Setting up a website for your small business is a must for every business owner. However, there are various ways your business could suffer setbacks if you don’t have a user-friendly website representing you to the world, and numerous ways that it will benefit if your small business website design is clean, clear, and professional. Herein I shall be discussing 14 factors to consider when setting up a successful small business website.
The importance of having a well designed website for your small, new, or old business really cannot be overstated, it is possibly the most critical tool that you have at your disposal when it comes to exhibiting what your business does, and attracting new customers and leads from across the world.
One major way a well designed small business website can help your business to rank higher in the search engines thereby attracting targeted traffic and audience that converts. Do not miss reading master ways to increase Your sales in 10 hr with the Android app.
Owing to the fact that codes and a high degree of user friendliness are rewarded by the search engines, having a great design for your website will help it to rank higher for the terms that users are looking for when searching for the services that you provide.
The search engines are one of the top places that you can get targeted new clients, this is because clients that comes from search engines queries are particularly valuable, because they have already demonstrated that they have a problem in their life and are in need of solution that you are providing, and that they are willing to take steps to solve it by looking for a service provider like you.
It is very vital to have the basics of your business or services covered prior to launching a new website or implementing new features to your website. Below are 14 basic factors that every business website should have. This will ensure that your website has a solid foundation to build upon.
14 Factors to consider when setting up a successful small business website:
1. Page titles
Make sure every page on your website includes a title that describes the content on that very page. This is important for search engine optimization, as one of the items that search engines considers when ranking your page is the page title. Also, having descriptive page titles will increase usability. Your visitors may have more than one web page open or decide to bookmark your page; therefore you want to ensure that your page title accurately reflects the content of the page.
2. Meta keywords
It is also very vital that your small business web pages should include at least one “meta keyword” area that provides a listing of keywords that accurately describe of the content on the page. TIP: Select the keywords that you want the web page to rank for in search engine results. Though several of the top search engines are increasingly placing less importance on this area, there are still some secondary search engines that will consider your keyword listing when determining your search engine placement? The Meta keywords statement is placed in the header area of your website. If you are working with a designer or webmaster, speak with them about updating this area.
3. Meta description
Your web pages should include a “meta description” area that provides search engines with an accurate description of the content on the page. Ensure that the Meta description tags are descriptive, brief and contain your relative keywords. Some search engines will use the Meta description tag to describe your site when it appears in search engine results.
4. Optimize your site loading speed
Make sure your website is relatively loading fast. It have been seen that so many website developers like to use flash and other gimmicks when they build a website. However, bear in mind that so many of your current and prospective customers might still be using dial-up or other slow connections. There is nothing like a slow website that will cause any user to give up on your website and look elsewhere.
5. Keep your fresh
It is very vital to keep information on your small business website fresh. Merely establishing a web presence does not make any difference if you fail to regularly update its contents. Why would anyone continue to use your website unless there is something new to read? As a local small business owner, you need to keep adding two types of contents – one that interests your existing customer and another that that makes interesting reading for the prospective customers doing research.
6. Professionally designed web pages
Reputable small business websites have attractive, well designed and well functioning user interfaces. Compare your website to the top websites of competing companies in your industry. If you do not feel that your website is professional or portrays an accurate representation of your brand, you should consider a redesign.
Online users often see as unprofessional or untrustworthy businesses with poorly designed or ineffective websites. A small business website does not need to be overly designed or display all of the latest, hot new technologies, but you should at least ensure that your website does not convey an unprofessional image or represent you wrongly. Also, remember that professional designed pages should be properly coded (validated) and not include errors or other issues that will prevent the page from displaying properly and functioning as intended.
7. Functional contact form
A link that directs visitors to your contact page should be on every page of your website. This is to ensure to ensure that your visitors can contact you easily with their questions or comments. Keep the form simple. You will want to allow space for the visitor to input their feedback or question and you will also need a method for responding to them (their email address). If you include too many fields on the contact form, you may discourage the visitor from connecting with you. Only gather the information that you need to effectively answer their question or respond to their feedback swiftly.
8. Effective navigation
Is your website navigation effective? Your website visitors should be able to quickly find the information they need without stress. When reviewing your navigation, ensure that the link titles are clear enough. Try not to be too creative with the website navigation. The link titles used should reflect the terms that your customers use when describing your product or service.
9. Website analytics
You should have access to your website statistics. I recommend that every small business website owner should install Google Analytics on their website. The Google Analytics application provides some level of detailed statistics on your website traffic activities. You will need this information as you monitor your website marketing growth. Also, website analytics can reveal very helpful information about what is working and what is not working for people that visit your site.
10. Call to action
It has been proven over time that average new website visitor remains on a site for less than 10 seconds unless he sees what interests him. If your main objective is to gain new subscribers, sell more widgets or register more event attendees, allocate a prominent area on your website to display your “call to action”. This is the area where you are asking your visitors to “do something”.
Be sure to indicate the benefit of taking such action; don’t simply demand that they “buy now”, “subscribe now” or “attend this event”. Indicate a few brief benefits to taking the action and also provide a link to provide more detail about the product, service or event.
11. Customer focused content
Make sure you provide the kind of information that your customers want and need in a clear and concise manner. The average new website visitor remains on a site for less than 10 seconds. You don’t have much time to convince visitors to buy a product or service, subscribe to a newsletter or attend an event.
Visitors that are new to your website should be able to determine who you are and what service, product or information you are providing in less than 15 seconds. If the navigation area is effective, they should be able to access all other supporting information that they will need to make a decision on whether to continue a business relationship with you and your company.
12. Easy business details
You must also make your business contact information easy to find within your website. Your business name, office address or addresses, telephone numbers, fax number and email addresses should appear on each page. Make it very easy for the website user to get in touch as quickly as possible.
13. Directions to your premises
If you have a physical office location, make sure to provide a very simple and clear directions that makes it easier for the customer to get to your office without much stress. You’d be surprised to find how many people search the Internet for just office directions.
14. Method for staying connected
If you have a business website, you will need a method for staying connected to people that want to patronize or be notified of your new products and services, upcoming events and other changes relevant to your business. There are many ways for building a list of these kind of people that want to stay informed about your business. Two popular options are RSS feeds and email newsletters.
You can use either tool to build a list of customers and potential customers that want to learn more about your service and remain in contact with you and your business. This strategy will not only help you build small business website, it also increases your repeat visitor rate, as you will have an opportunity to call previous visitors back to your website. Remember, there is a way to protect customer data.