What are features every small business website needs?
It is important to understand the reason why your website exists before talking about the important features every small business website needs.
It used to be that you could set up a website and forget about it. Not anymore. It requires constant attention to compete for the top spots on Google.
Your small business website has several purposes:
The reason your website exists
The reason your website exists is to get customers. People may visit your website and not purchase. Why does that happen? They may be put off by poor design, lack of features or perhaps they were not ready to buy yet. The goal of professional web design is to convert visitors into customers.
Your small business website has several purposes. Here are some Important features every small business website needs to include in web design to improve overall strategy.
Website feature : Searchable.
Small business websites need to be searchable In order to be effective. Proper search engine optimization techniques need to be in place to ensure people can find your website.
If the website looks amateur, sketchy or otherwise is not trustworthy then visitors will not convert to customers.
Websites need to provide the information to help solve problems. Showing the professionalism of the business will therefore gain customer trust. People think, “Oh, this business knows their stuff”. Trust is key to sales.
A process of gaining emails in order to market content to people not ready to buy yet. Often people will come back to a website a few times before deciding to purchase.
Attract & Convert visitors to customers.
Ultimately getting customers is the goal. Visitors ideally will phone, email, subscribe, or make online purchases. Proper page elements need to be in place in order to attract & convert visitors into customers.
The digital age has changed the way we search for information. Potential customers begin solving their problems with online research. It is important to reach these customers with the terms they are searching for and as a result gain their attention. Then inform, and convert. But it’s not always so simple. You need to be trustworthy and sometimes it will involve some lead nurturing.
Present information correctly
People are ultimately trying to solve a problem. Visually and verbally show visitors that you understand their problems. They will have issues and challenges. The more you resonate with professional knowledge the more likely you will succeed in letting them know you can solve their problems.
Call to action
A call to action (CTA) is an element on a website that instructs the user to do something. Often it is a button with some text written with a command that encourages an immediate response. Some examples include “buy now” or “find out more”. A CTA is crucial in getting users where they want to go. Lead your visitors to information they need to understand so they will feel more confident in making a purchase. The ultimate goal is to help them solve their problem and show that you can provide the solution to that problem.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a digital strategy used to rank a website higher in search engines such as Google. Website pages need to be optimized for queries that people are actually searching for. For example, people will likely search for your service rather than your company name. Being found online is crucial to gaining leads. It is so important to catch people at the beginning of their problem solving needs. Optimizing a website for such queries allows for a larger access to potential customers. After all that is what we want, right? Customer leads.
User friendly design
Website need to be created for people first and then search engines. User friendly design results from the ease of finding information. Elements such as navigation, understandable content and functionality need to be properly installed and easy to use.
Additionally if the website looks cluttered or lacks white space visitors may become turned off and head for the competition. Present information in a clear organized manner from problem identification to problem solution. Make sure a useful CTA is present to guide your visitor to the right info.
Furthermore visual design needs to be relevant and consistent to your business branding in order to appeal to visitors. The right branding will help visitors gain trust in your business website. Make sure the font, colours and imagery are all playing a role in telling the story of how you can solve problems with your solutions.
Websites need to be optimized for speed. Without this, over time they can load slower without optimization. Of course visitors won’t hang around waiting for your website to load. People won’t wait longer than 3 seconds for your website to load. Instead they will consequently head for the competition.
There are many ways to speed up a website, however this isn’t a post about speed so I’ll just mention a couple things. In order to optimize for speed, optimize images before uploading them to the website. Compress and resize them so they take up less data. Also it is a good idea to have a good host provider. Be aware of what you get for the money you pay.
Fresh content tells search engines that you are active. This also helps people find what they are searching for. Blogging frequently is one of the best ways to provide valuable information while producing new content with fresh new URLs.
Provide an ebook in exchange for email
This is a part of lead capture and getting visitors into your sales funnel. Sometimes people aren’t ready to buy now, they are still gathering information or considering options. Collect emails by offering something of value. For example a web designer might offer a 20 point web design checklist. People considering a web re-design may want to consider what their current website is lacking.
There are many important features every small business website needs. Ultimately we want visitors to convert to customers. Web designers use many different tools to gain this conversion. If you are lacking some of these features it may be time for an upgrade.