How This Small Business Owner Updated His Website for Significant Profit
by Thomas Hanes on Dec 30, 2020
In today's world, the new normal appears uncertain. Young people move away. Big competition moves in. A health crisis arises such as COVID-19, causing lockdowns and confusion.
Small businesses across Canada are currently struggling to survive. But it's not all doom and gloom. Sometimes, all business owners need is a spark of inspiration.
One person who knows this well is Matt Swann, owner of Ciccio's Pizza, Subs & Wings — a small business along the Niagra wine trail. The community was struggling to regain traction and boost its economy since 2014 when a local food facility shuttered, resulting in 450 lost jobs. Swann purchased Ciccio's in 2018 but desperately needed to develop the operation to keep up with the times and prepare for future expansion.
Without a dynamic website or the capacity to order food online, Swann boosted Ciccio's online presence and capabilities to propel this beloved pizza restaurant into a unique and new era.
Here are three crucial changes that this small business owner made to Ciccio's website to help the business not only survive but thrive!
1. Build a website that represents your brand.
A website is often the first place that a potential customer encounters your company. Your website needs to be easily discovered in search engines, and it should reflect your brand.
Before his website update, Ciccio's had a stripped-down website without photos, a company history, etc. In its place, a new website was designed that reflects the brand and customer experience, Ciccio's extensive menu, and the culture of its staff.
Ciccio's new website introduces new features such as professional and authentic photography of their actual food and employees. As well as customer testimonials to increase trust and trustworthiness. He also set up an Instagram account to connect with his audience online and to easily keep their online content exciting and current. The new site also clearly presents both of Ciccio's geo-locations, as well as map links. This helps to make it easier for customers to find them and to optimize them for search engines.
2. Include all the new tools & tricks.
It's one thing for you to brand your website and make it easily communicative. You're also going to need to offer customers the services they need to do business with your company.
First and foremost, for Ciccio's, that meant adding website functionality like online ordering tools and capabilities, knowing that in today's world, many customers prefer this method over calling to place their orders. For customers who do prefer to call, a clickable and easy-to-find phone number was added as well. This simplified the calling process for people viewing the site on their phones.
A "specials" section was added to the site to help drive sales for new food items. They also added a gift card that customers could purchase and make it easier for customers to do business with Ciccio's, encouraging more business profits.
3. Optimize listings on third-party websites.
Your site's Search Engine Optimization is critical to your business' success at being discovered in an online search engine. Savvy business owners take this one step further by ensuring that their companies are easily found on popular third-party sites, search engines, and listings, creating opportunities to find new leads and customers.
The first step for Ciccios was to claim and optimize their business listings on sites like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor. From there, Ciccio's could populate those listings with new branding and photos of food, the restaurant space, and their staff, as well as links to online ordering, making it easier for customers to do business with just one click.
In addition to photos, it was important for Ciccios to incorporate the appropriate "categories" beyond pizza, including subs and wings, to capture more search traffic. Now, anyone finding Ciccio's on those third-party sites knows precisely what their offerings are and that—indeed—they are very much open for business!
More than ever, we need to remain informed and responsible in our personal and business activities through this unprecedented time.
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