You’ve done all of the “techie” stuff and your brand spanking new website is live on the internet.
Now you’re wondering what things you should include on it right?
I was originally going to create the ultimate guide and have something like 30 or 50 vital things you need on your site to make it a success.
But after thinking about it for about a minute, I realized that would just be overkill and decided to stick with the simplest, yet most important elements that every small business website should have.
I know it may look a little daunting at first but the trick is to simply just tackle one thing at a time.
#1 Your Business Logo
You probably already have your logo on various forms of offline advertising such as business cards, letterheads, leaflets or even your company vehicle, and you should also make sure it takes its pride of place at the top of your website.
Personally, I think it looks best in the top left corner but really depends on the layout of your site.
Have a play around, but I recommend it being one of the first things you put into place to help your customers recognize you when they land on your website.
#2 Contact Details
The next logical thing to put on your site is your contact details.
After all, the whole point of creating a website in the first place is to promote your business online in the hope that people will contact you in regards to the products or services you offer.
Having said that, you’d be surprised how many small businesses bury their contact details in a dark corner of their site where they rarely see the light of day.
I don’t know about you, but I find it really frustrating when I can’t find how to contact a business, it’s almost like they don’t want customers to get in touch.
To remedy this, have your main business phone number sitting pretty in the top part of your site, preferably on the opposite side to your logo where people couldn’t miss it, even if they tried.
You can also add your email address in plain sight to give your visitors an alternative way to contact you as not everyone likes calling.
Another thing that I’ve found works really well is to add a “Request a callback” or “Request a Quote” form on the right-hand side of your site.
You’ll probably find a lot more people get in touch if you add this option rather than just a phone number.
You can set this up so you get a notification via email when someone submits their information.
Just don’t forget to call them back!
#3 About Us Page
Did you know the about us page is the second most visited page of a website?
It’s so popular because people like to know who they’re doing business with as I’m sure you do too.
This is your chance to talk about your business, why you got into it, and how you can help your potential customers.
A large percentage of your visitors may have never heard of you before, so this is your chance to show them you’re a real human being and not just another faceless company.
Don’t be afraid to add some images of yourself. If not you, may be a member of staff or whoever you’ve decided is the face of the business.
Photos are a great way to build trust and will let your customers know who’ll be turning up at their door.
#4 Individual Product or Service Pages
I see it time and time again, businesses simply gather a list of their services and lump them onto a single page, sometimes without even the simplest explanation of what it actually entails.
In my opinion, this is the wrong way to go about it for two reasons,
- As a consumer, I like to know exactly what I’ll be getting for my money.
- It makes it harder for the search engines such as Google to understand what you offer and where to position you in the search results.
Your online marketing efforts will be much more successful if you take the time to write an individual page for each product or service you offer.
For best results, try to think about what someone might type into Google when searching for that particular service, then use the service name and your location as the title of the page.
#5 Contact Us Page
Remember what I said at the beginning of the post about making your details accessible? Well, a well laid out contact page is essential.
Here’s the bare minimum the page should contain;
- Business Name.
- Registered address.
- Main business phone number.
- Email address if you have one.
- A contact form where people can enter their details so you can call them back.
If you own a local business and really want to get into Google’s good books and increase your chance of being found in the search results in your local area, be sure to include a Google map of your location.
The search engines and your visitors love this as it shows you’re a “local” business.
It may sound really technical, but it’s quite a simple process.
Collecting a bunch of testimonials from previous customers is a great way to promote yourself as an honest, trustworthy business with a good track record.
Whenever I’m looking for something online, whether it’s a local service or any other kind of product, I’ll go looking for testimonials and reviews so I can see other people’s experiences first hand.
By having a page dedicated to them, your visitor doesn’t even need to leave your site which is a good thing as if they do, you may never see them again.
Just make sure they are all real and verifiable.
You could land yourself and the reputation of your business in hot water if you just make them up. Not that I think for a second you would, you seem like a trustworthy guy /gal (delete as appropriate).
I just wanted to point that out.
#7 Simple, Clear Website Navigation
Once you’ve created these important pages, you then need people to be able to find them.
As website owners, it’s our job to make it as easy as humanly possible for our visitors to find their way around our websites and find the information they’re looking for.
If we don’t, they’ll be reaching for that dreaded back button located in the top-right corner of their browser and simply move onto to another site. Most probably one of your competitors.
You can make the process as painless as possible by drawing them a road map in the form of a menu, which you’ll usually find towards the top of a site.
You can see mine at the top of the screen. By default, it sticks there even when the user scrolls down. Most don’t and that’s fine, so long as you have it in plain sight.
As you can see, I have the most important pages visible such as “Getting started” and “about me”.
What you hold in your menu, will differ to mine and should contain the pages we covered earlier such as;
- Link to the home page that gives an overview of your business.
- About us page.
- Separate page for each service
- A link to a page of testimonials.
- Contact page.
That’s just an example and will depend on the nature of your business and what products or services you’re offering.
#8 Don’t Forget About The Bottom of Your Website
The bottom of a website or the “footer” area is where most people keep the links to the legal stuff, like disclaimers and privacy policies which you should definitely include.
More than that, you can also add your business name, address, and phone number and also have another one of those Google maps embedded there also.
Again, this will greatly increase your chances of being found in the local search results as it’s another reminder to Google and your customers that you are indeed a local business.
#9 Clickable Phone Number
If you haven’t heard, it’s essential that your website has a mobile version, or has been optimized for mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
You see, when someone searches for your business, it’s crucial that there’s a clickable phone number, often referred to as a “tap to call” button available for your customers so they can quickly and easily call you whilst they’re on the move.
Local business websites that have this feature enjoy more leads into their business over the ones that don’t.
If yours doesn’t yet have one, then this is something you should get into place sooner rather than later.
If a web designer built the site for you, then ask them to implement this feature, it should be a fairly simple, and inexpensive job.
There you have it, these are what I believe to be the most basic, yet crucial elements to have on your business site and things that you should try to implement before doing anything else.
You’ve probably noticed a common theme here, and that it’s all about making life as easy as possible for the person on the other side of the screen, as well as Google, to find the information they’re looking for.
Allow them to do this, and you’ll be rewarded with good rankings in the search results, more leads and more customers into your business.
And that’s the whole point of building the site in the first place right?
Over to you
Have you already got these elements in place? Are you struggling with any of them? Did I miss something?
Let me know in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I possibly can.