|In this column, I have previously written that 60 percent of small businesses do not have a website. So you have decided to get a website, but what content do you add? I will go over the must have information that every website needs to be successful.
Contact Information and Hours of Operation:
The majority of your customers will search online for a place of business before ever coming into your store or office. One key piece of information that needs to be prominently displayed at the top and bottom of every website is your businesses contact information and hours of operation. A customer might want search for your business specifically just for this information. Make it easy for them to find it.
Many customers would rather send you an email than call you. The best way to do this is to have a simple contact form that allows them to send you an email directly on your site. Include spaces for their name, phone number, email address, and message. Never put your email address directly on your site. Doing so will invite spam messages to that email address.
Social Media Buttons:
A simple Google search will come up with dozens of great looking social media buttons that you can link to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. This allows your customers to easily follow your business, and will allow you to continue to engage them on those platforms.
Good Looking Pictures:
A picture says a thousand words, and your website is no different. Use high quality images you have that tell your story. You can also purchase professional stock images on many sites. Stock images allow the non-professional to add great looking images that will expand your message.
A professionally designed logo will give the sense of a professionally run business. Gain trust with your customer by doing the little things that set your site apart from other companies. Most professionally designed logos can be made for less than $500, and can be used in other marketing efforts. This investment is critical for your business.
Well Written Content:
Take the time to write clear and concise content that not only explains why customers should patron your business, but also gives them a good call to action. A call to action might be as simple as “Call us today for a quote” or “Come by tonight for the best steak in town”. A call to action gives a specific action and time frame for your customer. When writing content for your site, also include specific key words and phrases that you feel might be searched for by your customers on a search engine. An example of this might be “Serving the printing needs of Murfreesboro for ten years”. The words printing and Murfreesboro will help search engines determine the best place to send a searching customer.
Customers want to do business with people they trust. A good way to build trust is to write an About Us page. This page should tell the story of your business, and add text about the business owner and employees. Good looking pictures of you and your staff will go a long way to build trust and give your customers a familiar face when they visit your business.
Another way to gain trust in your business is to list testimonials from previous or current customers. Their praise of your business goes a long way in helping you gain new customers. Be sure to add the customer’s name to their testimonial for added credibility.
Email Newsletter Sign-Up Form:
If you have gotten traffic on your site from your customers, invite them to receive additional information or promotions from your regular newsletters. Most email marketing platforms provide a code you can add to your site that will place them in your email list.
Embed a Google Map of your location to assist your customers in finding your business. This is especially helpful for customers unfamiliar with your location, or searching on their cell phones.
By implementing these critical must haves, your business website will start to work for you. Make it easy for your customers to find the information they are looking for, and give them a reason to purchase your products and services. MP
Pete Adams is Managing Director of Bondware Web Solutions in Murfreesboro.
If you have questions about anything tech related that you would like to be answered, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Pete will attempt to answer those questions and post them in this regularly written piece.