Archive for March 12, 2014

10 Essential Things a Small Business Website Must Have

Your website is at the heart of your online marketing. But are you sure your website has the right features required to attract customers and then convert them? Here’s a checklist of things that a small business website must have:

1. Clearly Placed Contact Information

What is the primary action you expect from your visitors – to call you, request more information or visit your business or office? If it’s any of these, then it is necessary to very clearly display your contact information. According to SMB DigitalScape, 6 out of 10 SMB websites in the U.S. are missing a contact number on their home page and 74.7% businesses do not display an email address!

2. Sign Up Forms

Sign up forms are online forms used to collect data from visitors. They are also a great tool for lead capture. Sign up forms provide an instant way for your customers to sign up for your product or service. If your site is being used for lead generation, offer a digital report, booklet, or whitepaper on a desirable topic in exchange for your visitor’s email address.

3. Links to Social Networking Sites

Social media is crucial in today’s business environment. Social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide a way to communicate directly with your customers. According to SMB DigitalScape, less than 20% of SMB websites in the U.S. link to their Facebook page and the figure is even smaller for Twitter and other social networking sites.

4. Live Chat

Live chat is another important way of communicating with your customers. It is also considered as an important lead generation tool because prospects can ask questions directly to the business and learn about its products and services. When you provide your customer the information they need and have established a good rapport online, you are a step closer in converting a visitor to a customer.

5. Right Content

Your website should have the right content – neither too much nor too little. Remember, your visitors will not want to read lengthy web pages. The web pages must provide the right information written in simple and easy-to-understand language. You can also take the help of a professional web designer to understand the best way to arrange information on your website.

6. Engaging Videos

Videos can help to build the credibility of your business and can also be used to attract visitors’ attention. Research has shown that videos can attract and retain attention better than written content.

7. Design of Your Website

Make your website look clean and professional. Forget the tactics of the ‘90s when you needed to make all the web page headings and sub headings bold and jazzy. Hire a professional web designer to help you with your website.

8. Place Your Business Logo

Your logo is an important component of your brand. You should use a high resolution image of your logo and stick it on the upper left corner on all your web pages.

9. Make Your Website Compatible

All your efforts of designing an “effective” website are wasted if you are not found in search results. Make your website search engine friendly so that you appear in their search results. You also need to check the compatibility of your website on all web browsers.

10. Mobile Friendly

This is the most important thing in today’s business world. Your website must be compatible with smart phones and tablets. With the number of mobile searchers increasing in leaps and bounds, it is crucial to make your website compatible with all smart phones, iPhones, and tablets.

What are other items that SMB websites should include for better conversions? Tell us on Facebook and @Twitter.