Top Small Business Websites Have...
First, let me state the obvious: You need a website if you run a small business. "Only about half of all small businesses have websites. 97 percent of consumers search online for products and services, but one out of every two small businesses is simply not there for customers to find." -SBA. I will assume that you already know that (otherwise you would not be here). Like a good recipe, there are certain basic ingredients every business website needs.
Here are the 6 Top Small Business Website Essentials needed to make your website useful to eager consumers:
1. A Clear Business Description
Who are you, and what do you do? The home page of small business websites should state that information clearly and concisely. Most visitors to your website will decide in 2-3 seconds if you have what they are looking for. Make it clear what you are and what you offer in a way that can be understood in two seconds.
2. A Simple, Easy to Remember Web Address (URL)
Keep your web address as short and simple as possible. Try to avoid dashes and numbers as part of your web address. Ideally, your business name can be used as your domain name. However, in certain business markets, such as real estate, a domain name that describes your market may be better (i.e manhattanapartments.com or booksforgeeks.com). It should be as short as possible and roll of the lips.
3. Simple Navigation Tools
Use a navigation tool that is familiar to most online users. Drop down menus and other navigation styles should conform to what is most popular online. You don't want visitors to your website scratching their heads trying to figure out how to use your website. Keep it simple and keep it familiar. Also, small business websites should use functionality that is familiar in other features like thumbnails, lightboxes, and links. Don't reinvent the Web, be conservative in the 'bells and whistles' you use.
4. Clear Contact Information
Ideally, your contact information should be visible on each page of your website. Your telephone number and email address should be found at the bottom of each page, and perhaps in the left or right hand column.
5. A Call To Action
What do you want visitors to do when they come to your website? Call you? Order online? Make the action clear perhaps by buttons or highlighted text.
6. Be Mobile Friendly
It is absolutely essential that your small business website be mobile-friendly. In other words, your website must be fully compatible with all smartphones and tablets to reach the widest possible online audience. According to Google, more than half of all online search is done on smartphones! More than 50% of all consumer searches that lead to buying decisions are done on smartphones. Plus, Google penalizes websites in mobile search that are not optimized for viewing on smartphones and tablets. For 2015 and beyond, this is a must!
Meeting The Needs of Small Businesses
Entrepreneurs and start-ups do not have money to waste, and need to extract the maximum performance and value from their small business websites. I understand that need, and consistently produce high quality web design that provides the balance of polished aesthetics and functionality that cost-conscious small businesses demand.
Our Small Business Websites Will Meet Your Budget
We provide our clients world-class website design. However, our fees are structured to fit the budgets of small businesses. In fact, we take special pleasure in giving small businesses the same polished, professional website design that Fortune 500 companies can afford. We are a small business ourselves, and understand the unique needs you have. -Don Peterson