We get a lot of questions from business owners about what makes a good small business website. Development of a small business website is a pretty important thing to pay attention to since these days your website pretty much rests at the center of any good modern day marketing effort.
Every website is a little bit different. However, I can give you 9 design elements that will help you succeed.
1. WordPress Integration
WordPress is so SEO and user friendly that it barely makes sense not to use it. There are other content management platforms, but many of them are needlessly complicated and few are as easy to customize.
Ease of use and customization are important. Frankly, you’re already pressed for time. There’s no good reason to create a website that’s going to be a headache for you to update.
If you’re doing it yourself, most hosting services will let you install WordPress simply by clicking the appropriate link.
2. A Custom, Branded Theme
Free themes just aren’t going to cut it. You want a clean, attractive, personalized WordPrss theme that helps you communicate your business brand.
When you do this, you’ll get a real edge over the competition that helps you grow your business simply by making you look more interesting, professional, and credible.
Your website is the one place that customers will go to find you and evaluate your products or services. Spend the money.
3. A Unique Selling Proposition
You can add this on an “About Us” page or a “Why Us” page, but it needs to be there. And 91% of the words on that page need to be all about the customer’s needs and problems, not how great you are.
See my previous post about writing a good About Page if you’re not sure how to do this.
4. A Clean, Navigable Menu
Make your site easy to get around. Put a drop-down menu right at the top.
Make good use of sub-menus so that you’re not crowding up the page. Make sure that the menu includes the following items:
- Your Home Page
- Your Major Products or Services
- Your Service Area (If Applicable)
- Your Contact Information
- Your Blog
What about testimonials? Some people put them on a separate tab, others feature them right on their home page so that people can see them right away.
5. A Blog
You need one.
It needs to be updated with relevant content at least twice a week. If you’re not sure what to put on your blog, see the following articles:
- How Often Should a Contractor Update a Blog?
- 2 Super Simple Ways To Generate Awesome Content With Your Smartphone
- 3 Ways to Create Website Content When you Hate to Write
Each blog post should contain at least 250 words of relevant, readable, useful information that’s interesting to your customers. Think about what your customers ask you all the time – that stuff is a goldmine for potential blog post topics.
Photos and videos are a big plus whenever and wherever appropriate.
6. Social Sharing Buttons
Google is using all sorts of social indicators to determine how and where to rank content. That means you need to encourage your visitors to share your content.
You can do this by adding share buttons to your site. They don’t have to display the share count if you don’t want them to – there are plenty of buttons that are just sharing icons.
7. Local Keywords Whenever Appropriate
If you do business in a specific place (and most small businesses do) then you need to take every appropriate opportunity to work the names of that place into your website. This will help you draw visitors who are actually equipped to do business with you.
8. A Contact Form
A contact form will let you reach out to people who visit your website. It builds the bridge between passive readers and new customers.
Just make sure that you don’t overdo it with your contact form. If you do, you could lose sales.
9. A Footer with your Address On It
Make sure the address matches the one in Google+ Local exactly. That way you will naturally build citations with each and every web page you create, which will help you rank higher in local search results.
Get Help if You’re Overwhelmed
Reading this list might have given you an idea of just how much goes into professional internet marketing. If you’re still not sure what to do, we can help.