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October 16, 2012

Compare Your Restaurant Website Traffic to Typical Results

The online marketing game can be a little overwhelming for restaurant owners. Knowing how well your website is performing takes some practice and experience. Luckily, Google Analytics is easy to use and should be all you need to measure your restaurant website performance. If you don’t already have Analytics set up, then we recommend shopping for another web designer because it’s very easy to implement, it’s the first step to measuring your internet marketing strategy, and possibly the most important. We sampled 10 restaurant websites that we designed and manage and we put together some metrics to give you something to which you can compare your results. The following are monthly averages taken from January 1st – September 30th, 2011. We took the liberty of highlighting a couple of key stats we use in order to identify click fraud.

General Statistics

1. Average Visitors Per Month
This statistic measures how many people are visiting your website. There’s a lot that can influence it and the stat is a good general indicator of website performance. I think it’s safe to say that if you’re under 1500 average visitors per month, you could probably use some website help. Better web design, search engine optimization, Google Places profile optimization, and advertising can help drive more visitors to your site.

2. Average Pages Per Visit
We like to use this stat to help communicate the idea that simple is almost always better. Your customers aren’t looking at everything on your website. On average, they’re rarely looking at more than a couple of pages. What’s important to consider is that you need to make sure every page counts and if it doesn’t, remove it. Eliminate distractions and focus on delivering the content customers are looking for. When we design restaurant websites, we encourage clients to stick with the important stuff: About Us, Menu(s), Map & Hours, Contact Us, Photo Gallery, and Reservations.

3. Average Visit Duration
A tricky stat, but this one can tell you if your website is really bad or really good. In general, if your times are short, then your website could be confusing, unhelpful, or uses a software like Flash that people can’t view on iPhones or iPads. So people are leaving it fast. Some websites can be so efficient that the user doesn’t need much time to accomplish their goals. Knowing what we know about good website design, I’d say 120 seconds is a pretty good goal here.

4. Bounce Rate
This stat measures the percentage of people who view your site and don’t view any pages and just hit the back button. While it can be a measure of quality, we use it most to detect click fraud.

If your bounce rate is over 40% and you’re paying for advertising where you pay by the click, you’re probably a victim of click fraud. If you’re not doing pay-per-click advertising and your bounce rate is above 40%, you’re probably in need of a website overhaul.

Mobile Views for Iphone, Ipad, and Android

We’re in the process of remodeling our site to be responsive, which means it will change shape to fit nicely on mobile phones and 23" monitors. For an example of responsive design, check out this responsive booking page on your smart phone. Mobile optimization is important and it’s getting more important by the day. See the following stats to get some perspective on how many people are accessing your website from mobile devices. We’re looking forward to measuring these again next year to see how far the mobile push has come.

Nothing too crazy to note there except the dominance of iPhone and iPad stats. Android is a more popular mobile operating system these days, but the early adopters of mobile internet were all using iPhones. The latter still dominate by about 2 to 1 in terms of overall mobile visits. What you’re looking for here is to determine if you’re high or low in the mobile stats arena. Low mobile stats could be a result of natural events like catering to an older, less technology-adept audience. But it could also indicate that you’ve got a weak mobile user experience. If you’re website runs on Flash, you’re probably going to have low mobile stats as none of those users are likely to come back. Also you might need to update your Google Places profile so that you’re easier to find on Google Maps for mobile users.

Top Referring Sites

We also thought we’d point out the traffic data from some top websites. We use these stats to verify that you’re profile is set up on these sites properly. For example, if your Yelp stats are low or nonexistent like they were for a few of our clients, it probably means you’re website URL is not entered correctly on Yelp. That’s an easy fix. Same thing goes for Urban Spoon and Menu Pages.

That’s a wrap. If you have questions or feedback, please feel free to reach out and/or leave comments. We’d be happy to review your stats and see if we can’t suggest some quick changes to help boost your results.

Ivan Collins
Reservation Genie

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