In this age of the internet and social media, it is crucial for every business owner, big or small, to have a strong online presence. Recent research suggests that there is still over 40% of U.S. small business that don’t have a website for their business. Many small business owners when surveyed list cost, and lack of technical know-how as their top reasons for not having a website for their business. Those business owners that have it, typically tend to create websites that aren’t much more than an online business card with just basic contact information. This approach isn’t going to go far in terms of online visibility and conversion. To be found by your potential customers and audience, your website must have important navigational and design features. Here are some of the must-have features you need on your small business website:
Your domain name is your online identity. It represents who you are, your product or service, your brand, and hence, should be chosen carefully. You can check availability and buy your domain from several hosting service providers on the web such as GoDaddy, HostGator etc. Also, make sure you get a domain name that is short, easy to spell, and easier to remember.
It is vital that you include important contact information on your website. This includes your location (with a map), phone number, email address, and/or contact form. This information should preferably be placed above the “fold” of your homepage, the area of the page that is visible before scrolling down. It’s also a good idea to have information that pertains specifically to your business such as your hours of operation, social media pages, and other locations.
It is advisable to have the navigation bar always on the top. This will save users’ time and reduce your bounce rate in the process.
Nothing can replace a good Call to Action (CTA) on every page of your website. A CTA should be included several times on your homepage, both before the fold and at the bottom of the homepage. It’s important to include your phone number and a hyperlink to your contact page. You do not want your site to look too much like a sales pitch or it may turn some people away. You can find the best balance by experimenting and seeing which works best for your site.
People will be looking at your website on their computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. It is vital that your website is mobile-friendly or responsive. There are two ways to do this. One is to create a separate website that would have a URL like your website such as m.yourwebsite.com. These sites are created just for mobile devices and require a separate website, URL, host, domain, etc. The second option is to use a web development platform that will automatically adjust the website to the device. This is a much cheaper option if it is available. The most important thing, however, is to make sure that your site is mobile friendly to take advantage of ranking algorithms used by search engines such as Google.
When you are selling something online and your website can take online payments, all users will look for an SSL certificate that ensures the security of their information. Get one for your website and display it prominently on the home page and footer of all pages so that people do not have to rummage through the entire website to find it.
Every website should have a blog page. The websites with blogs typically get more views than the ones without. So, make it a point to create a blog category for your business and fill it in with valuable information, pictures, and videos to catch more eyeballs. It is also important to make your blog relevant to your services or products, otherwise, it may seem quite ambiguous.
Testimonials and Reviews
One of the best ways for people to get to know your business is to read reviews and testimonials from your clients. Reading about good experiences from your current or previous clients can go a long way in convincing others to give your products and/or services a try.
Social Media Integration
Don’t you want the visitors to take a sneak peek into the social media pages of your business? Then you do not have to integrate your social media profiles with your website. But, if you do want them to get further insight on your services/products, talk to your developers and integrate social media buttons on your business website. Let the potential customers get informed about the regular updates you are sharing on the social media.
When the whole world is going online and Smartphones are becoming the accessible route to small and large businesses, why should you hold your business back? Contact Sma2z, a small business web design company in San Diego and get your business website up and running in no time. As they say, the professionals know it better.
The Infographic uploaded below will help you better understand the must-have features of a small business website: