A business website can help attract customers and boost sales whether you're running an online or a brick-and-mortar business. But creating a website that clearly conveys your brand and business offering can present a challenge. Read on to learn what to include in a small business website.
Your business website address is as important as a physical business address in attracting customers or clients. It can even determine whether they click through to the website or not. Whether you choose a .com or .org domain extension, pick a domain that reflects your business name, products or services.
Prospective customers and clients should be able to associate the domain with your brand. Ideally, you'd get a domain name that represents your business exactly (www.businessname.com) but it's getting harder and harder to find exact domain name. Some good advice is to try and get specific with your domain name. If you run a plumbing operation in Pasadena, Texas, you'll likely not be able to get plumbing.com, texasplumbing.com or even Houstonplumbing.com. But you may be able to get PasadenaPlumber.com and that may serve your customers better. Of course, try to avoid non-essential words, numbers or hyphens if you can. This will make it easier for your customers to remember and to type in.
You can't get your business website up and running until you acquire a web-hosting server to host the domain and site content. The choice of web hosting provider is important because it can affect the speed, up-time, and even the security the website. These variables can either attract or turn away potential customers. Today, there are numerous web hosting providers to choose from. Choose a reputable web host that fits your budget now but can also scale with the growing traffic of your site.
Everyone has visited a business website that is visually pleasing but does not clearly convey what the business does. These websites do little to persuade prospective customers and clients to frequent that business. Clearly communicate your service or product offering with relevant content. Don't forget to include supplemental resources specific to your industry. For example, if you run a restaurant, include an online menu. If, you sell clothing, include an online product catalog or store.
It's not enough to convey your business offering if you don't encourage them to act on that offer. If you provide a service, encourage visitors to inquire about it by email, phone or through a web-based form. If you sell products online, include a prominent internal or external link to where they can buy or download them. For store-front businesses, include a memo to call or visit your business during store hours. Of course, this means that your website should also prominently display a phone number, email address, physical address and store hours.
A 2014 study by Conductor revealed that 64 percent of website visitors came from organic search. Today, the "findability" factor of your business website is more important than ever before. When deciding what to include in a small business website, educate yourself about search engine optimization (SEO) strategies from reliable resources like Moz.
Then, look for opportunities to make your website structure, text, images and even metadata more SEO-friendly. This can boost the odds that your intended audience will find and return to your business website. In the process, you will improve the accessibility, navigation and overall usability of the site.