7 Major Mistakes Pizza Hut Is Making On Their Million-Dollar Website

by Marcus Sheridan

Pizza Hut websiteI found myself ordering a pizza online this past weekend from Pizza Hut and considering I can’t seem to look at a website these days without noticing the good, the bad, and the ugly, a few things about this multi-million dollar company’s website really surprised me. Due to the fact that Pizza Hut has been known to spend over 15 million in advertising in a single month (no, I’m not exaggerating) to promote their products and brand, one would naturally assume their website would be utterly flawless.

But before I go into ‘the bad’, I do want to point out a few positives. Also, I’d strongly suggest you open up their site to see exactly what I’m talking about here, as this case-study, which can easily be applied to your business, will therefore make a whole lot more sense.

The Good

1. Calls-to-Action: Pizza Hut clearly gets it when it comes to calls-to-action buttons. If one looks at their site, they’re all over. Next to every food, one can easily see the ‘order now’ buttons.

2. They’ve Got an IPhone App: Yep, that’s right, Pizza Hut has their own app. Well done.

3. Ordering is Easy: Tonight was my first time ordering their food online and it was easy and fast. That’s all I can ask for, and the experience was certainly preferable in my opinion to calling one of their stores.

The Bad

1. Where’s the Video??: Seriously, I’m amazed by Pizza Hut’s lack of video marketing, at least on their website. They’ve got a visual product. They have a social product (people like eating pizza with other people). So why in the heck don’t they show more video? Eating a pizza is an experience. It’s not like eating celery. Show that experience Pizza Hut, will ya??!!

2. Social Media is Buried: This one is a huge mystery to me. Other than a few small icons on their home page, I really had to search through their site until I was finally able to find their social media hub, which is found under the title of ‘Under the Roof’.  What’s crazy is that the guys and gals in their marketing department actually expect me to know that ‘Under the Roof’ will lead me to their social media page. Say what?? C’mon guys, make it easy for your customers to fan you, friend you, follow you, and most of all—talk to you.

3. Where’s the Lead Capture?!: Businesses almost always fall short when it comes to lead-capture forms on their website. A lead capture form is any form that a visitor can fill out and request information, and beyond their ‘order now’ process, Pizza Hut does a pretty poor job of this. If you want to understand exactly what I’m saying here, just click on their ‘Pasta’ page and notice the lower section of the column on the right side of the page. This space is empty (which is crazy in itself) and could easily have some type of really cool offer, free eBook (like “10 Ways to Make the Most Incredible Pizza in the World”), or even a YouTube video. But alas, it’s empty…

4. Most Pages are Invisible: Although I can understand Pizza Hut’s desire to make their site almost entirely focused on ordering their food, that doesn’t mean they should just bury the rest of their site, which is what they’ve done at the bottom of their home page. If you check out the links at the bottom like I did, I found some pretty cool stuff. But what’s the use of cool stuff if no one sees it? A little hint: NONE.

5. Where are the Happy Faces?: As I mentioned earlier, Pizza is a part of the American culture. Everyone loves pizza. It makes us smile. The trend starts with school lunches on Fridays and never leaves us in adulthood. This being said, count the number of smiles you see on the PH website. I could only find one page with photos of human beings actually enjoying the PH product. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Suggestion to PH: Show people eating your food and actually enjoying it :-)

6. No Blog: Again, I can only smack my head on this one. How a multi-million dollar company can be so uninformed as to not see the power of content marketing (blogging) is beyond me. Don’t they realize they have some serious fans out there that are just waiting to learn more about everything ‘Pizza Hut’? Look, every niche has its mavens, and Pizza Hut is no different. Plus, the free searches and SEO they’re not getting based on their lack of content is incomprehensible.

7. No Social Proofs: Seriously, are you kidding me? How can there not be more testimonials, be it text or video, on the site? This one really, really surprised me, especially considering Pizza Hut has done entire TV campaigns around customer testimonials and social proofs yet they elect not to include this approach in their website…..baffling.

So there are 7 major mistakes on the Pizza Hut Website. As I mentioned earlier, hopefully you had a chance to look at the site as well and possibly come up with even more errors. In fact, doing this exercise often with other major company/brand websites can be quite the educational tool.

Finally, this example just goes to show that having an endless advertising budget by no means guarantees a company is actually handling their web marketing in the right manner. When it comes down to it, every business, large or small, has equal opportunity for greatness on the web. So don’t be like everyone else in your niche and miss the essentials. Take advantage of all the free and simple tools that are within an arms reach and just waiting to take your business to the next level.

Thoughts? As always, I’d love to hear your feedback.

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