Critical elements to include in small business websites

Incredibly, if you’re a small business owner, there’s as much as a 50% chance that you don’t have your own company website. This means that there a lot of small business owners out there that probably aren’t sure where to start when it comes to getting their business online. Whilst the majority of people don’t go into business with the intention of making websites, even a pretty basic website could be helping you generate new business. You just need to know what’s important and what to avoid.

Here are a few simple ideas to help you on your way:

An appropriate website address

Wherever possible your domain name [read web address] should include your company name or a description of the products/services that you offer. Sometimes, if the address you wanted isn’t available, you might need to play around with different domain suffixes [.com or .co.uk etc] or try adding hyphens in order to find an address that isn’t taken. For example, if bikesleeds.com isn’t available, you might find an alternative such as bikes-leeds.co.uk is a decent alternative.

Professional Hosting

Hosting is basically the ‘little corner of the internet’ where you website will live. You need to ensure that your hosting is fast and reliable with as little downtime as possible.

A Responsive Web Design

The web has gone mobile with more and more visitors using smartphones and tablets than ever before. So, it’s really important to ensure that your business isn’t left behind and that your customers can view your site properly on whatever device they choose. A Responsive web design means that your site automatically adjusts itself to match the type of screen that it is being viewed on.

Phone Number

It sounds obvious, but after the basics about who your company is and what you do, your company phone number is often the most wanted piece of information people will be looking for. Make this as easy to find as possible – don’t make visitors dig deep to find it or they may well give up

Opening Hours

Again, this is a pretty essential piece of information. Especially if you have a shop, a restaurant or office where customers may want to drop, in you really need to make this information  easy to come by.

A Location Map

Following on from the above point, if you have customers who may like to call in, make their life easier by giving them a map.

A Professional Email Address

Again it sounds really obvious but your customers will want to contact you via email, so make sure you have a proper email address that reflects your web address. Something like sales@yourdomain.com looks so much better than a free gmail or outlook address. Include a contact form to make life even simpler for your clients.

Products and/or Services Page

People come to your site to find out what it is you do and how you can help them. Provide lots of information about what you do and how you can solve your customers problems. Where appropriate include relevant images and perhaps even prices to ensure your visitors get as clearer picture of your business as possible. Don’t leave them guessing!

An “About” Page

Provide a little information about the people behind the brand and maybe a few paragraphs about why you started the business.  Don’t go overboard though, remember that people don’t necessarily want your life stories – they want to know what you can offer them and how you can solve the issues they face, rather than hearing you harp on about yourself.

Testimonials or Customer Reviews

Don’t always expect your potential customers to take your word for how great you are. Include some social proof in the form of reviews, case studies or testimonials. Let your existing clients do the leg-work for you by telling your visitors about their experience of working with your business. Even if you just have the one testimonial, make sure you include it on your site as it will help you drum up more business and hopefully, in time, this will lead to more testimonials.

A Strong Call to Action

Okay, so you’ve given your clients all of the information they need about your awesome brand, but now you need to tell them what to do next. Should they click to buy, call to make a reservation or fill out the form for a detailed quotation? Whatever you’d like your visitors to do next, they won’t know unless you tell them. Make your call to action stand out and make it really clear exactly what the next steps are.

Why not contact Freshly Squeezed Design and find out about how we can help you incorporate these essentials into your website design and help you to grow your business?

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