The web is full of awful sites, and we’re not just talking about bad design. Besides the look of your website, there are many other elements that help make it friendly to customers, not to mention something that makes them want to do business with you.
From full contact details to customer testimonials, here are the essentials every small business website should have 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 any investigative work to figure out what exactly you are doing. This means clearly listing your name and summarizing your products or services right on the homepage, says John Zhuang, of the web design and SEO optimization company. Interactive winner.
“Tell people this is the right website they are looking for,” he says. “[A clear description] will immediately grab the visitor’s attention in 2-3 seconds and encourage them to stay on your website longer. “
2. A simple and sensible web address
Don’t complicate matters.
“Your domain name is like your brand. It should be easy for a user to type it into a web browser or email address,” says Ron Wright, founder of a web design and marketing company in line. 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 for branding purposes, but I also recommend the .com version of the domain in case a user accidentally enters the .com address. “
Wright also suggests avoiding dashes (which can cause SEO headaches) and numbers (which can confuse clients).
3. An easy-to-navigate site map
Clear links to the most important pages and a sitemap are essential in guiding visitors to the information they are looking for.
“Make sure your navigation is clearly presented. I always recommend using drop-downs in the navigation menu so the visitor can see the content under each title of virtually any page. You want your visitors to find it. very easily what they’re looking for, or what you want them to know, ”suggests Wright.
4. Contact details easy to find
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 of your website to find contact information,” Zhuang explains.
“The best place for contact information is the top left or top right corner of the home page,” he recommends. “It is also a good practice to include contact information on every page of the website in the footer or sidebar or even in the upper right corner, which helps visitors find it more easily.”
You should also make sure to include multiple means for them to contact you: phone, email, 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.
“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
Honest words from others help make your product or service more tangible to customers who visit you online.
“They help your potential customers to trust you, especially if you are new,” Zhuang says. “[And they] help buyers to confirm whether the product [or] the services meet their needs.
“People love 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 congratulatory highlights,” Zhuang explains. “For example, you might want them to call you now for a free quote, or sign up for your coupons exclusively online, or add products to the online shopping 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 so much good if no one can stumble upon it. Familiarize yourself with the basics of SEO to make it more accessible to search engines.
“You don’t have to be using mysterious, ninja, and black hat types of SEO to rank well on search engines. Just make sure your website is coded correctly,” says Wright.
This means using the right keywords throughout your text, putting plenty of links, correctly 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. Make sure you give it to them … [and be] Make sure your content is original, well written and valuable. “
Fresh content is also a gold mine for SEO. You can prevent your content from going out of date (and also giving your business personality) by incorporating a regularly updated blog or by logging into 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 bad guys out and get your content up and running,” says Wright. “It is also very important to keep your content management system up to date in order 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 drunken midges.”
Zhuang describes it in more detail: “Online visitors often scan a web page to sample its content first when they open a new web page. If they feel like they’re on the right page, they’ll slow down to read the full story. To improve the user experience on your small business website, you need to organize the content to be scanned. “
He recommends three style points for online writing to keep in mind:
- Break things down into short paragraphs, with headers if necessary
- Use bullet points
- Highlight important words or phrases.
Wright adds, “At the end of the day, simplicity and basic colors are the best choice. Again, the content is at the center, not the dancing clowns at the top of the page.”