A small business can thrive or die based on its website. Especially in this modern climate, with more and more shoppers turning to their mobile phones to search for products or services to buy, it is more important than ever to get it right.
A good website can encourage sales, improve customer loyalty, and even help you to go viral. A bad website can turn buyers away, leave baskets unpurchased, and see your business fade down the ranks of Google searches into obscurity.
Here are 3 things every small business website needs.
1. Contact information
Even if your business only operates online, you need to give customers a way to contact you. Not just one way, either. Ideally, you should add all of the below:
- An email address and/or contact form
- A phone number, along with the days and times in which you can be expected to answer it
- A map embed along with the full details of your physical address, if applicable
- An FAQ section to help out people who might rather read this than get in touch
2. Search engine optimisation
What is SEO? Search engine optimisation is, simply put, the one thing that can make you a more attractive prospect than your competitors on search results alone. It will help you to move higher in the rankings, and will control how you appear to those searching.
Search engine optimisation techniques include the following:
- The use of keywords in your site text that line up with search terms used by potential customers
- Useful information which has people lingering on your site – the longer they spend, the more Google will think you are a good resource
- Helpful guides and how-tos, as well as factual information, which could get you featured as a top result on searched questions
- A quick-loading website, which is not slowed down by bulky images, or files, or slow-loading web hosting platforms. Google favours sites that are ready to browse as soon as possible. (Check out our super-fast South Africa web hosting packages).
3. Mobile optimisation
The other thing you cannot go without is the ability to adapt your website to different types of screens. It should look great and be easy to navigate and use on PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet, and so on. You can even browse websites through gaming consoles, so making it hard to use is a really bad idea.
Many shoppers, especially younger ones, are doing almost all of their shopping online. You may well have a physical store, but it means nothing if someone cannot navigate your website because the buttons are too small for a phone screen.
You need to have a responsive website, even if it’s just a landing page to collect email addresses for now. Any site which is not responsive and is hard to use on mobile will be losing potential leads like a bucket with a leak.
There are lots of things you might think your website needs – like products or services to sell, a snazzy logo, or a blurb about your company. In truth, these three things are the most important. Without these, you won’t be getting very far. Search engine ranking, ease of use, and ease of contact are absolutely key.