The first investment you need to make as a small business owner is to create (you, if you have the knowledge or a professional) an attractive website, that will provide visitors with information such as what you do, how you do it differently than others and how they can contact you.
We’re not talking about going BIG with eye-catching images and interactive features, but rather informative, interesting and “to-the-point” content. Your small business’s website is the first impression potential customers form about you-you don’t want to mess it up.
The key is to keep it simple, easy to navigate and attention-grabbing for all the right reasons (your products/services you have to offer).
The majority of visitors will leave your website immediately if they can’t find what it is they’re looking for and will move on to a competitor, even though they may be more expensive. In a previous article, we discussed the most common fails everybody makes with their small business website. In this one, we are going to explore the basics– all those essential components so that you get the most out of it (attract new clients, that is).
Products / Services page
The first thing you want visitors to notice is what you sell! On your main page, there should be general information about your products or services, so prospective clients can decide whether you’re the right choice or not (which will drive them elsewhere).
Make a list of your products (in a second page preferably) without getting in too many details or using difficult terms for the average person. Bonus point: This will help a lot with your SEO marketing, also!
This is especially true for the services sector, where it’s easy to get carried away and make your small business website jargon-heavy, for no reason. Jargon doesn’t make you appear smart or professional – it drives visitors away from your website because, in most cases, they are looking for an expertise they don’t possess. Try to explain your business solutions using simple terms that answer important questions. Which leads us to the next essential element of your website…
It has to be easy for your website’s visitors to get the information they need, without getting into much trouble and before they decide to move on with a purchase.
For example, you have to provide information about the delivery options you support or instructions on whether your services fit their needs.
For those, and many more reasons, you need to set up an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to answer the most common inquiries someone has when they first contact you. This will give them the answers they need faster so they can decide to contact you for a sale or not. Plus, you avoid a serious amount of overhead in writing emails and answering phones.
This is a very important section of your small business website because it gives you the chance to argue how you are different from others in your niche and why prospective clients should prefer you over some big, fancy company.
The “About” (or “About us”) page essentially is where you can write about how you started, your small business’s philosophy and your vision. Sounds difficult but it really isn’t.
Oftentimes, people start a business to cover a market gap or to answer customer needs that other companies cannot address adequately or cost-effectively. So, this page could be somewhat biographical. For example, maybe you had a lousy Japanese dinner in your area or you’re diabetic and need a sugar-free pastry shop in your neighborhood!
Your personal experience will make visitors feel closer to you and understand how and why you differentiate from other companies in your industry.
Contact Info & Form
Your contact details like address, telephone, email etc., are crucial in making your small business reachable to potential clients. You want them to be distinctly visible in every page of your website, as a header or a footer. A separate page where you mention your office hours and have a contact form is essential, as well.
The contact form is important especially for visitors that bump into your website during the night and want an answer by the next morning to decide whether they’re going to choose you.
Also, an embedded map of your coordinates will enable prospective clients to find you in their GPS easily and visit your physical store. Make sure you update this information whenever changes occur because you don’t want you clients getting a “disconnected” message when they call you. It’s a matter of professionalism!
Happy Customers Testimonials
Testimonials serve as the best advertisement for your products/services and add credibility to your business’s “About” section. You can dedicate a separate page to them or have them in between long texts in your “About us” page, so your visitors read them as they scroll down.
You can also make a slider in each page so they can be interchangeably displayed, along with the satisfied customers’ photos.
Ask for testimonials from your recurring customers and we’re sure they’ll be happy to give them to you!
As we discussed in our small business website fails article, CTAs are important because they can bring you closer to a sale. CTAs are buttons that lead your visitors to either subscribe for a trial of your services, schedule a free consultation session, or contact you for further details. They need to stand out of the rest of the text but align with your branding. They can be funny and catchy phrases that will make your website’s visitors want to take the next step towards buying your products/services.
Pricing (if applicable)
You may or may not include your pricing in your website but in some cases, it’s kind of mandatory in order to attract clients. For example, if you are a plumber, you can make a Pricing page where you list all the services you offer so prospective clients know what to expect from you.
This also shows that you don’t have hidden charges, people really appreciate that and will pick you instead of another professional that will charge them (possibly a lot more) after the work is done. For custom solutions, you can use a CTA so customers can ask for a quote!
Your website essentials to attract clients may vary depending on your niche, but the above “must-haves” apply to almost every industry! Choose the ones that work for you and modify them to match your case and we promise you, you’ll see your sales going up!
Stay tuned! Our next blog will include all the secrets of creating the perfect CTA!