There are many bad websites on the Internet, and this is not just about poor design. Your website must be user-friendly. It should also inspire them to do business with you.
Here are the essentials every website for a small business should include, from contact information to testimonials of customers.
1. A concise description of who you really are
A person who stumbles across your website should not have to do any research to find out exactly what it is. Daniel Smith of Webbero, a Web-design and SEO optimization firm, said that this means clearly stating your name, and summarizing your products and services on your homepage.
He says, “Tell people that this is the right site they are looking for.” “[A clear description] will grab the visitor’s attention within 2-3 seconds and encourage them to stay longer on your website.”
2. Simple, but sensible web address
Do not make it complicated.
Your domain name should be like your brand. Dave Campbell, founder of Pretoria SEO agency Katakuru, says that it should be simple for users to enter the domain name into a Web browser.
He added: “I always recommend a .com domain because users are conditioned not to type the extension when entering a Web address.” Non-profits and organizations should use a domain that is.org. However, I also recommend having a domain that is .com in case the user types in the wrong address.
For local businesses in South Africa, a .co.za is the best option, according to highly rated Pretoria website designers.
Campbell suggests that you avoid dashes and numbers, which can lead to SEO headaches.
3. A site map that is easy to navigate
For visitors to find the information they are looking for, it is crucial to have clear links to the most important pages and a sitemap.
Make sure that your navigation is clear. Dropdowns are a great way to make sure that the visitor is able to see all the content on any page. Campbell says that you want your visitors to be able to quickly find the information they need or want.
4. Contact information is easy to find
It is not a good idea to make it difficult for customers to reach you.
Smith says that not every visitor to your website has the patience to scroll through each page to find contact information.
He recommends that contact information be placed in the top left or right corner of the homepage. It is a good idea to put contact information on every page of your website, in the footer, sidebar or top right corner. This will make it easier for visitors to locate it.
It is important to provide multiple ways to reach you. E-mail, phone and standard contact forms are all options. Forbes recommends including your address and a link to your location on Google maps.
Campbell says that one of the greatest mistakes business owners make when trying to reach customers in a single way is Campbell. Campbell says that the goal is to make it easy for users to contact you on their terms.
5. Testimonials from customers
Customers who visit you online will appreciate your sincere words.
Smith states that they help potential customers build trust in you, particularly if you’re new. “[They] help customers confirm that the product or service they are purchasing meets their requirements.”
He says that people love hearing stories from real people. They help people find other things that you don’t have on your website.
6. A clear call to action
Smith says, “Tell online visitors exactly what you want them do.” You may ask them to call you right now to get a free quote or to sign up for your exclusive online coupons or to add products to their online shopping cart.
He also suggests that you draw attention to your suggestion by using special buttons, or highlighting text.
7. SEO basics
If no one is able to find your website, it won’t be as useful for you. To make your website more search engine friendly, you should be familiar with SEO basics.
To rank high on search engines, you don’t have to use ninja, black-hat SEO techniques. Campbell suggests that you simply ensure that your website is properly coded.
This means that you should use the right keywords in your text, include lots of links, name your pages correctly and use images and videos.
8. Quality content, fresh and high quality
Your website is the first impression you make on customers for many businesses. Your website should give customers what they want and give them reasons to come back.
Campbell states, “The user wants something.” Give it to them …. and make sure that your content is valuable, original, and well-written.
SEO is also a goldmine if you have fresh content. By regularly updating your blog or connecting to your social media accounts, you can prevent your content from becoming stale.
9. Secure hosting platform
It is a nightmare to have your online information stolen and could result in customers being turned away.
Campbell says, “It is essential that you have a reliable and trustworthy hosting company in order to keep the bad guys away and your content running.” It is important that your content management system is up-to-date in order to avoid hackers.
10. An online-friendly design and style
Forbes says, “Web surfers have attention spans like drunken gnats.”
Smith explains it more: “Online visitors scan through Web pages to sample the content before they open a new Web site. They will take the time to read the entire story if they feel they have reached the right page. You can improve the user experience on your small business website by organizing the content for scanning.
Three style points are important for online writing, according to him:
- Shorten the paragraphs and include headers if needed
- Use bullet points
- Highlight important words and phrases
Campbell advises business owners to think less about the cost of a website, and more about investing into a good website, and also states, “In conclusion, simplicity and simple colors are the best options.” Campbell says that the main focus should be the content, and not the dancing clowns at top of the page.