As a small business owner, you might not know what information you should be integrating into your website in order to make it the best it can be. I want to jump right into some essentials your small business website needs in order to succeed.
This might sound like something totally foreign and kind of scary, especially if your small business has nothing to do with the arts and design. What a design hierarchy is is the way you display information. People read from top to bottom, left to right. If you’re displaying the information on your website in a strange way, it makes it more difficult to read, comprehend, and engage with.
Based on the design hierarchy, your navigation should be clearly placed. You don’t want people hunting around to find your other site pages. Having an unclear navigation (or even one that gets lost in a background photo) will increase your bounce rate—how many people leave your site/web page.
Crucial Business Information
Information isn’t a necessarily fun thing to have on your website, but it’s really crucial to your business. If you leave off things like your location and hours, you’ll leave customers confused and way less likely to come visit you. There are also other industry-specific pieces of information you can’t leave out. For instance, a designer needs to include a portfolio and a dentist should include a feature to set up appointments.
Another thing you shouldn’t skimp on is your contact information. As a business, you likely have a phone number and email address. If people want to contact you, they’ll likely be using one of those two methods. Make sure your email address is appropriate and easy to remember. These important pieces should also be linked on your website so that if it’s being read on a mobile device, your clients can click the link and call straight from your website.
Social Media Integration
Another way customers and clients can contact and engage with you is through social media. If you’re on major platforms (and you should be), flaunt it. Got a Facebook page? Tell them to give it a ‘like’. Instagram? You can showcase your feed directly on your site. Pintrest? Hype it up!
In this age of digital consumption, people on their phones all the time. In fact, over 50% of websites are viewed on mobile devices. If you have a website that doesn’t perform for mobile (even if it’s a well laid-out desktop site), it can be frustrating and difficult to find the correct information, especially if you need to zoom in to be able to read it.
Custom photography is huge for small businesses and showcasing your brand. People like to shop local because they’re a part of the community and really know who they’re doing business with. If you’re using stock photos, you’re not showcasing you, you’re showcasing that you know how to use stockphoto.com. Instead of using a stock photo of an office, snap a photo of your work desk (make sure it’s presentable first) and use that instead. Or, if you want a batch of images for various situations, think about hiring a professional or semi-professional photographer who can work with you to create direction for your look.
Search Engine Optimization
If you’re website isn’t SEO friendly, then people won’t be able to easily find your website. Your web designer or developer should know how to properly optimize your website for the best reach. Mainly, you want to use copy and words that people will search for. If you’re a small business marketer based out of Hartland WI (that’s me, guys!), you want your website, site copy, social media, biographies, and anything else you can think of to convey that to make you and your business easier to find. You should also be using Google My Business in order to have control over your business’s listing on Google (website link, hours, services, related images, etc.).
Call To Action (CTA)
This goes along with design hierarchy as well as clear navigation. Your Call To Action is what you want people to do once they’ve visited your site. This should be clear and basically a big neon sign on your site saying “CALL TODAY” or “SHOP NOW” or “SCHEDULE A FREE TOUR”. When people go to your site, you don’t want them to get lost in all the pages, there should be a goal for your site.
Now that you know what your small business website should include, check back next week for a quick lesson in how to figure out your Call To Action!