A website is essential for your small business, but simply building one or hiring someone to develop your site for you isn’t enough. A site that doesn’t convince visitors to choose your business is a waste of time and money. A low-quality, unprofessional site is even worse, as it could lead to a negative image for your business.
There are a few key elements that any business website needs to be successful. Make sure that yours has these five business website must haves.
- Reviews or Testimonials from Customers
Social proof is an important principle of persuasion, and it can help you persuade people to choose your business. What social proof means is that it’s easier to convince people to use your business when they see that previous customers have done so in the past and been satisfied with the service.
You can take positive customer reviews and put them on a dedicated testimonials page, or you can put them on your site’s homepage. The benefit of having them on your homepage is that visitors are more likely to notice them because they’re positioned front and center. Another option is inserting a link button to your business’s page on Yelp or another popular review site, making sure that the link includes your business’s star rating.
- Engaging, Sticky Content
Engaging content is one of the best ways to attract people to your site, keep them there and get them to come back. Publishing content is also great for your search engine optimization (SEO) because you can target new focus keywords with each piece of content that you publish. Keeping elements of good data visualization is key when publishing new content.
One of the most popular ways for businesses to publish content is through blogs on their sites. The most important thing to remember when it comes to content is that it needs to provide value to the reader. If readers enjoy checking out your content or learn something new from it, they’re more likely to return for more.
Just as important is your sticky content. This is your top-tier content that can attract prospective customers and gets them to look into your business more. Your sticky content can be anything that you feel best represents your business, whether that’s a lengthy blog post, an eBook or a video.
- Contact Information on Every Page
You never want a potential customer searching for how they can get in touch with you, because they may decide it’s not that important. That’s why you need your business’s contact info on every page of your site. One simple option is to put it in the footer of your site.
The information you include will depend on your business and what you’re comfortable sharing. If your business is online only, then you don’t need to include an address. But if your business has a physical location for customers to visit, you definitely want to include that, because it will help in terms of local SEO. It’s also a good idea to a business phone number listed, as this helps create trust.
Don’t forget about social media links, either. Your business should have an active profile on at least one or two networks for social media marketing purposes, and you should have links to those profiles with the rest of your contact info.
- A Responsive, User-Friendly Interface
Web users have options galore, and if your business’s site loads too slowly or is difficult to figure out, your bounce rate will go up as visitor leave your site right away. Make sure your site has an intuitive design with menus that are easy to navigate and plenty of internal linking to encourage visitors to check out more of your site.
Website compatibility is crucial, as you never know what browser a visitor will be using. They could be using Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome or another browser, and you can’t be sure they’ll be using the latest version, either. There are plenty of free website compatibility checkers online that you can use simply by plugging in your site’s URL.
More and more people are browsing the Internet on their smartphones and using those smartphones to look up local businesses. Your business’s site needs to function just as well on mobile devices as it does on computers. Use the Google Page Speed Insights tool to check the speed of your site with computers and mobile devices. That tool will also provide suggestions on correcting any issues.
- Calls to Action
When people are on your site, you need to show them what to do. Each page on the site should have a goal and an appropriate call to action that encourages the user to take the action that you want.
For example, if your business has products available for sale online, then the goal of any single product’s page is to convince the visitor to buy it. The call to action on the product page would be the Buy Now button. Other pages on your site will likely have different goals and different calls to action. Your homepage may focus on getting people to download your free eBook or sign up for your email list.
With calls to action, it’s important that you only have one on a page. If you have two call to action on a single page, it’s more likely that the visitor will ignore both. Focus on one goal and tailor the page toward accomplishing that goal. A/B testing with your calls to action is a good way to improve them and get a better conversion rate.
Your business’s website may be the first thing that people see related to your business. You want to create a strong first impression and turn those visitors into customers. By making sure those business website must haves are in place, you’ll ensure that your site is user friendly, professional and does its job in terms of bringing in and converting customers.