Welcome to another edition of our website example series, where we aim to help small business owners get inspired by other entrepreneurs just like them, who created their website with the Vistaprint Digital website builder. Today’s edition features a great website example from CrepeBerry, soon to open in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Why we love this restaurant website example:
While there’s a lot to love about CrepeBerry’s website – great images, clear navigation, nice color palette – what we most wanted to point out today is the timing of this cafe website. As you can see by the homepage announcing that they open in mid-June (just around the corner!), CrepeBerry launched their website before opening their doors to the public. While it might seem counter-intuitive to have your web presence go live before you serve your first customer, it’s actually not that uncommon. It’s also very smart – here’s why:
Reasons to launch your website before you open:
- You need to put it on your marketing materials. From flyers to business cards to social media, every piece of marketing you do should be driving people to your website. And that will be hard to do if it doesn’t exist yet! Instead of reprinting all your initial materials once you get a website, go ahead and register a custom domain name (which will also give you a professional email address for your cards), put up a simple website, and proudly put your web address on everything you create.
- You can get the word out with search engines. Search engines like Google and Bing need time to “crawl” the pages of your website in order to add them to their directories. Once your site has been crawled and the search engines know what it’s about, they can start recommending it when people search for terms like “best crepes in Massachusetts.” Search engine algorithms are crawling the web all the time, but it can take a few days or weeks for them to index your site, so the sooner it exists, the sooner you’ll start coming up in search results.
- You should get a head start with local search. Point of clarification: search engine results, as discussed above, are when sites like Google and Bing serve up your website when people search for certain terms online. Your local search profile, on the other hand, refers to people performing local searches and seeing your business listing served up. Before you open, you should set up a business listing on sites like Yelp, YP.com, Google Local, and others, which will display your hours, contact details, a photo, and other basic information people need when they search for terms like “crepe restaurant near Wellesley.” How does your website factor into this? You’ll want to put your web address URL in your local search profiles too!
- You can build anticipation for your opening. When your website is live, you have a place to put opening day details, event information, hours of operation, and a contact form in case people have questions. It’s important to have this hub for information, because you will need somewhere to send people when you market your opening through social media channels and word-of-mouth interactions.
If you find yourself wondering what you can or should put on a website for a business that hasn’t opened yet, keep this in mind: if you choose a website builder that is easy to use, you can (and should!) go back and update your website as often as you want as things change and your business evolves. In fact, we found in a recent study that a quarter of small business shoppers think a business’ website is out of date if it hasn’t been updated in the last month!
CrepeBerry’s website currently consists of a simple homepage, their menu offerings, and a contact page. And while it’s fantastic that they have already established their menu and were able to put it online, it would also be totally fine if all they had at this stage was a homepage and contact form! So don’t let the fact that things will change or that you don’t have a piece of information yet deter you from getting your website out there for search engines and potential customers to find and get excited about.
Congrats to CrepeBerry on creating a clean and colorful website that is already serving your business well. We wish you all the best on opening day!
Ready to build a professional website for your own small business? Sign up for our simple, intuitive website builder today. If you’re already using Vistaprint Digital for your website and want a chance to be featured in an upcoming edition of Website Wednesday, fill out our form.