9 Essential Elements for Your Small Business Website
For any small business website there are a number of critically important factors that need to be spot on to convey the right message for your business and company.
Here are 9 such factors:
1. Curb appeal
2. Your content
3. Your navigation
4. Consistent topic
5. Keep it simple
6. Search engine friendliness
7. Build trust with visitors
8. Have compelling calls to action
9. Keep your visitors on your site
1. Curb appeal
When you are in a strange place, perhaps traveling abroad or somewhere unfamiliar, and are looking for somewhere nice to eat or have a coffee your decision will be greatly influenced by the appearance of the different coffee shops and restaurants.
Your new visitor to your website is in a similar situation when surfing online so make sure that when they land on your site that they are reassured by the appearance and “curb appeal” of your site. People DO judge the book by the cover and you need to make sure that the look and feel of your site conveys the right message and reassures the visitor that they are in the right place.
2. Your content
The content on your site should be comprehensive and answer the visitors’ question as to how you can help them, who you help and why they should trust your business and do business with you.
Most people are searching the internet for a purpose and more often than not they are seeking to solve a problem they have. Your website needs to give them relevant and accurate information to help them solve their problem and your content can demonstrate your expertise, build trust and reassure the visitor that doing business with your company will satisfy their needs.
Your site navigation should be clear and make it easy to get around your site and find what they are looking for. Most sites have good navigation on their home page but once the visitor goes deep into your site the navigation can fall down so make sure that your navigation on secondary pages makes life easy for your visitor.
You can also enhance this with relevant internal linking in your content which will kill 2 birds with one stone-make it easy for visitors and help to spread link juice for targeted keywords around your site.
Keep the topic of your site consistent. If you have personal views on politics, sport or any other interests your business website is really not the place to vent.
So stay on message.
5. Keep your site simple (but deceptively comprehensive)
Avoid the latest design fads and gadgets-keep your site simple and easy for your visitor and search engine robots to find their way around and find what they are looking for.
You could spend a lot of wasted time redesigning your site every 6/12 months with the latest technological design breakthrough. This time would be better spent adding great content and answering the visitors’ question “what’s in it for me?”
6. Search engine friendly
As well as your visitors you need to think about the search engines in order to rank well in the SERPS (search engine results pages) and ensuring that search engine robots can easily crawl your site is essential. This reiterates the need for good simple, functional design.
7. Built trust with visitors
If a visitor is to buy from your business they will firstly have to trust it-your website offers you a great opportunity to build trust with your visitor.
You can do this by providing them with answers to their questions in great content which is regularly updated and demonstrating your expertise in your area of activity.
8. Compelling calls to action
You need to make your calls to action easy to execute and compelling. Examples would include “call now for a quotation” or “sign up here for your free report”.
9. Keep your visitors on site
Keeping your visitors on site is critical. If you are running a restaurant or any retail outlet for example you are not going to send your visitors down the street to buy their dessert or coffee so don’t do it with your website.
A prime example of an easy way to send visitors away from your site is YouTube videos-when someone watches a YouTube video they are invited by YouTube to watch related videos which takes your hard earned visitor away from your site.
By all means have video on your site-but on your terms. You can host your videos on your own Amazon S3 account for cents per month and you will not be leaking visitors and traffic.
In summary, getting traffic is getting more difficult. When you do attract visitors to your site follow the 9 steps above and increase exponentially your chances of return visits and increased engagement and sales.
Filed under Small Business Web Design