Despite the size of your business, a website is a must for every business even when you serve a local customer base. You might have no intention of selling products online right away, but still, you need one, and I will tell you why very soon. For your convenience, we’ve detailed five crucial elements of a small business website that you can take to improve your site’s performance.
The purpose of a small business website
I have to address the use of a website before I can talk about the necessary elements of a good website.
There were days when a website could mean just a digital catalog of your company, but not now. Nowadays, a website has many jobs to function. The following are the primary purposes of a small business website.
- Recognition– a site should be optimized for search to help your small business website get found online easily. It must appear on the top when your customers search for it.
- Building trust – Your website is a vital part of building trust. Once a person reaches on your website, it must justify their challenges. Your business website needs to operate the way your customers need and expect it to do.
- Offer a solution – You must deliver a fair share of value to your visitors and teach them recognizing the problems and challenges they face related to their everyday life.
- Building relationships – It is the first step to build an audience base through solving their problem and let them feel you are the solution to it. This way you will gain trust.
- Creating a brand– People might often need to return to your website many times before buying something. Collect the leads, in this case, email address or contact number and stick with them by providing valuable information and keep this engaging stage till they make buying decisions. This process is known as “Customer Journey”, and you have to maintain these steps to take care of them even after the sale.
- Conversion – from the moment a visitor arrives on your site, your key intention should be converting that visitor into a customer and build strong, profitable customer relationships. This conversion can be many things like providing their emails or purchasing on your website.
Five Key Elements Every Small Business Website Should Have
The homepage of a website is often the first impression of your website. People these days love to scroll through long pages and they expect your homepage elements as a bit of a journey. Allow people to get further and further as they scroll instead of cramming it all above the fold.
Every small business website should consider implementing these five essential elements below to get the most out of the visitors.
- Clear and user-friendly navigation:
Navigation is one of the most critical elements of a webpage. According to some infographics, poor navigation is the No. 1 reason people bounce back a website they’ve visited.
Your website navigation should be user-friendly so that non-techie can easily adopt the structure and feel comfortable within two to three seconds. It must contain a universal navigation panel. Wherever your navigation menu expands, it must be easy for site visitors to locate. It also should include significant categories that make it simple for users to find the information they look for.
To structure your navigation menu and the categories efficiently, it should answer to common questions a new customer to your business may ask, like:
- What broad types of products or services do you offer?
- How much do those items or services cost?
- What is the geographic location of your business?
- What are your available hours, and which area do you cover?
- How to purchase products or services, and what are the payment methods?
Preferably, clean navigation should use logical sequencing and titles that help customers identify the section of your website they need to visit at ease.
Let’s face it, you’ve visited a particular website for some information and found it very difficult to discover your desired data. Isn’t it be annoying? Feel your visitors this way and make their journey pleasing. By creating quick and straightforward links will let your audience navigate instantly.
Moreover, too many clicks create a bad image for business. Keep the information reachable within 2-3 clicks or less so that users feel comfortable navigating your site as easy as expected and engage with it by spending more time on your site.
- Mobile friendly:
Research in 2019 shows the worldwide mobile phone traffic market share is 49.11% compared to desktop traffic at 47.02%. It clarifies how we are living in a mobile world and why it is necessary.
The users prefer content that is easy to view. They will get frustrated and leave if your site’s text and pictures get too small to comprehend.
Make your site compatible with any user devices such as- tablets, mobile phones, and desktops to spread your content as many visitors as possible. For this, your website may require a responsive theme that will automatically adjust to fit the device it is on.
Five simple hacks to make a Mobile Version of your website:
- Use a Responsive Theme
- Focus on Simple Designs
- Optimize Image Size
- Don’t Use Flash
- Use Standard Fonts
- Call to Action
A call to action or CTA is an image or text that stimuli visitors or customers to take a particular action. CTA intrigues your visitors to convert into customers through the customer journey and monitor them after the decision making. Your call to action can be to schedule a consultation request for more information or download a free report.
What do your customers want to do after they find what they are looking for? They want to reach you, and the way to enter should be as simple as possible. There, issue links and information on sales and promotions about your product that customers might be interested in.
However, for a larger and stronger client base, you should take further steps for email marketing. Offer a lead magnet to your visitors and collect their Gmail for future outreach, Lead magnet is an effective way to understand what your visitors want to get from you. Delivering their desired information may push them converting from visitors into customers.
- FAQ page
The FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on your website is collective set of relevant questions that your customers may ask sooner or later about your products and services. These days FAQ page is a popular way to satisfy your customers before they are asking for it.
FAQ pages can offer lots of benefits, such as:
- Improve the customer experience
- Deliver quick information to customers before making a purchasing decision
- Reduce the time and effort your employees need to answer common questions
- Boosting sales since by facilitating decision making
- Increase your online visibility on Google and other search engines
The more you involve with customers online and offline, the more you understand the patterns of which types of information customers need, and the questions that arise related to your products or services. By providing a page of frequently asked questions and their answers on your site, it gets easier for customers to learn the detailed information they seek.
Though there is no universal FAQ template to follow, there are a few questions that are common across industries. Here are some of the big ones:
- Where are you located?
- When will I receive my order?
- What are the payment methods?
- What are the international taxes, duties, etc. that I have to pay?
- What is the return policy?
- How is the product made? Where do the materials come from?
- How do I make sure I order the right size?
- How do I contact your company if my question isn’t answered here?
- The promise
To show the visitors that you understand the challenges they face, you should put the promise headline above the fold on your homepage. Let them feel you have the solution they are seeking for and make a promise that will solve their problems.
Now about the trust issue, tell me what the first thing that pops up on your mind when you land on a new website is? They try to understand is it a scam by analyzing some factors.
Focus on severe issues like- your content must be well organized and grammatically correct. Bad grammar and messy content is a big turn off for everyone. Moreover, make sure that you maintain a consistent design on every page and include contact information and links to social media pages for increasing trustability and assurance.
Here are five things that will help to gain the trust of your visitors:
- Make sure your website is HTTPS secure
- Show your face
- Add social proof via testimonials
- Provide business contact information
- Create helpful content resources
Small Business Website Design Examples
Don’t copy your competitors, get inspiration from them. You’ll find fascinating insights analyzing others’ websites. Make something unique that’ll blow your audience at first glance. Here are some examples of small business websites:
- Flatland Coffee Roasters
- Native Union
- Loganville Child Care
- The balloon queen
- Brass and Lantern Inn
- Fortnight Studio
- The Cunningham Team
- Nalena Ayurveda
Final thoughts on the elements of Small Business Website
A good website is a great tool to maintain and grow a company. For this, make efforts to strengthen these elements of a website to the highest level possible. When you succeed in doing so, your website will make a long-term and positive impression on the customers that will lead you to create a loyal fanbase.
Every year, Revolution is making the competition harder and harder and new elements and features are adding in website design to impress the visitors and customers. Designs inspire people to take action telling them stories about your company. Factor like responsiveness is used to scale how content looks on a specific device.
Keep it in your mind that it’s not necessary to include each trend that comes about on your website. It would be best if you considered flourishing on specific ones that have the potential to improve your visitor’s experience
As there are so many options to choose from, it is quite challenging to decide which ones are worthy of considering. My advice is to implement these five essential website elements into your site, to make a small business website an online platform that brings customers directly to your business, no matter where they live.