In today's competitive and technology-driven world, your small-business website is one of its most valuable tools for everything from finding new customers to maintaining quality employees. But if you're not a web design professional, how can you know when you have a great website? Here are five key elements your site should include to get its job done well.
A Reason to Stay
As visitors land on your homepage, they immediately make the decision whether to stay or to go back and try another link. You must grab their attention by convincing them as quickly as possible that this is where they should be. Show visitors that you understand their needs and motivations - and that you're the one to solve them.
How you grab customers' attention depends on you and your services. An attorney, for instance, may advertise their qualifications and years of experience. A dog-walking service might show how much they love and respect your pets. And a jewelry maker will probably start out with lots of shiny baubles to attract the attention of gem lovers.
An Easy Flow
How simple and intuitive is using the various parts of your website? Menus should be up front and on top so that people can easily locate them at all times. Use clickable buttons along with text for a more intuitive way to change screens. And wording should be simple and consistent throughout the site so people can always find the next choice.
To create a logical flow, design a flow chart representing how you want customers or other visitors to move through your site.
A microbrewery tasting room, for instance, begins with a 21-and-over disclaimer page. Then, it may want to take visitors on a virtual brewery tour, introduce the brew masters, show visitors the different beers on tap, and then finish up with their tasting room hours and special events.
The Business Culture
To mesh well with clients, you want them to understand who you are and how you can help them. On a website, there are a few natural places to do this. You should have an About Us page that's easily accessed from the homepage.
The About Us section is where people get to know you. Use it to express your business personality. Tell a short story about your company's creation. Talk about its goals and culture. Include biographies of the owner(s) or management team.
Other website pages can help establish who you are. A blog page expresses the company's personality and interests. Contact pages show transparency and service-mindedness. And an FAQ page builds confidence that customers are treated well and cared for.
A Recognizable Branding
Branding is vital to establishing your business in people's minds. Your brand should be immediately visible on every website page and in how it flows. This brand is more than just your logo. It involves the colors, font choices, terminology, graphic images, and voice used in your business advertising.
Create a singular sense of style and tone for the entire site - from the greeting on the home page to the way you answer your Frequently Asked Questions.
The Products and Services
Don't get so caught up in branding or marketing that you forget to focus on generating leads and income. Your first lead-generating feature is often an offer or deal on the homepage. Then, products and services pages should be clear and helpful, providing enough details to make choices easy while not filling customers' brains with too much information.
If the website is actually selling products, work to make this a seamless transaction that the customer can complete on their own. If not actually including any direct sales, services pages should easily and logically help clients take the next step in buying your services.
If successfully integrating all these elements sounds daunting to you, contact AAA McKinstry today. Our writing and web content professionals help small businesses every day to create a personalized website that builds trust, creates relationships, and has fun. We can help you too.