Most small businesses should have a website. Fortunately, small businesses don’t need a 100 page website and can instead have a concise yet useful online presence. So what are the must-have features that your website should have? Read on.
- A contact page with clear information. If you do not have a large budget, chances are you do not have a fancy eCommerce store or in-depth product catalog. So why do you have a website? To be found and contacted. This is why it’s crucial to have a contact page that is easy to find and not hidden somewhere in the footer of your page. Once on the contact page, you need to have at minimum:
- Your company name and address. That one is pretty obvious
- A map. With a GoogleMap, users do not need to know your street name; they can see right away where you are located.
- Your phone number. Again, this shouldn’t need an explanation.
- An email address. Email is a great way to get an answer to a question. If you are just wondering about a product or service and it is not an emergency, sending an email is faster and less bothersome than a phone call.
- Your opening hours. If your customer has to wonder if you’ll be open, he won’t even try to go and see you.
This is the minimum required; some nice to have features are a contact form, a link to your social media sites, an appointment form and more.
- An explanation of who you are and what you do. There is nothing more annoying than landing on a website after a search, and having no idea what the site is about. Make it easy for visitors by writing a little snippet on your homepage about what your company does, and what product and services you offer. Direct visitors to an “About” page for more in-depth information.
- A good domain name. You can refer to our blog post to know how to choose a good domain name. It makes it easier for visitors to find your site, and then to remember your website’s address so they can find you again.
- An attractive home page. Our attention span is getting ridiculously short, especially when browsing websites. It means that you have to capture your audience’s attention right away and you that you cannot give them any reason to dislike your site. Make sure your homepage looks pretty, has important information (see #2), plenty of white space, graphics, and text that can be easily scanned. You can read this post for more details on how to build great landing pages.
- A call to action. No matter how large your website is, you need to have a clear call to action. For small businesses, we advice to link it to your services (“learn more”), your product (“see our products”), or your Contact Us page (“let’s go”, “come by and see us”…). For larger websites, they can link to an eCommerce site, a Get a Quote page or any other page your want your customers to see. It all depends of what goals you want to accomplish.
- Good content. We’ve already talked about why good content is important and how to get it. It keeps your users interested and makes them come back to your page, and it entices search engines to rank you higher making it easier for visitors to find you.
- A reliable host. If you pay a large amount of money for a site, you probably want it to keep running. Take the time to choose the right hosting company that will keep your website up and that will protect your from security threats.
- A website you know how to use. Finally, what good is having a website if you do not know how to use it? We advice our clients to go with a content management system such as WordPress, because it is easy to manage and update. WordPress lets you post blog articles, update your website with pictures or new content and much more. Knowing how to use your site will save you money by not having to ask help for updates and it will help you get good and fresh content.