50 Must-Have Features of a Small Business Website
A website is the digital calling card for your business. It’s essential nowadays for every small business to have a professional and engaging website. Whether you have a brick and mortar business, provide a service or sell items online, most of your potential customers will see your website before anything else and make a judgment about whether or not to buy something from you. What are the most important features of a great small business website? Check out this infographic from 99MediaLab.
A Catchy and Relevant Domain Name
A good domain name is the very first thing you need to build a website. This is your online address or URL. Your domain should be relevant to your business and easy for people to remember. Keep in mind that you may want to list your website on printed material such as a business card or flyer. The shorter it is, the easier it will be for people to type it in. If you can, get a domain that ends in .com, as this is the most widely used and familiar extension.
Make sure that your website makes it easy for customers to find you, email you or call you. Contact information should be clearly visible on your website’s home page. It’s useful to have a contact form that people can use to email you. If you have a physical location, include directions and connect it to Google Maps.
You want to make it as simple as possible for people to find the information they need on your website. The best place for a navigation bar is near the top of each page. This should list every important page on your website. Make sure your pages are named so visitors know exactly what they’ll find. For example, a business that sells clothing might have pages named Shirts, Shoes, Accessories, Dresses, etc.
A website that’s all text won’t have much visual appeal. The internet is getting more and more image-oriented. The type of images you have will naturally depend on your business. They should be interesting enough to capture visitors’ attention. Photos of actual people and locations are always better than generic stock images. On the other hand, too many images create a cluttered look and cause pages to load slowly.
Testimonials and Reviews
Reviews and testimonials are extremely important for building trust and credibility. Posting these on your website reassures visitors that your business is reputable and that you have satisfied customers. Encourage your customers to write testimonials. Video testimonials are especially effective.
Many small business websites don’t have a blog. This is, however, a powerful feature that makes your site more interesting, valuable and SEO-friendly. A blog gives you a chance to write about topics that your customers care about. If you keep adding blog posts, you’ll be creating content that the search engines will index, making your website easier to find. You’ll also be building credibility as an expert in your industry.
A Trust or Security Seal
A trust seal lets people know that you’re a legitimate business that can be trusted. This is especially important if you’re selling anything directly from your website. There are several types of seals for websites. Security seals such as SiteLock and Trust Guard are essential for e-commerce sites. All types of businesses can benefit from buyer protection seals from sites such as the Better Business Bureau and BuySafe.
Call to Action
Don’t forget to put calls to action on your website. If you want visitors to leave their email address and sign up for your newsletter, make sure you have a visible opt-in form. If you want them to call you, tell them to do so. Many visitors won’t take the action you want, without being prompted. Calls to action should be on every page of your website where you want the visitors to take a certain action.