Whether you are just getting started with a new website or are looking to improve the website you have had for years, deciding where to begin can often be a daunting task. Here are eight simple tips to get you started in getting the most out of your small business website.
1) Keep your homepage simple
Your homepage will be the deciding factor in whether someone will venture further into your website or leave, so make sure it’s good! Although information is important, your homepage does not exist to overwhelm the visitor. The homepage is there to provide basic information about your business and should address criteria such as name of the company, phone number, range of services/products offered, and area served. Any further information about these topics should be answered in subsequent pages of your website.
2) Make your contact information easy to find
It shouldn’t be difficult for potential customers to get in touch with you. Other than your business offering, your contact information should be the easiest thing to find on your website. When your website visitors have a difficult time locating the information they need quickly and easily, they often leave with no intention of returning. For this reason, your contact information, including phone number, location, and email address, should be available and clearly labelled on a contact page. Your phone number should also be listed in the header of the website so that it is clearly visible regardless of the page the user is currently on.
3) Include quality pictures
Whether you are selling handmade jewellery, homemade cupcakes, or whatever else, a good photograph will sell your product more effectively than anything else on your website. Even if you have very limited resources and you are therefore just taking pictures with your phone, ensure these pictures are clear and of high quality. They should show off your products and make them look as good as possible. If you are providing a service, such as dog walking or house cleaning, include pictures of the dogs or before-and-after pictures of your latest projects. The only thing that is important is that the images look professional (even if they aren’t) so that your business looks professional.
4) Include relevant information
Whilst this might seem very basic, people often provide far too much or not enough relevant information. Think like your customer to find the right balance and provide information that is relevant to them. This includes pricing options, product/service features, delivery speed and cost, business hours, and anything else a customer might consider before buying from you. Pricing is the most pertinent; people like to know what they’re getting themselves into financially and a clear pricing structure will shorten the time they spend figuring out if your business meets their needs. If your website is starting to look cluttered or messy, review what information you have included and ask yourself if it is relevant and helps you get custom.
5) Add customer testimonials
Customer testimonials can add a lot of credibility to your business. However, as with the website pictures, these are often done in a very amateur fashion. Your testimonials should be detailed and well written, thereby giving potential customers confidence in you and your business. It helps if the testimonials include reviews about different aspects of your business. For example, include one review about the quality of your product or service and another about your professional and timely manner. If you are already using testimonials on your website, think about updating them or adding new ones to reassure repeat visitors.
6) List the benefits of your products of services
Give potential customers a quick overview summarising the reasons to choose you. These can include time of delivery, quality of service, qualifications or awards you’ve achieved and anything else that is relevant to your business. They should be easy to read, preferably bullet points. People don’t like to read long blocks of text online. They want to find what they are looking for, complete the action and move on to something else. And while it’s tempting to include every single benefit you can think of, too much information can confuse or overwhelm the reader so remember to be concise.
7) Link to your social media profiles
Include links to your Facebook, Twitter and any other social media you use (and regularly update) for your business. Your social media can give potential customers more information about you and the service you provide. You likely have more pictures and content about your product or service on social media and you want users to be able to find these easily. Furthermore, people like to see how businesses interact with their customers through social media; this is an opportunity to showcase your customer service.
8) Insert a clear call to action
Call to actions should be on every page of your website. Use call to actions like “call now” or “order here” to guide the customer through the process of completing the transaction. But make sure you vary them and that they are relevant to the content of that page. For example, use “Get in touch!” on your contact page but “Order Now!” on your product/service page. The purpose of your website is to sell and this is an easy way to remind visitors to buy.
These eight tips give you a starting point to help you improve your small business website. Remember to also ask for feedback from friends or family to continuously improve what you’ve got. The more honest feedback you are able to collect, the better your website will be. Good luck!