10 Essentials for a Small Business Website

By Sarah York | | Tagged Website Resources

10 Essentials for a Small Business Website

81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying
Source: GE Capital Retail Bank! 

It’s never been more important for small businesses to have a well-designed, informative website.

To make a lasting impression on potential customers, here’s 10 essentials for your small business website:

1. We Love Our Mobile Devices - Your website must be mobile-friendly.

77% of shoppers use a mobile device to search for products.
source: Salsify

There are more people on the planet who own a mobile phone than a toothbrush. With this reality it is a safe bet that customers are likely accessing your website from a mobile device. A responsive website ensures a smooth, easily-navigable experience and happier customers. 

Google cares deeply that your website is mobile-friendly. If it’s not, your website will be bumped down the search results pages, potentially landing behind your competitors’ responsive websites. 

2. Tell Them What You Are All About -  People are visiting your website to learn more about what your business offers.

Once on a company's homepage, 86% of visitors want to see information about that company's products/services. (Source: KoMarketing)

Design each webpage from your customer’s perspective: Give them the info they need to make an informed decision about your product/service.
Make sure important content is easy to find on your small business website.

3.  Make It Easy To Connect -  It should be as clear as possible how and where to get in touch with your business. 

The business phone number should be visible on the homepage. Once on a company's homepage, 

51% of people think "thorough contact information" is the most important element missing from many company websites. (Source: KoMarketing)

44% of website visitors will leave a company's website if there's no contact information or phone number. (Source: KoMarketing)

Enable Click to Call 

88% of consumers, searching for a local business using mobile devices end up calling or visiting the business within 24 hours (Google Mobile Movement Study)

Another convenience favoured by many is live chat support. Learn more about why it’s awesome here.

A Contact Us page: a feedback form, the business street address, driving directions (if applicable), or even a link to your FAQ section. 

4. The Simplier The Better. The more “visually complex” a website is, the less likely it is to be seen as “usable”. 

39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load. (Source: Adobe)

All elements (words, images, videos, links) on the homepage should have a distinct and meaningful purpose.

Avoid clutter, small/hard to read fonts, and complex layouts. 
Include clean lines, intuitive navigation, simple font style and colour schemes throughout the entire small business website. 

5. What Are People Saying About Your Business? As the digital age’s word-of-mouth, online reviews are a simple, yet effective way to increase traffic, sales, and build credibility.

82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, including 93% of people aged 35-54. [Source: BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey]

According to experts, review signals make up 15% of Google's local pack ranking factors. [Source: Moz, Local Search Ranking Factors Survey]

Include a few customer testimonials/reviews on your website. Including reviews on your website allows searchers to see the business as more trustworthy, turns searchers into buyers, and assists in boosting your local search rankings.

Add a review widget like Yotpo or Trustpilot so customers can leave a review directly on your website.

6. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words - Showcase your products and services with quality images. Use high-resolution images to highlight your products and/or services

Better quality images create a more enjoyable user experience.

If you are struggling with getting great images, many local community colleges have Photography and Videography as a part of their curriculum. Reach out the Program Lead to see if there are any students who are looking to get some ‘real world’ work for their portfolio. You can get some great images done affordably and help a student gain valuable experience.

7.  It’s Important That Your Business can be Found. Search Engine Optimization is a guiding principle when building a website for your business. 

SEO comprises several factors working together to build your website’s visibility in search engine results.

Some factors include: website content, mobile-friendliness, website quality (speed to load pages, duplicate pages, broken links, etc), website architecture, user generated content such as reviews  and geophysical location

SEO dramatically affects how many people (potential customers!) can find your website in the internet maze.

Even if you aren’t building your own website or implementing the SEO strategy, it can be extremely helpful if you understand what SEO can and cannot do for your business. 

8.  Get Them to Take Action -  Include visual focal points on your website that invites your customers to act.

Common examples of Call to Action are “Buy Now” or “Signup Here” or “Enter your email”. 

Draw customers’ attention to your offer with colours, images, or typefaces. 

For example, a bright pink “Start Your Free Trial” button against a neutral background will immediately catch the eye.

9. Monitor Load Time. How quickly (or slowly) the content on your website loads is crucial to maintaining visitors’ interest. 

Bear in mind that many of your customers and prospects will view your website from the mobile device so it should load quickly and be easy to navigate.

39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load. (Source: Adobe)

Page load speed affects SEO - search engines rank ‘heavy’ pages lower than pages that ‘light’ and load quickly.Images, videos, or text that takes too long to load can cause frustration causing them to leave never to return.

10. Social Media is About Engagement. Make it easy for anyone visiting your social media pages to get to your website. Add your website to all your social media profiles, business cards and other marketing materials

Resist the temptation to fill you social channels with your latest promotion and/or product offering. The social channels reward those who post engaging content that entertains, educates or provides a point of view and punishes those who only seek to promote. Use these channels to demonstrate your expertise in your business through the use of video, images and content.

This content should entice  customers and prospects back to your website to consume the content,  providing them an opportunity to learn about your business in a less intrusive fashion than traditional marketing.

11. BONUS POINT - It is About to Get Personal - Making meaningful connections across digital and physical channels is the new expectation.

The ability to deliver a consistent customer experience provides both short and long term benefits. Seek to personalize all experiences to reinforce familiarity and build brand loyalty. Consider how you can replicate or enhance an in store experience with your customers through the digital channels.

80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Expectations for the customer experience have never been higher — to acquire new customers, businesses need to meet them. (source: Salesforce).

At Webware, we have helped thousands of small businesses to take advantage of the opportunity presented by having a great mobile responsive website and digital support channels.

With Webware, you’re never on your own. Our team is with you every step of the way. We work to understand your business goals and execute the strategy that’s designed to meet them.Webware’s all-in-one digital marketing solution gets your business found, generates leads, increases customer engagement, builds your reputation and creates value for your business.

Book a Growth Session with one of our Digital Marketing Specialists to learn how you can get digital marketing working for your small business today.

GET WEBWARE'S DIGITAL MARKETING SOLUTION WORKING FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS TODAY