A presence on the internet through a powerful and dynamic website is as, or even more, important as having a brick and mortar office in today’s digital world. But don’t let your website be a static property, created once and then forgotten. Instead, you can work to make your website as good or better than a live salesman – it can attract old and new customers, generate leads and improve sales.
However, there are certain basics that cannot be overlooked for a small business website. Do ensure that your website has all these essentials:
1. A strong and attractive homepage with an easy-to-use domain name
The homepage is where all your customers first land. An attractive homepage will tell the customer everything about your business and keep them coming back for more. A homepage should be uncluttered, don simple and basic colors, and give a great first impression of your business. It should include the following:
- What your business does
- What are your main products/ services
- Who are your customers
- Your mission and vision statement
When starting a website, you have the option of choosing and buying a domain name that best works for your business. You should try and take the .com suffix as that leaves customers least confused; choose a name without a hyphen and one that is easy to spell; and capitalize on your brand while choosing the domain name.
2. An About Us page with a personal touch
Most visitors, who feel interested in your business, will certainly visit the ‘About Us’ page on your website. While this page should give your company history and details of the business and team, it should also go beyond salesmanship and try to build a personal connect with visitors. Putting a photo of the founders or the team and sharing some information about your background and interests helps.
3. Contact details and links to social media pages
Perhaps the most important part of your website is your contact details. A lot of businesses provide one form of contact, say email, and stop at that. It works best to offer all your contact details, viz.
- Your email id
- A telephone number
- Your postal address
- The location of your business on Google Maps and
- Your working hours
It helps to let customers choose how they wish to get in touch with you. It is also important to give links to your various social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. where you may be actively updating content and communicating with followers.
4. Customer testimonials or reviews
Research has proved that a lot of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Make sure customer testimonials and reviews are an important part of your website; they will often say things beyond what you have to say about your products and services.
5. A sturdy back-end, easy navigation and call-to-action options
Your website’s programming and back-end hosting should be such that pages should load within seconds and content should be safe and protected. The pages should be easy to navigate through with enough internal links. Most importantly, you don’t want visitors to remain mere visitors. You want to convert them to loyal customers. For this, you should give many highlighted call-to-action options on your website. Starting from your homepage, every page should have at least one call-to-action. You could use different colored buttons with words such as ‘Get started’, ‘Buy now’ or the more popular ‘Subscribe to our free newsletter’ option. In exchange of this, visitors will give you their email id to start with. This is the first step to further targeted marketing.
Look back at your website and make it a dynamic, ever-evolving property of the business.