Although the technology available today may make the task of deciding what to do when designing your web site can seem overwhelming, there are 10 simple rules to which every mobile food operator’s web site should adhere to. Over the next couple of days Mobile Cuisine Magazine will go over these 10 rules in detail.In yesterday’s article we covered the first 5 topics from this list of areas food truck or cart web sites should follow.
- Be Goal Oriented – You should define early how success will be measured.
- Be Evaluated Regularly – Metrics should be set and monitored. What you don’t measure, you don’t manage.
- Be Content Focused – Graphics count early on, while content counts always.
- Be an Extension of the Company’s Offline Operations – Content and functionality should be consistent and integrated with the company’s “brick and mortar” activities.
- Be “Living Organisms” – Constantly updating an adapting to a company’s objectives.
- Work Properly – When a user is greeted by an error page on the Web, you don’t get a chance to apologize or offer alternatives.
- Be Search Engine Optimized – Many other aspects of site should take precedent.
- Be Engaging – Intuitive graphical interfaces are a must.
- Be Fast – Speed of download and ease of navigation to quickly find desired information are key factors to keep in mind.
- Be Connected to Other Marketing Tactics – This includes opt-in email marketing campaigns.
Today we will be covering the final five rules.
Constant change requires constant audits for errors. The web makes it very difficult to recover from an error message or broken function. Once a visitor encounters an error, that’s it. That interaction is unrecoverable at that point. As opposed to the same situation you might run into at your truck, the web gives you no ability to react quickly to offer alternatives or even an apology.
Errors can easily translate into lost customers forever and/or more business for the competition.
Be Search Engine Optimized
While not allocating enough resources to content, change, evaluation, and identification of user needs are all common problems; the opposite can be true of pay-per-click search engine advertising. Too many companies start spending money on this traffic-driving tactic without properly preparing the site for that traffic. Pay-per-click advertising allows you to quickly bring qualified visitors to your site. But, as mentioned above, if those visitors do not find what you promised, or what they expect, your campaign will quickly become a money loser.
It is also important to remember that a majority of the clicks to a site still come from what are called “natural” or “organic” listings. Good organic rankings are not achieved without planning and some effort, and they do take time to show results. However, it is important to invest in the search engine optimization of your site early on so that you improve the overall ROI of your traffic-driving investments.
Even if you can get visitors to your site, the trick is getting visitors to do what you want them to do once they are there. One way to achieve this is by creating an intuitive navigational path toward the behavioral outcome you desire.
Fast does not simply mean download speed; it also alludes to navigational ease. In other words, if I’m a typical user, how soon can I find what I’m looking for? If there is a search function available, does it provide me with relevant results and links to existing, working pages? If I’m a repeat visitor, can I take care of common tasks quickly and easily?
Be Connected to Other Marketing Tactics
Normal business common sense applies to the online world too. It is important to know your customers and design your web site, just as a company would design a brick and mortar space, to fit their needs. It is also important to link the web site to other marketing activities.
Lately, Internet video has gained a lot of acceptance by web users. This means, in many cases, you can repurpose your video campaigns for the web or even for email campaigns. This allows you to leverage your investment and expand your branding efforts.
A mobile food web site can be a great strategic tool. But, it has to be thought of strategically. Investing the time and money required early on studying your target audience, developing content, navigation, functionality, and benchmarks for success can result in great returns. The beauty of it is that even if your results are not great right off the bat, the web allows you to tweak things, test new ideas, and measure again. You cannot view the items on this list as isolated techniques; you should instead look at them as interconnected tactics to be considered part of a whole. They all work together and they all affect each other.
So if your site is in need to adjustment, be sure to think before acting, and these 10 rules can be just the start. We hope you enjoyed this series of articles, and if you have any additional suggestion please feel free to share them with us via email, or through the comments section below.