10 Things Every Small-Business Website Needs

The Web is full of horrendous sites, and we’re not just talking about bad design. There are many other elements besides how your website looks that go into making it customer-friendly — not to mention something that inspires them to actually do business with you.

From thorough contact information to customer testimonials, here are the essentials that every small business website should have for it to effectively help you do business.

 

1. A clear description of who you are
Someone who stumbles upon your website shouldn’t have to do investigative work to figure out what, exactly, it is that you do. That means clearly stating your name and summing up your products or services right on the homepage.

 

2. A simple, sensible Web address
Don’t make things complicated.

Your domain name is like your brand. It should be easy for a user to type it into a Web browser or an e-mail address.

3. An easily-navigated site map
Clear links to the most important pages, and a site map, are crucial for guiding visitors to the information they’re looking for.

4. Easy-to-find contact information
You wouldn’t want to lose a customer to a competitor just because you made it difficult for them to get in touch with you.

You should also be sure to include several ways for them to contact you — phone, e-mail, and a standard contact form, are all good options. Forbes also suggests including your address, and even a link to your location in Google maps.

5. Customer testimonials
Honest words from others help make your products or services more tangible to customers who are visiting you online.

6. An obvious call to action
Tell the online visitors literally what you want them to do with clear tones of commend

7. Know the basics of SEO
Your website won’t do you as much good if no one can stumble upon it. Become familiar with the SEO basics to make it more accessible by search engine.

That means using the correct keywords throughout your text, putting in plenty of links, naming your page titles and URLs correctly, and employing the magic of images and videos.

8. Fresh, quality content
For many businesses, your website is your first impression on a customer. You want to give them what they’re looking for, and perhaps even give them a reason to keep coming back.

Fresh content is a goldmine for SEO, as well. You can keep your content from getting stale (and give your company some personality, too) by incorporating a regularly-updated blog or connecting in your social media feeds.

9. A secure hosting platform
Having your online information hijacked is a nightmare, and, should it happen to your business, it could cost you customers.

10. A design and style that’s friendly to online readers
Web surfers have the attention spans of drunken gnats

Online visitors often scan through a Web page to sample the content first when they open a new Web page. If they feel like they are on the right page, they will slow down to read the full story. To enhance user’s experience on your small business website, you need to organize the content for scanning.

Keep in mind:

  • Break things down into short paragraphs, with headers if necessary
  • Use bullet points
  • Highlight important words or phrases.