Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Small Business Website Essentials

Ever wondered why some businesses end up generating more sales and revenue – despite their size, while others continue with mediocrity – even when they offer top-notch services? The answer is the website. In today’s day and age, where going digital is not an option but a necessity, it is not enough for any business to simply have a website – they must see to it that their website is optimized the right way i.e. it ticks the right boxes to be the most accessible as possible to its customers. 

For small business, having a proper-functioning website is even more essential. Websites that do not utilize the best of optimization to offer a good customer experience end up losing out on revenue and potential customers without even knowing it. And yet, we often get to see poorly made sites that lack copy, have bad design, or even fail to feature basic information. 

In such circumstances, one might ask “What does a small business website need to succeed?”
Below we explore ten essentials that any small business website must have to offer their visitors a great experience thus earning their business. 



#1 – A Simple Domain Name

When it comes to websites, the domain name is a very important part of the brand. As a small business, you must remember that the best brands are the ones that stay in people’s memories. The best practice here is to default to your company name, along with a “.com” domain address, or a “.org” domain address in case your business is a non-profit organization. Secondly, make sure to avoid using punctuations (such as hyphen and underscore), numbers, or heaving stylizing. Doing so would only  make it difficult for potential visitors to remember.


#2 – A Good Hosting Platform

One of the worst nightmares for any business is to have their online information compromised by hackers. Not only does it lead to data loss and logistical issues, it also promotes untrustworthiness among your customers, who would then think twice before even considering visiting your website. It is therefore imperative that you use a hosting platform that is safe, secure, and can block cyber-attacks.


#3 – Simple Navigation

A successfully designed website is one where the visitor can easily navigate through its various pages without getting the feeling of being lost in a sea of content. While it may sound very obvious, many websites do fail to incorporate the basic elements needed to create a good user experience. 

Must-haves to create an intuitive design include adding and/or combining colors that are easy on the eye, making sure the navigation bar remains at the top of the page regardless of the position (which is also called a ‘sticky navbar’), seeing to it that the navbar has the links to reach every important page in a single click, and finally, ensuring that the company logo on the navbar takes the user to the homepage.


#4 – A Concise and Clear Introduction

No one wants to visit a company’s website to conduct investigations on who they are and what they do. It is only sensible for companies looking to gain traction to clearly state the company’s purpose and range of activities.

For starters, the website should clearly state the name of the company, along with bullet points of all the products and/or services they offer right on the homepage. This will allow visitors to decide if they need to go further at a glance. This should be followed by the ‘About’ page, which should give a little background on the company, explain their “why” and elaborate on the elements mentioned in the homepage.


#5 – Knowledge of SEO Basics

In times when almost everyone utilizes searches to find what they are looking for, you need to make sure that your company comes up on top of the list. In the world of search engines, this can be achieved through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Basically, this refers to the practice of designing your website and its content in a way that it gets indexed higher for searchers looking for a company like yours.  

SEO best practices change with time and include both on-page and off-page SEO. On-page SEO elements include using the key words in correct positions, adding backlinks, and using high-grade multimedia, such as videos, images, and interactive staging. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, is more about the coding of the website, and the naming of the URLs and page titles.


#6 – Links to Social Media Pages

When it comes to the web, there are many places where your potential customers can engage and interact with your brand. Social media is one of the best place for this. Make sure that your website visitors know that you are active on social media by adding links to popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also go a step further and add widgets to your website. These show a small preview of your social media posts, which shows your engagement in the community.


#7 – Quality Content

For any small website to add value, having good quality content is a must. When someone visits your website, they are looking for something. Through your content, you can give them exactly what they are looking for, and even give them a reason to come back for more.

There are many ways you can go about it. For starters, make sure that your core content (i.e. the copy on your homepage and about pages) are on point. Next, you can build a body of content by adding relevant and authentic blog posts that centre around your industry and expertise. Last but not the least, you can add the occasional “content bonuses” such as eBooks and interactive quizzes. Make sure to update your content regularly and utilize the right short and long-form keywords for SEO.


#8 – Testimonials and Customer Reviews

Having trust is key when it comes to establishing a relationship with your prospects. When your prospects see other customers describing their experience of working with you, it makes your products and services more tangible to them. Adding reviews and testimonials from customers helps them relate to those who have already been in their shoes, which in turn helps in building trust.


#9 – A Clear Call to Action

No matter how many features you have on your website, at the end of the day you are here to sell your products and/or services. It is, therefore, essential to include a ‘call to action.’ You must keep in mind that the attention span of visitors is of all but a few seconds, and subtly reminding them by inviting them to reach out is a great way to remind them.

This can be done in many ways – by adding messages to reach out for a free quote, adding products to their shopping cart, signing up for exclusive offers, and even participating in seasonal sales. Make sure to highlight your suggestions by highlighting the texts or using special buttons or even animation.


#10 – Contact Information

Clearly stating your contact information on your website is an absolute must. Not only will they help your customer get the information to reach you, it will also help you rank higher for local SEO. Besides the dedicated contact page, you must feature your business’ address, phone and fax numbers, and email on every page. Make sure to add the email and phone number on top of the sticky nav-bar as well.