26 May 2016

How to create a great website for a restaurant / Cafe

As a foodie web designer I always check out restaurants websites.

Over the years I have noticed that many of the well-known fine dining restaurants don’t have a great website, in fact many have a dated website that does not reflect what they offer at all.

And why? They probably don’t need to increase sales since they already have great reputation that in fact is driven by their food.

In the movie Burnt the Maiter D  talks about the whole experience and how answering the phone for a booking is part of it – to add to this I say that the first point of contact, the website also has an important part to play.

Most dining experiences will start with the website as it is accessed to get contact details, directions or used to make a booking and if this experience is not in line with the dining experience then the full experience will not be achieved.



















So here are my top tips on how to create a great website for a restaurant.

1. Be Personal

Welcome your gusts in the same way you welcome them when you open the door – greet them and ask how you can help – clearly direct them to where they need to navigate: make a booking, a phone call read the menu or find the place on Google maps.

2. The Wow Factor

Food is very exciting to look at and great food photos of your signature dishes or photos of the ambiance will get website visitors already in the right mood.

Invest in some professional photos – of food but also of people dining at your restaurant and of the chef in the kitchen.

 3.   The (food) Menu

Make it easy for visitors to find and read your menu. Don’t forget that many visitors to your site will read it on a mobile devise so use large fonts and responsive design. 

Avoid using pictures of your actual menu as this will be heavy to download and hard to read. Invest in replicating the menu as live text on your site or a simple PDF version to download.

4. Say Goodbye

I heard someone say that how you say goodbye is often more important than how you say hello...

This is very true for restaurant website - as it is in fact the first experience with your restaurant, you should expect visitors to end up at your restaurant and therefore say ‘goodbye’ once they leave our site in a personal way ‘we look forward to having you…’ at the end of the booking process or as a pop up window on site exit.

5. The booking system

An online booking system is not for everyone. You must leave the option of calling your directly or emailing.

Only use an online booking system if it works for YOU your STAFF & your CLIENTS – and if it integrates with your phone bookings well.

Consider your clientele – do they like to book online or call? Take this into account before investing in a system.

If you do not have an online booking system, make it easy to call (click to call from a mobile) and make these details visible on every page.

6. Be Social

Most people will want to get to know you and the story behind your restaurant / café. Help them by adding all your social links to the website and invite to join your community. This will guarantee repeat business and happier customers.


In conclusion, even for an established well know restaurant or cafe, a good website is important. Think about your website as the first step of the dining experience and make sure it is consistence with what you offer and with your reputation! 

For website development for your website or some freindly advice, please contact Webby via our website www.webbywebdesign.com.au

7 Mar 2016

Girls CAN Code - my personal journey as a female web developer




Today is international Women’s day. Time to reflect.

This year I want to focus on women in my industry and what it is to be a female web developer today.

I specifically say web developer as it is different than women in my industry in general, it is the women coders in small to medium business that I want to focus on.

I graduated from high school in the late 80s. Computer science was not something I even considered for university. Even though I grew up in a very supportive and progressive household, it was not on my radar – I ticked all the boxes but did not consider the option as it was not done – or very rare for women back then.

Being both creative and business minded I chose business school (a decision I do not regret by the way) and built a career as a Marketing Analyst (with a strong focus on the digital world) over the years.

It was not until later on in life when I had to re-invent myself due to change in priorities – family and the fact that it was not advised for me to go back to a stressful corporate environment for medical reasons.

My very supportive husband who has already established a career in IT as a programmer, suggested the switch. He said I had the characteristics a good web developer needs – everything but the knowledge of coding which he was confident I could learn.

So I did and I was surprised to learn that it is not as hard as I thought it would be.

I coded my first websites – my own, the local kinder and a friends business and I felt ready to face the world and start my own web development business.

So off I went to my first networking event (it was 2007)… it was a disaster! It was a speed networking event dominated by men. ‘Really a web developer?’ Was the most common question…and I was bombarded by terminology and questions that did not make sense but I did not have the confidence to put them on the spot and correct them – even though I was the expert, they made me feel I didn’t know a thing!

I wanted to quit that day but I did not. Instead I developed a few more websites and proved to myself that I did know what I’m doing after all.

I want to another event – this time it was a Women in Business Event run by my local Council. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my career – I was surrounded by women in business like me and I everyone respected me and wanted to talk to me and work with me – to them it was refreshing as they all felt that men in my profession are not helpful and only talk in ‘jargon’ so they are confused and feel like they do not understand and therefore have no website.

I coded three new websites after this meeting and they all my clients still today eight years later. It was not always easy and there were jobs I did not win. As a women I was not trusted to be a professional and I felt I had to price my services at a lower rate than my male competitors.

To this day I have coded 100 websites. I still get the odd ‘really you actually code, you don’t do Wordpress?’ But I’m confident in what I have to offer; I learn something new every day and I do not lower my prices now because of my gender.

So today, on International Women’s Day, I want to thank all the women (and some men!) that put their trust in me and helped me to get where I am today, my clients, the women I collaborate with on a daily basis and the women I get support from at networking events.

I also want to thank the women in my industry that helped me get here by being brave and taking on coding in a male dominated industry.

I have an eleven year old daughter and she loves coding – I truly hope she continues to and more so, that she trust herself and take her passion to any level possible. I hope that more and more options will be offered to girls as young as primary school age so that they are confident to enter this industry, be successful and complete the picture as men and women together can create great things.

Girls CAN code.










17 Dec 2015

Get festive online - tips on how to prepare your digital assets for the holiday season


It is the festive season again - if you sell a seasonal product or service you are most likely already making sure all your online assets are up to date, but even if not, here are a few tips you can implement to your online assets so your message is more personalised and seasonally appropriate. 

YOUR WEBSITE:

This is a must if you sell a product or service that customers use for holiday season / Christmas.

A few things you can apply:

  • Add a banner with a Christmas message and graphics with information about Pre-Christmas delivery or special offers. This can be added to an existing moving slide show. 
  • Add a special offers page linked from home page with a graphic
  • add Christmas graphics to existing images
  • Add holiday trading hours
a few examples:

Rustik Catering (www.rustikcatering.com.au) offer catering for Christmas day: 


The Slipper Hub (www.theslipperhub.com.au) offer free wrapping for gifts:
(graphics designed by Blade Creative)



EMAIL SIGNATURE:

It is important to prompt your clients in advance on specials for Christmas and special notices such as holiday hours. 

Replace your email signature with a festive one from Mid November.

SwimRight (www.swimright.com.au) simply wish their customers happy holidays:
(graphics designed by Blade Creative)


Webby also advising on our holiday hours:



SOCIAL MEDIA:

Replace your banners with a festive image or one of your own with some graphics elements or messages. 

Prompt followers to your offers for this season.

If you do not sell products - simply add a season's greeting message and graphic to your banner. 

Blade Creative (www.bladecreatrive.com.au) add Christmas elements to their logo on social media: 



EDM (email marketing)

Send a few EDMs to your clients promoting your season specials - don't leave it too late and send a few leading to Christmas. 

Use the same graphic from your website with some seasonal elements. 

If you do not sell a product send an EDM to your client base towards the end of December thanking them to their support and advising them with your holiday hours. 

Webby Web Design always send out a holiday notice email to clients: 


In conclusion, plan a head, put a reminder for early November to set up a few graphics and (or one in different sizes) to incorporate on your online assets and acknowledge the season! 





26 Nov 2015

My tips for using great photos online to compliment your website (or get your message across with imagery)


Your website probably has beautiful banner photos that help communicate your message to your visitors. But is this enough? 
To maximize your presence online you must keep up your communication style across all media channels – social, blogging & EDMs.

Here are my top tips on how to get your message across with imagery.

Don’t forget your brand! 

Anything you do online becomes part of your brand and therefore what you do outside your website reflects on our overall strategy. You must be consistent with your website. 

Contact your web designer or graphic designer and get some direction in regards to photos you can use from existing site / print or ideas to complimenting styles. If you can’t afford them designing photos for you that’s fine, at least get some direction.

Buy photos

You can’t use any photos from the web, it must be royalty free. The most affordable way is to get a membership with a stock photo website such as on shutterstockistock or fotolia for example. they all offer photos from $1. All you need is the basic web licence for social media posts.

When looking for a photo you might be offered ‘similar photos’ if they all work for you, get a set that works together.

Why not take your own photos?

You might not be a professional photographer but people want to see your life on social media so be creative, take photos of new products arriving to store, your coffee cup, office view…you can filter and edit to get greet results with most smart phones these days.

Create Banners

Photos alone are not always enough, a short message incorporated will help you communicate your message. You can use Photoshop if you have the skills, Fiverr (submit jobs for $5) or Canva.

I love Canva – thought I can design my own, I do use it for my social posts as it is quick and easy – takes 5 minutes and you get a beautiful banner.


I asked Clare from Blade Creative to add some of tips on using images online:

  1. Stay true to your brand -  if your brand were a person and this image were a piece of clothing, is it something that he or she would wear?
  2. Avoid clutter - let your words breathe and make sure images support your message rather than detract from it.
  3. Keep it short, sweet and simple

Reuse! 

Keep all your photos in one place as you can re-use them in the future. For example a Christmas photo can be re-used the following year, simply add a different message or even change color filters for a fresh look.

Ask your web designer for original photo files used on your website so you can re-use them in different ways.


In conclusion, don’t be afraid to use photos online, just remember everything is part of your online brand and there are many ways you can achieve great results without spending too much $...

20 Nov 2015

Make your blog stand out on the web with photos, keywords & a great title

Recently many of my clients expressed interest in blogging, so I set them up with a blog and sent them off to the blogging world...

To help them, I have put together a list of a few blogging tools and tips so you can maximize the use of your blog and also help your overall business website as you do.



This article is aimed to help business owners that blog  - whether using Blogger, Wordpress, Squarspace or a custom blog, these tips will hep you with your blogging strategy. 

PHOTOS:

Using photos on your blog post is very important - this is not for your ranking but for your readers. Making your post visual will help with engagement and click rate from Social Media.

All you need is one photo per post that captures the post.

Where to find photos?

If you have your own product photos that's great - use them. Otherwise you can buy some stock photos on shutterstock, istock or fotolia for example. they all offer photos from $1. All you need is the basic web licence for a blog post.

TIP: What ever you use, make sure they are royalty free - you can not use any picture you find on the web without permission...

How to make your blog post photo stand out?

A photo on it's own is not always enough, adding text / headline to the photo will help with social media click through.

If you do not have the right software (like Photoshop)  you can use a tool such as Canva
It is very easy to use, and its free for many of their designs. Choose a blog post template and you can even get the image from them (sometimes for free) or upload your own.

See a screen shot from Canva - some of the templates you can choose from:




I used a Canva image template for blog post on this post for example.


KEYWORDS:

One of the reasons you are blogging is probably to help with your search engine ranking. it is therefore very important to make sure you include all your keywords in your post and add them as labels / tags.

You can use a keyword search tool such as Google Keywords Planner  to help you with this.

TIP: Make sure you include your keywords in your title as Google looks at title first thing.

SHARE IT!

Now that your post is out, it is important to promote it on social media and to your clients. 

Don't just 'share' the post, use a different intro about the post on the different channels and schedule to post on different days & make sure you upload your image to the posts.

Google Plus - it is very important to post on Google plus is it will appear on search engines. If you are using Blogger and Google Plus is linked it will be automatically.

TIP: On LinkedIn - publish as an article and copy the post to LinkedIn (or most of it) with a link to the post.

Your Clients - send an email to your clients (again using same image) with a brief bout the post and a link to your blog. If you post regularly combine a few posts into one email.

In conclusion, blogging can be an effective marketing tool for your business is done right, it is sometimes not enough to only have a great post, a few add ons such as an image and a great title will make it stand out on the web. 

26 Oct 2015

Legal Tips for Business Websites - Guest Post By Kate Ashmor from Ashmor Legal

Having an effective website is critical for every business. But it can be easy to get caught up in design and content, without having regard to important legal issues. 


Here are three legal tips for business websites:

1. Ensure the ‘legals’ are in place. 

Your website should contain at least a basic privacy policy, along with terms and conditions. Things like how your handle returns and complaints, and limiting your legal liability under consumer law, should be covered in your terms and conditions. Copying and pasting from a competitor is risky: you could be signing up to obligations you don’t want, and failing to cover yourself against certain risks. Invest in tailored legal advice.

2. Don’t be misleading and deceptive. 

Be careful that you don’t make any untrue claims on your website: you could be open to prosecution for misleading and deceptive conduct, or under other consumer protection laws. Get a lawyer to read through the text of your website and check that the language is not potentially defamatory or otherwise problematic. 


3. Collecting Information / newsletter registration

Every business is subject to the spam legislation and trade practices/fair trading laws. This means that it’s important to clearly communicate to potential email subscribers what their information will be used for.
I recommend having a line right next to the sign-up box/page; something like “We will never spam you and we won’t sell or give away your personal information to anyone”. 


4. Protect your intellectual property. 

Registering a business name, a URL address and social media accounts are not enough to protect your brand from misuse. Trade mark registration is the best way you can enforce your rights as a commercial brand owner. To be registrable as a trade mark, your business/product name must be distinctive and not easily confused with other trade marks – the more original the name, the better. Copyright protection automatically exists when you create an original work (not an idea), but enforcing a breach of copyright is much more expensive and complicated than enforcing a trade mark breach. Patent and design protection may also be desirable, but to be effective these must be obtained before your business idea becomes public knowledge.



Kate Ashmor is the principal of her own Caulfield-based law firm, Ashmor Legal, focusing on conveyancing, wills, powers of attorney, trade marks and website legals.

www.ashmorlegal.com.au

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashmorlegal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KateAshmor

13 Sep 2015

Tips for choosing the right Domain Name for your website

You have a great business idea and a creative business name...

When its time for a website you enter your business name in a domain availability search but....its not available!

sounds familiar?


At Webby, dealing with start ups I come across this all the time and therefore I put together a few solutions with some key points to consider when choosing a domain name.

Register domain and business together (if you can)

This is for those who did not register a business name yet, when you do, look up domain availability at the same time to avoid disappointments.

Multiple Domains

You can have a few domain names pointing to the same website - this means you can have a selection to use in your marketing campaigns.

Make it relevant what you do

Google loves when a key word is in your domain name - therefore try and include a key word in it. for example www.webbywebdesign.com.au has my key words 'web design' withing the domain name.

Make it short and memorable

Shot Domain names work best on signage, cards, flyers...it is much easier for layout and much easier for your potential customers to remember and look for.

If you business is a long name - try and think of a short domain name to use as your main domain for marketing. for example webby.com.au will be a great one for me though my official business name is Webby Web Design.

You are your brand

In some cases you are your business and people might look for you and not your business name. For example a marriage celebrant with a trading name will still be looked at on her own name as couples will remember her name for referrals. If this is the case buy another domain with your name and link to the same site.

Think about the future

You might start your business buy making one type of product but have plans to expand. your business name or domain name might be effected by it in the future. If you already have plans, take it into account and buy the relevant domains.

Acronyms

If you have a long business name buy the acronym version of it as well as the full name. This way you can use the acronym version in your marketing to make it easy to remember and work better visually. for example for Webby Web Design also register www.wwd.com.au

Dash-it

If your desired domain name is not available, try a version with a dash (-). for example my client Eat Sweet could not register www.eatsweet.com.au so registered www.eat-sweet.com.au. For marketing it is sometimes easier to show a domain with a dash so you can buy it anyway as an extra domain.

Get a few Domain Extensions

There are many domain extensions available, the most popular one (and the global one) is .com. Try and grab it in addition to your main one for your country (for example .com.au for Australia) or another.

In conclusion, put some thought into choosing a domain, think about the plans for your business and remember you can always have more than one all linked to the same site.

If a domain is unavailable you can register to buy it when available - this is important if you can see it is not being used. In many cases it will become available at some stage.