Websites to brag about: how to harness the internet’s marketing tools

Rodney’s Oyster House is a lively place. The buzz of conversation is punctuated by shouts from the shuckers whose puns are as good in real time as they are on their t-shirts.

The Vancouver restaurant’s website, however, was very old school. It was hard to navigate on a desktop computer let alone the mobile phones that customers have glued to their hands. You couldn’t even make a reservation online.

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These were some of the problems that Dan Brag quickly identified when his company, BragDeal, was asked to revamp the site.

Rather than simply come up with an easier-to-navigate design, BragDeal’s team also wanted to drive business to the two locations. They researched the restaurants’ clientele — developing a user persona — as well as analyzed what the competition was doing.

The website is now as dynamic and tech-savvy as the restaurants’ target audience.

“Websites have five seconds to get their message across,” Brag says. “One of the things we focus on is interactivity. Nowadays people don’t like to read. The attention span of a viewer is quicker than ever before. They want to see visuals and find what they are looking for right away.”

In those five seconds, a website not only has to provide useful information, but also “give a certain feel that makes people curious and want to check out the place,” Brag says. “We want them to want to continue to go through the pages. The more they stay on the page, the better the Google metrics are. It improves the business’s ranking.”

The strategy worked. In this video testimonial, Rodney’s social media and marketing manager discusses the instant increase in business.

Brag is a young Vancouver-based entrepreneur but he’s been designing websites for a long time. “I started when I was 13 and understand the technology very well. Ever since the beginning, my entire goal was to drive the most traffic to a site and once I had reached that goal, to figure out where I can get it to next. With time I learned how to make the sites more efficient, have faster load times, better content and the next thing you know I have a business.”

Having a website that is mobile friendly is a definite must. “I was at a Google seminar and they said that, on average, people log onto their phones 150 times a day so if a website isn’t mobile friendly, they’ll go to the next site.”

If you’re considering revamping your website, here are Brag’s 31 Tips to Improve Website User Experience and Conversions.

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