Is your small business website performing as well as it should be? Is it attracting the right people and converting them into sales? Is it stable and reliable? Does it look great on devices of any size?
When it comes to a small businesses website, there are certain things you should ensure you are doing correctly in order to make the best possible impression with your potential customers. The following list are things we think are important
1. A catchy domain name
Your domain name is your address on the world wide web (ours is highlandspeedweb.co.uk).
In order to stand the best possible chance of people remembering the address of your website, it’s best not to make it too long. Nobody is going to remember www.alanjohnsonplumbingsolutionsinverness.co.uk.
If you’re a UK business, it is recommended you use either a .com or .co.uk domain name. Using one of the lesser-known domain names might make it difficult for people to remember the address of your website.
If you don’t yet have a domain name, you can check availability using this free tool.
2. Easy to find contact information
Sometimes, the only reason somebody is on your website is to find out how to contact you. Don’t make it difficult for them! You’ll generally want your contact details visible as soon as the website loads (perhaps in the header), as well as a clear link to the ‘contact us’ page, where you’ll list the different ways people can contact you.
3. Easy to use navigation
Don’t make it hard for your visitors to find their way around your website. Your navigation menu should be visible as soon as the website loads. If you have a lot of pages on the website, organise the menu items into a drop-down menu.
At Highland Speed Web, we use ‘sticky headers’. This means that your website’s navigation menu is visible on the screen at all times. If a user wants to find a specific page, they have quick access to it at any time.
4. Build Trust
Before a customer is willing to buy from you, they want to know whether they can trust you. One of the best way to put them at ease is to include testimonials and reviews on your website.
Go through past emails or surveys, and see if you can find some positive reviews for your company. It’s always a good idea to keep a log of positive feedback.
Are you on Trust Pilot? If not, you should really consider signing up. As you collect more and more positive reviews, potential customers will be more likely to get in touch. Trust Pilot reviews can then be displayed on your website.
We would recommend having a dedicated ‘testimonials’ page on your website, as well as displaying some testimonials on your homepage. Show your customers that they can trust you to deliver what you say you will.
Does your current website keep regular backups? If so, where are the backups stored? The question you need to ask is “If my web server suffered a catastrophic crash and wiped everything, would I be able to easily and quickly get my website back online?”
If the answer to this question is “I don’t know”, then you need to find out! Particularly if your website is regularly updated (with blog posts, products, comments, etc).
At Highland Speed Web, we use two independent backup systems – one in WordPress, and one on the server. Backups are stored off-server, meaning that even if the server became corrupted, your website could still be recovered.
6. Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is a wide-ranging subject, and out of the scope of this article. With that said, there are certain principles you should ensure your website follows in order to be favoured by search engines:
- Word count – Google likes web pages with lots of content. It’s generally recommended that each page on your website has between 500-1000 words.
- Ensure every page has a ‘page title’ and ‘meta description’. This is one of the ways search engines ‘learn’ what your website is about.
- Make the pages on your website quite specific. To stand a good chance of ranking on Google, you want to have unique content. So let’s say you’re a plumber based in Inverness. Don’t just list the services you offer on one page, but split them so each service is on its own page. This way if somebody searches for “radiator repairs Inverness” they are more likely to find your ‘radiator’ services page than they would have otherwise been if all of your services were on the same page.
Confused by this? Don’t worry about it, if you purchase a website from us, we will keep you right!
7. Business Hours
It sounds simple, but this is another common reason people visit websites. It’s 4:45 on a Friday afternoon, are you still open? Make sure your business hours are clearly displayed.
8. A responsive website
A responsive website means one that looks great no matter what device you use to look at it, whether it’s a big monitor, a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile phone.
Since the rise of smartphones, having a responsive website is essential. Have you ever been on a website where you’ve had to zoom in to read the text, or scroll left and right to see the whole page? It’s annoying, isn’t it?
Every website we create is responsive. With over 50% of all website visits coming from mobile devices, it’s essential that you cater to this massive audience.
9. Show your human side
Customers want to know who you are. If they are going to buy from you, often they’d like to know a little bit about you. There are a few different ways you could do this.
One is to have an ‘about us’ page, where you could write a little about the history of your company. How did you get started? What areas do you operate in? What are your business principles?
Another way is to include plenty of pictures of your team on your website. You could even have a ‘meet the team’ page, with photos and a little biography of each team member.
Simple things like this help to show your potential customers who you are, and helps build trust with your audience.
What is it you want the visitors to your website to do? Do you want them to phone you? If so, make sure your phone number is easy to find. It should be in multiple places, and really stand out.
Same thing if you want them to email you, or visit your shop. Make your call-to-action clear and un-missable.