Making the worldwide web work for you
Having a strong online presence is a fantastic way to secure and grow your bakery business.
Covid made consumers think differently about the way they shop and research products, with online ordering and delivery becoming mainstream for food companies, offering convenience for customers - and additional revenue for business owners.
However, many small businesses are failing to harness the potential of the internet – and falling into the trap of making common errors when they do.
Head of Digital Marketplaces, Darren Osborn, shares his tips for maximising your online presence…
Setting up your bakery’s website
Location, location, location
If you own a high street shop, the most important page on your site will be ‘where to find us’.
Perhaps incredibly, many businesses don’t make it easy for customers to find their stores. potential customers who are searching for a bakery usually do so using a mobile device, so having a map and providing an accurate postcode is essential. Some devices will recognise the postcode format and allow the customer to click the link to open directions on a map service like Google maps or Apple maps. Include key details like “in the alleyway by the Crown pub”, which can really help to avoid customer frustration.
‘What3words’ is very accurate and is also a very useful tool to navigate people to you.
Remember, your site is an extension of your business’ and you should therefore think the same way about potential digital customers as you do about the service level of the in-person customers.
Register your business with Google and other search engines, remembering to include your opening times, address details and special offers/events. It’s free and will drive more people to your website.
A positive customer
- Think like a customer, what are they likely to look for first?
- Make sure you have clear and concise navigation/categorisation. Categorise for searched events like weddings, birthdays, parties, Bar Mitzvah, etc. This is a great way to add relevant keywords that people search for like ‘Wedding Cake’, ‘Birthday Cake’, ‘Party Food’, or specific bakery product names like ‘Pastry’, ‘Croissants’, ‘Apple Pie’ etc. Create landing pages for the bigger events or your specialist/top selling lines.
- Make sure you test your site search and that is finds relevant content from queries.
- Give options for contacting your business a telephone number, social links, WhatsApp Chat, a ‘Contact us’ form. Then make sure you reply/engage within a reasonable .
- A Q&A or FAQ section can be . These can be added at product level or have their own area of the site.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the practice of optimising the content on your website so that you rank higher on search engines. You therefore need to present the best possible information to help users find exactly what they’re looking for.
It’s a complex subject, but the basics are:
- Ensure your website features relevant content. What are your USPs and what is your potential customer searching for?
- Make your content unique. Google will score your page more highly if it is your content in your ‘voice’.
- Digital assets such as photos and videos (either embedded or linked to sites such as YouTube) help to set your site and business apart from the crowd.
- Recipes and ‘how to’ tips can also drive a lot of free traffic.
- Whenever there is an opportunity to update or add new content, take it. Customers (and search engines) love fresh content.
This together with many other articles can be found in The Whisk magazine a publication brought to you by BFP.