10 Things Every Small-Business Website Needs
From thorough contact information to customer testimonials, here are the essentials every small business website should have to help you do business best.
|There are many bad small-business websites out there. Don't let yours be one.|
1. A clear description of who you are
Someone who stumbles upon your website shouldn't have to investigate work to figure out what, exactly, it is that you do. That means clearly stating your name and summing up your products or services right on the home page, says John Zhuang, of Web-design and SEO-optimization firm Winning Interactive.
"Tell people this is the right website that they have been searching for," he says. "
2. A simple, sensible Web address
Don't make things complicated.
"Your domain name is like your brand. It should be easy for a user to type it into a Web browser or an email address," says Ron Wright, the founder of business Web design and online marketing firm Accentix.
He adds: "I always recommend the .com domain, as users are conditioned to type that extension when they enter a Web address. For nonprofits or organizations, I usually recommend using a .org domain for branding purposes, but also recommend having a .com version of the domain in case a user accidentally types the .com address."
Wright also suggests avoiding dashes (which can cause SEO headaches) and numbers (which can cause confusion for customers).
3. An easily navigated site map
Clear links to the most important pages, and a site map, are crucial for guiding visitors to the information they're looking for.
"Be sure your navigation is clearly laid out. I always recommend using dropdowns in the navigation menu so the visitor can see the content under every heading from virtually any page. You want to make it very easy for your visitors to find what they are looking for, or what you want them to know," Wright suggests.
4. Easy-to-find contact information
You wouldn't want to lose a customer to a competitor just because you made it difficult for them to get in touch with you.
"Not every online visitor has the patience to click through every page on your website to find the contact information," Zhuang says.
"The best place for the contact information is the top left or top right corner of the home page," he recommends. "It is also a good practice to include contact information in every page of the website in the footer or side bar or even in top right corner, which helps the visitors to find it more easily."