Whether you own a small family business or are heading a multinational company, a nice user-friendly website is the need of the hour. The world has been made a smaller place now, with everything being connected online. You don’t want to be left without a piece of the cake simply because you don’t have a website.
A good website is not only about lots of content, or a flashy logo, or great pictures! It is more important to have the proper information displayed, with easy navigation, so that your users get exactly what they came looking for. They shouldn’t leave disappointed, nor should they be overwhelmed. They have certain expectations when they visit your site. You need to set up an online space that specifically and properly represents your business.
So, for those of you small business owners who are looking to redesign your website or even those who want to set up a new website, if you are wondering about what features your website should have, sit back and read the upcoming paragraphs carefully. You’ll be all set.
Must-have Features for Every Small Business Website
The homepage is the first page a lot of your visitors will land on. It would be the first impression and an introduction to your brand, and you have just a few seconds to get a user’s attention. It does more things than one. It would tell your visitors who you are, what you do, an overview of your brand, and would begin to engage interested users. It will give everyone an idea of what you can do for them, and what all they can find on your website.
The home page should have great headlines; this is necessary to catch the attention of users quickly. There should be appropriate keywords in the content, so as to be able to reach out to search engines too. Don’t try to sell something right away on this page. Instead, include ‘call to action’ elements to get users engaged. The layout and navigation should be simple and user-friendly. You can use WordPress themes which have various homepage templates and sticky header, and scroll to top buttons for easy navigation.
This feature will give you the chance to lay out the history of your business and tell users more about what you are doing. Here, you can also showcase how you are different from your competitors. This is a very important feature, and one of the most accessed one of a website.
Potential customers would enjoy learning more about the business, and this is where you can create a personal connection with them. Listing your mission statement in a relatable way is a good idea. This feature should go on to offer more insights into your brand, besides your business practices and philosophies. Include images of your key employees with content that is written in the first person. And at the end, include a ‘call to action’ that channels users to other areas of your website, like the products and services page for example.
This page should explain in more detail exactly what your business offers. It must include details about the various options available to customers. A list of services can help users choose one option over another. A brief summary of each and every product or service must be put here. If needed, links can be given to every product for a more detailed explanation. Users would be interested in product features and how something would benefit them.
Images and prices should be included on this page to give users a clear idea of what’s on offer. Make sure you address key points here so that users can decide on their next action easily. In other words, this page should act like a directory leading to other pages finally offering products or services.
Now we are talking business. This is where you actually get to sell your products or services. Its layout is of utmost importance if you want to make an impact and do good business. Customers need to feel at home here, and all relaxed.
The order page should be simple and very easy to use. It should not distract customers from the main idea – to order. Keep this page extremely clean and working, and upsell along the way. The actual process of placing an order should be as simple as possible. Make sure you accept all the convenient methods of payment. Continuously keep an eye on this page, and understand your user experiences.
Everyone wants to see what they are going to get when they become a customer of business, be it a product or a service. This feature is crucial for promoting yourself. Products are easy to display but do not shy away from posting images even if you have a service to offer. Anything from landscaping to plumbing, you need to display your service properly to attract customers.
Images speak a lot more than words. They connect with users in a much better way. High-resolution professional photographs are what you should post here for everyone to see.
Don’t make the mistake of getting into document files and FTP for your website. Simply create a blog page and churn out relevant and creative content. This would be useful to users, and well as for ranking in search engines to drive organic traffic to your blog. It is also a simple way of continuously adding new content to a website. The right content will also help you market yourself online in a great way.
Try to answer all basic questions about your business through the content you generate. Communicate with your customers through content. This is an excellent PR tool that can be done without any extravagant coding. Set up a blog section on your website and just go on publishing content related to your business.
There are a lot of common questions that potential customers would need to ask. The FAQ feature will serve that purpose. You need, to be honest here, and answer in a positive way so that all doubts are cleared, and your customers can take the next step towards patronizing your business.
This feature/ section will educate customers easily and save you from getting a lot of doubt-related inquiries through email and phone. It will save you and your staff a lot of time. Just make sure you answer all product and service related queries that may arise in an honest and easy-to-understand way.
Showcase your business some more here. This feature gives you the chance to show how awesome you are, and what sets you apart from the competition. Testimonials enhance your reputation, trust, and credibility, and users will realize that they can totally depend on you.
Testimonials that have photos and contact details are more relied upon. This will only build the credibility of your brand. Keep them short and in no way let them seem demanding. If your brand is as good as you say, most part and present customers will happily provide testimonials to be put up on this page of your website.
All users need that their information is completely safe with you. This is the page where you tell them that. List out all the policies you have to help protect your business and its customers. Privacy is a major concern of all users in today’s world. How data might be used is on all of our minds, even though this page might not be visited a lot by customers.
You would need to tell all your customers if and how the information they share with you would be used in any and every way. In the case of any legal issue, this page will also help defend you. Not to forget, search engines also like to see this page on a website.
Even though you may have posted your basic contact details on your home page, you need a dedicated page with all your contact details. Whatever business you are in, always put down details like address, phone number, fax number, email address, social media links, etc. A separate ‘contact us’ form would also do no harm.
Users should not have to rack their brains regarding how to go about contacting you. If it is a complicated process, they will just go elsewhere, and you would lose sales. Make no mistake; people do not trust businesses that do not have a ‘contact us’ option.
Before launching your business online, make sure your website has all of these features mentioned in this list up and running. There are many WordPress themes which can be used to have all these features on your website. Your website should be easy to navigate, clutter-free, professional, containing the right content, and completely trustworthy. Will all this in place, you are on the right path to give your business all the necessary tools to be successful online.