Every business needs a website, whether they are home-based or not. A good website acts as an excellent marketing tool and is a relatively easy way to manage sales. If you don’t have a website for your business yet, it’s time you started to look into it. In this article, we will look at ten things we think every business owner should consider when designing (or redesigning) their website. Should you have any further suggestions, you could let us know in the comments section below.
- Contact information
How are your potential customers going to contact you if you don’t have a ‘contact us’ page on your website? You need a specific link pointing to the relevant information, ensuring you are reachable. Contact options include your business phone number, email address, social media pages, and a contact form. If you are available to talk to your site visitors in the day, then a live chat option is a great feature, letting you deal with customer queries quickly and easily.
- A blog page
Your blog page needs to be relevant to your business, so keep your personal life and ruminations to your social media or personal blog site. Ensure the blog is easy to read, updated on a regular basis, and full of interesting information that will teach your web visitors more about your business and the product or service you offer. If you don’t have time to manage your blog regularly, this area of your business can be outsourced to a freelance writer, found on websites such as Upwork.
- Optimisation for SEO
Good SEO practice ensures your website will rank higher on search engine listings. For this, you need to include the keywords that web users are likely to use when searching for a business like yours. These keywords should be placed within the main body of your website articles and blog, as well as your picture and video tags. It’s important to remember backlinks too. Adam White from SEO Jet explains that based on his research, only 3% of your backlinks should use one of your target keywords as the anchor text. If you are unsure about the intricacies of SEO, you could outsource this area of your business.
- Mobile responsiveness
When designing your website, you need to think of the user experience. No longer are people only accessing the internet on their desktop or laptop computers. They are carrying the internet around with them on their mobile devices, be they smartphones or tablets. If your site isn’t optimized for these smaller screens, you will lose out on a sizeable customer base. Again, you can outsource this area of your business to a web design company, or use mobiletest.me to emulate your mobile visitor’s experience.
- Eye-popping visuals
First impressions are important, so your website needs to look the part when your site visitor swings by to see what you have to offer. If you use generic colors and fonts, and have no or few photos on your web pages, your visitor may get bored and move elsewhere. Instead, use bold colors, high-resolution photographs, and interesting graphics on your site. Your web host may have templates ready to use, but you could also use canva.com to give your site that visual pizzazz it needs.
- Testimonials and customer reviews
You know your business is great, and your product or service is out of this world (probably). But how can you convince others of this fact? Easy, incorporate a testimonial or customer review page, and share personal stories from previous customers who have experienced what you have to offer. Ensure you add a couple of quotes on your homepage too, giving that initial positive vibe to any visitor new to your website.
- Easy navigation
So your visitor lands on your homepage. Where do they go next? If you don’t point the way, they will have no idea. Where do they pay? How do they contact you? What else do you have to offer them? Clear signposting is needed, with clear links pointing the way, ensuring your visitor isn’t lost or confused for long. However, beware of broken links. If there are any pages no longer in use, remove them; otherwise, your visitor will be lost in that endless loop of ‘404 Page Not Found’ chaos, and may assume your site is no longer in use.
- Call-to-action buttons
Don’t let your site visitor get bored (and don’t lose them to your rivals) by incorporating call-to-action buttons around your site. Examples include ‘add to cart,’ ‘subscribe here,’ and ‘download for free.’ You are encouraging the site visitor into doing something that will ultimately lead to a sale. From growing your email list to offering incentive to buy now (or later), your call-to-action buttons should be handily placed, with flashy bright colors, to give your visitor incentive to stick around and eventually become a customer.
- An ‘About Me’ page
Who is the face behind your business? You, of course, but your visitor won’t know that unless you let them know. Your ‘About Me’ page is crucial then, showing visitor’s you aren’t a faceless bot running your operations, but a real-life person. A photo of you would be handy (if you don’t mind your face being shown), but at the very least, you should give a brief description of who you are, how your business started, and the ethos behind what you do. DON’T waffle on, however, and DON’T bore the reader with every element of your life story. Being short and to the point is key!
- Social media links
As alluded to way up in point#1, connect your visitors/customers to your social media pages. We aren’t talking about your personal pages (you may not want your customers knowing what you get up to at weekends), but it’s easy to set up a business page on Facebook or use a separate Twitter handle for your business affairs. With an extra way to communicate to your customers (and for them to communicate to you), you can build a stronger relationship and have that word-of-mouth benefit when they connect you to their social networks.
There we have it, ten essential things you need on your business website. We haven’t covered every single facet, but you can let us know what we missed on our comments section below. Thanks for reading.