Business website

10 Things Every Small Business Website Needs

The web is full of horrible sites, and we’re not just talking about bad design. Along with how your website looks, there are many other things that help make it user-friendly, not to mention something that entices them to do business with you.

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

1. A clear description of who you are
Someone who comes across your website shouldn’t have to do any investigative work to figure out exactly what you’re up to. That means clearly stating your name and summarizing your products or services right on the homepage, says John Zhuang of the web design and SEO company. Win Interactive.

“Tell people this is the right website they’ve been looking for,” he says. “[A clear description] will immediately grab the visitor’s attention in 2-3 seconds and encourage them to stay longer on your website.”

2. A Simple, Sensible Web Address
Don’t complicate things.

“Your domain name is like your brand. It should be easy for a user to type into a web browser or an email address,” says Ron Wright, founder of a web design and online marketing company. Accentix.

He adds, “I always recommend the .com domain because users are conditioned to enter this extension when entering a web address. For nonprofits or organizations, I generally recommend using a .org domain at for customization purposes, but I also recommend having a .com version of the domain in case a user accidentally types in the .com address.”

Wright also suggests avoiding hyphens (which can cause SEO headaches) and numbers (which can confuse customers).

3. An easy-to-navigate sitemap
Clear links to the most important pages and a site map are essential to guide visitors to the information they seek.

“Make sure your navigation is laid out clearly. I always recommend using drop-down lists in the navigation menu so the visitor can see content under every heading on virtually any page. You want it to be very easy for your visitors to find what they’re looking for, or what you want them to know,” Wright suggests.

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

“Not all online visitors have the patience to click through every page on your website to find contact information,” Zhuang says.

“The best place for contact information is the top left or top right corner of the homepage,” he recommends. “It’s also good practice to include contact information in every page of the website in the footer or sidebar or even in the top right corner, which helps visitors find them more easily.”

You should also make sure to include multiple ways for them to contact you – phone, email, and a standard contact form are good options. Forbes also suggests including your address and even a link to your location in Google Maps.

“One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is forcing only one way to reach them,” says Wright. “The goal is to make it very easy for users to communicate with you on their terms.”

5. Customer testimonials
The honest words of others help make your products or services more tangible to customers who visit you online.

“They help your potential customers build trust in you, especially if you’re new,” Zhuang says. “[And they] help buyers confirm whether the product [or] services meet their needs. »

“People like to hear stories from real people,” he adds. “They help people [find out] other things you didn’t say [on] your website.”

6. A clear call to action
“Literally tell online visitors what you want them to do with clear tones of congratulations,” says Zhuang. “For example, you might want them to call you now for a free quote, or sign up for your online-only coupons, or add products to the online cart, etc.”

And, he adds, draw attention to your suggestion, by using special buttons or highlighting text, for example.

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 basics of SEO to make it more accessible by search engine.

“You don’t need to use mystery, ninja, or black hat types of SEO to rank well on search engines. Just make sure your website is coded properly,” says Wright.

This means using the correct keywords in your text, inserting lots of links, properly naming your page titles and URLs, and using the magic of images and videos.

8. Fresh and 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 maybe even give them a reason to come back.

Wright says, “The user is looking for something. Be sure to give it to them… [and be] make sure your content is original, well-written and valuable.”

New content is also a gold mine for SEO. You can prevent your content from becoming stale (and give your business some personality, too) by incorporating a regularly updated blog or linking to your social media feeds.

9. A secure hosting platform
Hacking your information online is a nightmare, and if it were to happen to your business, it could cost you customers.

“It’s imperative that you have a secure and trustworthy hosting company to keep the bad guys out and keep your content up and running,” says Wright. “It’s also very important to keep your content management system up to date to stay ahead of hackers.”

10. User-friendly design and style for online readers
As Forbes puts it, “Internet users have the attention span of drunk midges.”

Zhuang describes it in more detail: “Online visitors often browse a web page to taste 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 improve the user experience on your small business website, you need to organize the content for analysis.”

He recommends three style points for online writing to keep in mind:

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

Wright adds, “Ultimately, simplicity and basic colors are the best bet. Again, the content is the focus, not the dancing clowns at the top of the page.”

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