Small Business Website Essentials – Checklist!
Most Small business websites are half decent looking these days and it is a shocker! Having an outdated business website can do more harm than not having one at all.
Having a well designed website that markets, sells, engages and builds a rapport with your customers in today’s time is a necessity. As business owners we are often working on so many other things that we neglect our online presence.
We have compiled a list of 8 simple elements that each small business website should have in today’s world in order to become successful, sharable and trusted on Online landscape.
- Look of your website – is it engaging enough? Our online world is crowded and it’s getting busier each day. The first 20 seconds that each customer spends on your website are crucial. If your website offers what they are looking for they will stay on the webpage for more information, otherwise they are most likely to never return back. You as a business owner need a website that conveys to your clients, what you have to offer, how you do what you do, and why they should choose you instead of others in same space. Clean looking website that resonates with your clients/ customer base and at same time conveys your message without having an overcrowded web page is a must.
- Header and logo: When it comes to logo design there is nothing too flashy or too simple. Your logo needs to clearly represent you as a brand. Focus on the header of your website. It is more important now than ever to build your brand and have your customers remember you by that brand. In this example the logo clearly represent what they do and also how they do it. If you are a store selling products and want to enter the online retail space, your website needs to carry forward the same look, feel and experience that your physical store does. Personal branding with your name being used in the logo is necessary in case of lawyers, corporate law firms, medical offices, bloggers and solo-entrepreneurs.
- Navigation: It’s important that you keep the links in the header to a minimum. Users who are visiting your site for the first time should have clear road map to your site and should be able to find the information they are looking for with minimum clicks as possible. Business sites should typically not have more than 6-7 menu links. If you have lot of pages of information and services, a side bar with quick links serves better than to have 15 navigation buttons in the header.
- Landing pages: If you are purely into doing business online in any shape or form, you need landing pages with one sole purpose and that is to convert traffic into leads. Landing pages are tempting sneak peaks designed specifically to lead your customers to fill out the form and ask for more details or buy instantly. They can be entirely different in design than rest of your website. If you are running a Google Adwords campaign you have the flexibility of choosing specific landing pages for different keywords too. Experiment with 2-3 different designs, see which page has the most conversion, tweak the designs and you will see higher click through rate coupled with good lead generation.
- Sidebars: These are great tools to showcase your products, features and specials. These sticky bars are more often seen on right or left side of main content of your website, that have information that stays same for most of the pages of your website. You need to harness the space that this sticky bar offers. It’s a great space to roll out specials, offer your customers some opt-in-offers to sign up for your specials. Different things you can have in your side bar are and not limited to:
- Quick links to your products/ specials
- E-book introductory offer
- Recent blog posts quick links
- Facebook or twitter feed
- Sign up to your bootcamp: Limited seats available!
- Video or magazine or featured links: That improves your credibility.
- Introductory/descriptive Videos: Using videos on your website is huge. It gives you the perfect opportunity to connect with your audience. Videos need to be short, descriptive and engaging. If you were featured on some news channel, use that video to showcase and at same time harness the power of social approval of a media giant. If not grab your iPhone or cam corder and record a short video yourself. All businesses need a video on their website, on home page or about us page. It acts as a window of communication with your potential clients. Don’t forget to add a little bit of humor, there is nothing like watching a fun informative video.
- Social Media Integration: If you are a small business, you need to be social. You need to tell the world you are here and you mean business. And you can’t do this without going social. You need to be where your clients are and most importantly it allows you to communicate with your audience. You can take their feedback, improve your service or products and listen to their input. Have social media links in the header, footer or side bar where they can be seen. You can also choose to show the live feed if your accounts are fairly active.
- Contact us: All businesses need to have a contact us page. It is where your clients can place an inquiry and contact you. It also builds the credibility of your website by including a phone number, physical address, email address etc. There are numerous ways to design and implement the contact us form. If you do lot of business from your physical office location it is a plus to include driving directions by implementing a Google map into your contact us page. It also serves a positive to make a local Google plus page which has your address on it. It shows up on the search results in your local search instantly. For most businesses, the contact us form acts as the inquiry form too. It can be placed on the main home page, in the sticky bar and also have its own separate contact us page. If you do not wish to have the full form on the main page, you can include a small well designed button that says contact us and redirects the user to the contact us page.
We would love to hear your ideas on how to improve online presence and ideas and tweaks that you think are a must for every small business owner. Tasks Everyday web virtual assistants design and develop business websites, so if you are looking to create a new website for your business or want to tweak the existing website, get in touch with us now and let us help you go online in style!