Small businesses need to provide an online user experience that is relevant to their users—and these days, this most often means modern—if they wish to continue to draw and engage their audience online. A great way for website owners to ensure they stay relevant to busy and distracted users is by incorporating modern website design standards into their website. This creates a good user experience and keeps the website up-to-date with (or ahead-of, preferably) the competition while also connecting them directly with their customer base through social media channels like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
It’s not uncommon to find small business owners in a dilemma, needing a website that generates leads and sales, but having little to no web design experience and a company to run. The best managerial advice applies here just as it does in the boardroom — delegation is key. If you’re not a website design pro, that’s okay. In fact, most small business owners aren’t, which is why they partner with a professional website development company who is.
There are a number of essential elements that every small business website should include in their web design strategy, and it is useful to familiarise yourself with the do’s and don’ts in advance. This ensures the website you have built is appropriate for your business, but more importantly, your soon-to-be clients who will visit the site. Here we’ll go over 7 elements that every small business website should include so you can be ready with the necessary information for your website design when the time comes.
7 Elements Every Small Business Website Should Include
Regardless of whether you’re starting from scratch or you already have a website, there are a few elements that should always be a priority for your business’ website, and that can help give you a sense of the structure and scope of the project.
1. A Clear Description of the Products and or Services You Provide
This may sound obvious, but believe it or not, this point frequently gets overlooked in an attempt to show information that isn’t immediately important to a user. When someone comes to your website, they should be able to tell in seconds what the site or page is about.
The hard reality is that when a user comes to your website, you only have 3-5 seconds to capture their attention. To make those few seconds count, state very clearly in your banner these two things: What you do, and how that will relieve the pain points your viewer is experiencing. When a user lands on your Home page, this is the only thing they care about. Once the user sees you specialize in what they need, and that you understand that need, they’ll know they’re in the right place. Only after they feel that, will they take the time to learn more about your business.
2. A Site that is Easy to Navigate
Make sure that your visitors have a clear, easy-to-use navigation experience on your site. Dropdowns in your navigation menu make it easier for visitors to overview your content regardless of what page they are on. Your navigation should be consistent, clearly organised, no more than 2 levels deep, and allow visitors to find anything they are looking for in just a couple of clicks.
3. Contact Information that is Easily Found
Make it easy for potential customers to contact your business. If you are hard to reach, they will likely leave and go to a competitor who makes it easy for them. People want the information they are seeking instantly and have come to expect this from other online experiences. To ensure users get what they need, include your contact details in a variety of obvious locations, such as in the top corner of your home page, or the footer or sidebar of each page.
Not only should your contact information be easy to find, but it should also include several ways in which visitors can contact you (e.g. phone, email, a contact form, social media, etc). It is also recommended that you include a link to your address on Google Maps. By providing several different means of communication, you are allowing visitors to your website to contact you in a manner they prefer.
4. Honest Customer Testimonials
Honest reviews from previous customers can help make your products and your services more tangible. These testimonials can also help potential customers build trust in you, since they can confirm if what you are offering fits their needs and that the experience was good, etc..
5. Clear Calls to Action
Your website should be worded in such a way that it is clear to your visitors what you would like them to do next and you can do this with different calls to action. For instance, you may want them to call for a free quote, schedule and appointment, or sign up to your website newsletter to receive the latest product offers and deals.
Regardless of the action, it is important that the call to action is clear and it grabs your visitors’ attention. Put thought into how you would like your visitors to engage with your website then make the most of elements like vivid buttons, curated landing pages, and clever, direct instructions.
6. Fresh, High-Quality Content
It is likely that your website will be the first contact a visitor makes with your business. This means that your website will be creating the first impression on behalf of your business. Therefore, it’s important that you not only give users what they are looking for but you also give them a reason to return to your website. Simply put, you need to stand out, and here is where original, well-written and valuable content comes into its own. Make sure you create these types of blog posts regularly and that your website is also connected to your social media feeds.
When creating blog posts for your website, there are a few things to consider:
- Use short paragraphs with headers
- Use bullet points whenever possible
- Highlight the important words or phrases you use
7. A Friendly Design
In general, people’s attention spans are short and most don’t have the time nor the patience to take a deep dive into your website. Typically, they will scan through the content of a webpage, only slowing down when they find information of interest to them. The best way to capitalise on this is to organise the content of your website in such a way that is logical from a user’s standpoint and easily accessible. It is also important to use quality images and colouring that compliment your main messages.
Create Your Small Business Website Today
The reality is that website development trends change and small business websites need to be updated regularly to ensure they stay fresh, are up-to-date and include all these important features.
When you trust the experts at HPX Media with designing your website, you can rest easy knowing that your site is tailored for your audience, kept current with updates and security features, and optimised to run at its full capacity.
Everything we design is custom-tailored to your business at the same level of design found in larger agencies. We have an eye not only for what looks good for your business but, perhaps more importantly, what will work well for your traffic.
If your plans involve a new website or taking some of these things off of your to-do list, schedule a free consultation to see what HPX Media can do so you can get back to what you love.