One of the most important things for any business is their website. It draws in new customers and gives visitors the basic information they need to do business with your company. However, it is still surprising how many small businesses don’t have a website. There is so much that goes into creating a small business that the website often gets overlooked. Your website can be one of the most important assets to getting your small business off the ground.
Ensuring that you have a good looking, easy to navigate, and informative website can give you the leg up you need in the business world. Here at REM, we pride ourselves on creating great websites that will reflect your great business.
Here are our top 12 most important features all small business websites should include:
1. An Excellent Domain Name
Before you even begin to design the website itself, you need to come up with a good domain name. This is the first thing any potential customers will see when clicking on your website. So, it is very important that your domain name is good.
First, it should be easy to spell. The last thing you need is for someone to give up going to your website because the address is too difficult to spell. Make it something simple and intuitive. If possible, you should try to include some keywords in your domain if they are easy to spell as well.
Second, it should reflect your company. Don’t make it something entirely unrelated to your business. Start with your business name if that domain is already taken then try modifying it. For example, your business may be called “Dog Beds” however, “DogBeds.com” may already be taken. So next try “Dog-Beds.com”. Any small change can work, just as long as it is still a reflection of your company.
2. Informative “About Us” Page
You should always include an “About Us” page. It may seem redundant at this point as most websites include them, but they do that for good reason. It gives any potential customers vital information about who you are as a business and what you stand for.
It should include basic information such as the owner of the business, when and why the business was started, what the company’s motivations are, and your current mission or progression track. This will give your customers a good sense of who you are and can influence them more to buy from you.
At REM we believe in creating an About Us page that rewards your visitor for reading it. If someone cares enough about your company to want to learn more about it, you should give them an amazing About Us page.
3. Easy to Find Contact Information
Contact information may seem obvious to most people; however, it also needs to be easy find. It can be one thing to include your contact information, but it’s also just as important to make sure it is located on several areas of your website. People have short attention spans and don’t like to spend a lot of time looking for things such as contact information. Placing it in an easy to locate spot can be very useful.
The best places to put it are typically at the end of every page or on its own separate page that is clearly labeled. It should also include all your information such as, phone number (with extension if necessary), email address, office hours, link to all social media pages, location with map if possible, and finally a contact form they can fill out with all important information if they are unable to get in contact now.
REM has a great guide on “How to Write a Great Contact Us page." This guide will help you create a page that converts visitors into clients. Contact us if you would like a copy!
4. Products or Services Page
Including a product and services page allows your customers to get a look at what they will be paying for. This doesn’t have to be big or include all your products, just a good and simple overview so people know what you sell. This can also be a way to include an online buying feature. People like to know what they are buying especially if it means they don’t have to leave their homes to find out. Including it on your website can drive in more customers, even if you don’t sell online.
5. Customer Testimonials
Consider including customer testimonials or reviews. When people are visiting your website, it can be comforting to see customer reviews right on the website itself. First, this shows them that people genuinely like your products and will entice them to buy from you. Secondly, it shows potential customers that you’re an open and transparent company that is not afraid to hide what people have to say about you. This will continue to instill confidence in your customers.
6. Call to Action
Include a call to action right on your home page. A call to action is a simple way of drawing people in to make a purchase or check you out in person. It doesn’t have to be anything big or flashy, in fact the more sublet the better. This way people don’t know you’re the ones getting them to buy.
Putting it on your home page as well is a great idea as it is going to be one of the first things people see. However, feel free to put wherever you want. It should be something like, “come check us out in store today!” or “for more information feel free to give us a call or come visit us in person and we will happily answer any questions.”
7. Good Search Engine Optimization
One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure people can find it, because if they can’t then what’s the point in having one? Make sure you have good search engine optimization (SEO), this will ensure people can easily find your website.
SEO can include everything from making sure you have the right key words present in your content, properly and appropriately labeled pages, headings and subheadings for your content, and a good domain name. These all affect your SEO and how your website presents in search engines such as Google.
The last thing you want is for your website to show up on the third or fourth page when your products are searched. REM has an amazing monthly SEO service as part of our Digital Marketing offerings. Reach out to your REM representative today to get more information about getting your website noticed online.
8. Secure Hosting Platform
Making sure your website is up and running constantly can seem like a daunting yet important task. However, it can be very easy if you make sure you have a secure hosting platform. This can often be overlooked as most think any old hosting platform will do.
However, it can be the most important part of having a website. The last thing you need if your website to suddenly crash or crash constantly, or even get hacked. So, make sure to invest the time and money into making sure you have a secure hosting platform.
All REM clients are hosted on our own secured servers in a local data centre. We keep all of our data on Canadian soil, with redundancies and back-up servers ready-to-go in case of a problem.
9. Good Device Scaling
In the current age of the Internet people have become very impatient, especially when it comes to websites. If I am looking at a webpage on my computer but want to switch to looking at it on my phone for ease of transport but it doesn’t work, I am just going to give up and look at a different website. This is true for most other people as well.
However, this can be avoided if your website is responsive. This means that your website looks good and functions no matter what type of device or browser people are using. Whether it be a laptop, desktop, phone, tablet, projector, Google, Firefox, or even Bing it should work smoothly on all of them.
10. Up to Date Content
Once people are actually on your website, they are going to want to look at your content, blogs, promotions, your home page, upcoming events, etc. All this information needs to be up to date and relevant. What you don’t want is for someone to visit your website in June and you’re still advertising your Christmas promotions from last year. You want to make sure they are seeing your latest deals, reading your latest news, and visiting your website constantly to see what’s new.
11. Photos and Videos
Photos and videos may seem obvious as most people tend to be very visual, we like to see what we are buying. However, photos and videos can go beyond just your products and services. Include photos of your company volunteering for charities you support or show the outside of your building so it is easy to find, or even employee photos so people know who they will be dealing with at the company.
It can also be nice to include videos of your products being used, or an office tour, or even your employees or the owner talking about the company and its journey. This can all help sell your company and its products.
12. Design and Style Easy to Scan
Finally, you should make sure that you not only have a nice good-looking and professional design and style for your website, but also one that is easy to scan. People these days get bored very easily, so they tend to scan websites for the information they need. If they can find it, then they will slow down and keep reading more. If they don’t, they tend to leave and try to find a different website. Include things like headers, highlight important information, bullet points, and all-important information in standout places like a banner or on the home page.
We hope these tips were helpful for you in creating an amazing website for your small business. For more website and small business content check out the rest of our blog page. If you’re interested in a new website, give us a call, email, or come into the office and we can get started.