Whether it is your first website, an ‘online brochure’, or a more complex e-commerce website, you need to establish what you want your website to do. If you want visitors to contact you, then call to action buttons or contact numbers should be easy to see / click on. If you want visitors to buy online, the process of purchasing should be easy and straight-forward.
However, regardless of your overall objective, you still need to consider the content on your pages. Reassure and convince an online visitor to make that call / purchase.
On some websites the images have taken over, and it is not immediately clear what the company or individual actually offers. It is a common issue.
Your website only has a few seconds to make a great impression to an online visitor. Good quality images, a clear title or short message about the service or products you provide, and links to content on your site is an ideal place to start. You may also want to display your credentials or partner logos to add authority and trust.
Your About Page makes your site personal, more human. If relevant, you should include your qualifications and experience, a high quality image of you (not blurry), and your reason and motivation to do what you do.
You can also connect your business-related social media accounts to your website (and vice versa) if you want visitors to stay connected.
This section can be the most difficult for a small business owner to write. You may want to highlight all of the great things your product or service provides, but does it tell your online visitors how it helps them?
Think about your existing customers. Why have they come to you? Do you take the stress out of accounting at the end of the financial year? Do you offer a same day delivery service for last minute gifts?
You can go into more details about the different services and products you offer by building your content around the problems you solve for your customers.
If you’re not sure how to describe what you offer, you can hire a copywriter to help highlight what you do. Or if you’re on a tight budget, sit down with your smartphone and hit record. Imagine you are describing what you offer to a brand new customer. When you’re finished, listen back to what you have said and write it down. You may want to fine-tune it a little before it goes on your website, but it’s a great starting point and avoids ‘writer’s block’!
Where possible, have some visual representations of your work. People are visual when it comes to online browsing. Having case studies or recent completed projects with images can showcase your expertise.
Any images on your website must be well-lit and colourful (unless you specialise in black and white photography!) Use clear and high resolution so that they are not blurry when viewed on different devices. You can also include videos for demonstrations, tours of premises or locations, or perhaps document the process.
From completed house projects, to logo designs and home-made items, think of your online portfolio as your shop front. A well-presented portfolio will entice visitors in to learn more about what you do, and what you can do for them. Which leads me to…….
You have to have testimonials on your website. They can be displayed on one page and / or scattered throughout your site.
As with Amazon, TripAdvisor, and most review sites, independent reviews and testimonials can sway online purchases.
Asking for a testimonial can be hard, but by asking politely after each project you will find that most people are willing to give you great feedback if you’ve done a really good job.
You will be surprised how many websites have contact pages hidden in links at the bottom of their site, or not even have one at all! What does this tell you? If they make it hard for you to get in contact with them, what will they be like if there’s a problem?
Contact details can be displayed at the top or bottom of each page. Or you can have a dedicated contact page with a contact form, location map of your store, and any additional details (different people for different departments, etc.). Communication with customers is key, and having a variety of ways from phone numbers to online chat can all help increase your conversion rates from a casual enquiry to a confirmed sale.
If you have a newsletter, you can insert a subscribe section and get those online visitors receiving regular updates. If they’ve signed up, they’re interested in your offering, a newsletter is a great way to maintain contact with a potential or existing customer.
More and more business websites are including blogs on their websites. Here is an opportunity to provide more information about the company, demonstrate expertise and offer helpful tips. A regular blog also helps with your Google search rankings as the latest algorithm looks for fresh content.
With Squarespace websites you can schedule your blog posts, and link them up to your social media channels. They are automatically pushed to those pages when the post is published – saving you some valuable time. Not bad, eh?
If you would like to chat about your current (or new!) website, feel free to get in touch.
Thank for your reading ‘What should I have on my business website?’ by Hot Lizard Designs.
You can view Hot Lizard Designs in the WBA Member Directory
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