10 things you 100% NEED on your small business website Now!
Wherever you look, there’s so much advice out there on what you should or shouldn’t do that it’s hard to see through the noise and find the golden nuggets of guidance. So, based on our 12c years of experience, we’ve decided to cut through the nonsense and simply create the definitive list.
1. Responsive design
This is first because we cannot emphasise enough how important this is: more browsing is done on mobile than desktop, Google priorities mobile friendly websites, visitors leave an unresponsive site. If that isn’t powerful enough, the majority of small businesses still don’t have responsive websites so it’s still a way to get an edge over your competitors. This is an absolute must.
2. A clear, great home page
Your home page is the online equivalent of an iconic window display on the High Street: it matters. It’ll decide whether your visitor comes inside to find out more about what you offer or continues onto your competitor to sample their wares instead. What makes a home page great? We’d suggest that it’s clarity of the message combined with great design. So, this means that you need to very clearly state what you offer in the type of language your client expects to see...this isn’t the time to make up new words or try too hard. Just say what you do. Look at how we describe ourselves on our home page:
“We build you an amazing fully loaded and optimised website, set up your social media platforms, branding and a listening post to monitor all of your key terms. We then set up a SEO campaign for high ranking on Google”
3. An obvious Call to Action (CTA)
What do you want the visitors to your website do? Buy, enquire, trial, sign-up, register, download, chat or whatever it is, make it easy for your website visitor to know that’s what they’re meant to do. It could be through using a different accent colour or using imagery to make your CTA stand out but, no matter how you do it, make it easily noticeable.
Testimonials, an example of what is also called social proof is a powerful influencer of consumer behaviour. It builds trust and, in the eyes of the visitor, provides peace of mind: someone else has confirmed that your company is as good as you say you are. This can take a few different forms: the actual testimonials, logos, what people say on twitter. See this in action here.
5. The necessary legal stuff
6. Search optimisation
Location, location, location! It’s crucial when buying a house and it’s crucial when building a successful website as, unless people are finding you, it makes it impossible for you to engage with them and for your website to earn its RoI. Once you’ve created a slick, well-designed website, you then need to stand out from the crowd.
7. An easy to navigate, and logical, site map
Deliberately placed with the search optimisation because being successful with your search depends on Google (or Bing) being able to understand the data on your site. Equally important, it also helps your visitor find their way around your site easily: you should be able to access any piece of information within 3 clicks and there shouldn’t be a point where you come to a dead end.
8. Fast-loading pages
You have 3 seconds for any page on your website to load before the visitor clicks back and goes to the next one in the list. We’re busy, we have an abundance of choice so we don’t wait around. Just think about how frustrating it feels when the signal on your phone drops to 3G instead of 4G or wifi: it feels like you’re back in the dark ages. Google search console will let you know the load times of the various pages but, typically, you need to be cautious about adding too much code into your site header/footer and make sure you resize your images to exact size.
Like ours, the one you’re currently reading. It works doesn’t it? It’s an effective way to show how you can add value to your target clients rather than simply using your website to say that you’ll add value. Make it rich in value for your readers and tactically savvy (i.e. search optimised) for your keywords and it’ll provide an invaluable source of traffic to your company and your pipeline.
10. Social media integration
Once you’ve started engaging with your visitor, keep engaging with them in the various ways - blogs, email marketing, twitter, facebook, Pinterest, youtube, Instagram, snapchat…(and the list goes on). It also makes it easy for your website visitors to become your brand ambassadors - let them share your content and make your life easier. Still not convinced? Check out last week’s blog to understand the power of social media.
Want someone to take the hassle away and just deliver you a website that does all of this? Get in touch or tweet me @anthonyjohns0n.