Though your business may be small, a website is no longer optional — even if you serve a local customer base, and do not intend to sell your products or services online.
Your small business website should include:
- A strong home page
Your website’s home page is the first impression you give the online world about your business. It should clearly communicate your business’s brand image through appealing visuals. Along with:
What your business does
Who it serves
Why it exists
Why a customer should care
There are many creative ways to approach your home page, but it should at minimum include your logo, a brief description of your business, and a navigation menu that directs users to other important pages on your site.
At least 68 percent of Americans own smart phones, so your website should also include features that ensure it’s as easy to view and navigate on smaller screens as traditional desktop computers.
- User-friendly navigation
Whether your navigation menu expands across the top of your site or in a sidebar, it must be easy for site visitors to locate, and should include logical categories that make it simple for site users to find the information they seek. Poor navigation is the No.1 reason people abandon a website they’ve visited.
Take the time and structure your navigation menu and the categories it will contain based on common questions that a new customer to your business might ask.
What broad categories of items or services do you sell?
What do those products or services cost?
Where is your business located; what are its hours of operation?
How do customers purchase items or services, and
What forms of payment do you accept?
A clean navigation should use logical sequencing and titles that help customers easily identify the section of your website they need to visit.
- Search features
Include a search box feature in addition to your site navigation menu so customers can type keywords or phrases to find the information they need when the navigation menu doesn’t meet their needs. The more content you have on your site that addresses all possible keywords, the more beneficial the search box feature becomes.
- Access to help
No matter how great your online presence is, there are times when customers will want to connect with a human. Your website should include the option to connect via phone, email and at your physical location, if you have one. Don’t be like the 93 percent of small businesses that do not publish an email address that customers can use to contact them.
- FAQ page
The more you engage with customers online and off, the more you’ll sense patterns in the types of information customers seek. Offer a page of frequently asked questions and their answers on your site to make it easier for customers to find the detailed information they need.
A small business website is an affordable and effective way to expand your online reach and potential to market to prospects and customers. Incorporate these five website elements into your site to build an online presence that brings customers directly to your business. They will find you no matter where they’re located.