Here’s some of the most popular:
It’s worth noting that building your own website - however simple - is going to take a bit of time. Put aside at least a few days to familiarise yourself with the platform and getting your website just right. It’s the single most important thing you can do for your business when it comes to advertising, so it needs to present as being professionally crafted or it risks doing more harm than good.
Here are some hospitality-based features to consider including on your website:
- Online booking
- Integration with social media
- Email signup
If you don’t feel comfortable building a website yourself, Google “website design ”. It is best to work with a local developer as building a website is quite a labour intensive process that will require several face-to-face meetings. Be transparent with your budget up front and an agency will be upfront in return with what you can get as part of that - even if it is just a single page website. An agency can also look after domain registration and hosting.
Important functionality that you should ensure is built into your website includes the following:
- Responsiveness, i.e. works equally well on all devices (desktop and mobile)
- Search engine optimised, meaning it will rank well in Google search results (more on this in our next blog post)
- Connected with Google Analytics so you can track the success of your site and make adjustments where necessary
- Includes a content management system (CMS) so you can easily make content changes and not have to pay an agency or developer.
That covers off the most important component of your digital marketing strategy – a website. In our next post we'll focus on how you can get your website noticed organically (free) through search engine optimisation (SEO).
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