The majority of our clients are small business owners, and most of them have never had a website before. This means they really rely on us to help guide them on what their business website needs. What should go on it? How should it be written?
Luckily, we have A LOT of experience working on websites for all kinds of businesses. What that means for you, the client, is that not only do we understand design and development and can make your site work well and look great, but we also understand how people use websites, and what they are looking for when they land on your business website. Incidentally, I think this kind of knowledge is almost more important than design and development. It’s an often forgotten, but extremely important piece of the puzzle when it comes to making a website that works.
It can be overwhelming to get started on a new business website, especially when your business is new and you have a lot of other things to take care of… like running your business, finding new clients, creating a plan to make sure your business is sustainable and profitable. So I’ve put together this list of things that your business website needs so that you can be sure you’re hitting all the important pieces, even if you make it yourself.
- Contact information: You’d be surprised how often people forget this. And don’t let your preferred method of contact be the only method of contact you offer. I’ve had people tell me they don’t want a contact form on their website because they hate filling out forms. Some people do hate forms. But some people like them. Remember, your website is about you, not for you. If your goal is to get that potential client to take the next step, it’s important that you give them a way to do it that’s the way they like. Your website should have a contact form, a phone number, and if you have a physical location, your hours, address, and a map. Also, if your business relies on people to call and schedule appointments, make sure that your phone number is at the top of every single page. NOT just on the contact page!
- A reason to make contact: Sure, you included all your contact info, but did you give them a good reason to do it? Are you the best at what you do? Is your product priced better? Do you have better service? Is it personalized? Remember, this is your online sales page. Make it abundantly clear why your website visitor should contact you and you’ll increase the number of people who do.
- An about page with photo: Long gone are the days of anonymity. Who is behind this business? People want to know. They want a face to put with the name and to know they are contacting a real person. If you don’t have an About page, then it starts to look suspicious to some people. In fact, some users will leave a site if there’s no about page, considering it a red flag. Let people know who you are and your experience and history. Show them some of your personality. Let them see who you are. It’ll make an impact.
- If you are a service provider, show examples of your work: Don’t just assume people will know what you do or know you are are good at it. Show them! Are you a contractor? Before and after photos of remodels are a MUST. Landscapers? They want to see your work. Even if you just offer a regular service like lawn mowing, you can still show photos to show examples of the quality of the service you provide. Writers can show book excerpts, articles, and essays. Don’t just tell people you are awesome, SHOW them you are awesome too! Don’t underestimate the value. Like I said in #3, people these days are voyeurs. As many as 80% of customers will research a company online before they make that first contact. Your business website can work for you if you plan a strategy to make it effective.
- A list of services: This is so often overlooked that I am sometimes mind-boggled. If you offer a variety of services, make sure you include those services. Remember, you are the expert on your business. If your customer was an expert, they wouldn’t be hiring you. That’s why they need information. What, exactly, do you offer? Be sure to include this information, and be as detailed as possible! Not only will it help your clients learn about your services, but it’ll help the search engines learn about you too.
Show people why you are great. Make your website mobile-friendly. Give them ways to contact you and show them who you are. Do this, and you’ll get a better bang for your buck.
Your business website is important. Don’t make it an after thought.
Pro-Tip: Don’t forget to add a link to your business website to your Google My Business listing!
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