Essential items your website should have in 2015.
When it comes to your website, often times the simplest items are often overlooked. Here are 10 must have items for a local business website.
Let’s face it, there are more than 10 must have items for a small business website. These are the most common ones that we run into on a daily basis. Make no mistake, these are missed on new & existing businesses.
Phone Number & Address.
- This one seems so simple yet you can find an example of this in every industry if you look right now. Have your phone number and address visible on every page of your website. You’re phone number should ideally be in the header of your website for easy visibility. When someone visits your website, whether it be a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone…make it easy for them to find out where you’re located and how to contact you.
- This is one that a lot of business owners struggle with. You only have a number seconds to capture someones attention, often times design is used to achieve this but it is just as important to have a good tag line or description of what you offer. It’s hard enough for most to keep their “elevator pitch” to 30 seconds, with web you have a fraction of that time. A website visitor should know what you have to offer within seconds of being on your site. Try this next time you visit a website; go to a random website, leave after 3 seconds and ask yourself what they do. This does happen to you, make sure you’re able to capture someones attention. Now try this on your website. Ask a friend, family member, client, etc to visit your website and leave after a few seconds. What do they remember? Use this information to strategically place information on your website.
- There is nothing worse than losing a potential lead, especially when it could have been prevented. One major cause for lost visitors on a webpage is frustration, this applies directly to navigating a website. Analyze your website, look at your tracking data and ask customers to determine how easy it is to navigate your website. Tracking data will provide you useful data about what pages are visited often or have a high exit rate, use real life data from your customers and you’re own experiences. If you have a hard time finding information, your customers will too. Make your website navigation easy to use, categorize information in a simple manner, use a sitemap and if you have a very large website (lots of articles or products) use a site search tool.
Call To Action
- This term is often overused in my opinion. Webmasters, marketers and designers throw it around but usually put a lot of thought our effort into how it should be used. A call to action (something we discussed in a previous article), is an element used to guide visitors to a specific page within your website. These are often used for products, procedures or services that yield high margins; promotions or specials, location or online forms to name a few. A call to action when used correctly can be a very effective tool to get visitors into your website. Remember, the longer they’re on your website and the deeper they go, the better opportunity you have to convert that visitor into a lead.
Easy To Remember Domain Name
- This has become harder and harder to find in present day. With so many domains online (over 252 million at last count), it is hard to find a simple domain name. You’ll see a number of businesses choosing to use .net, .co, .biz or others in order to find a simple domain name. While Google states that these extenstions are treated with the same as .com in SEO, remember that most consumers are still trained to type .com. If you’re able to use a .com, do so, otherwise look at another extension.
- If you’re building a website, mobile compatibility is something you should be discussing. You can go with a traditional mobile website or build a responsive website. We choose to build every website responsive. A Responsive website allows your website to display differently based on the device someone is viewing your website. In early 2014, mobile internet usage surpassed PC internet usage and continues to increase. Consumers mobile usage will grow each year and if they find it difficult to navigate your website, you will inevitably lose leads as consumers become frustrated with trying to use your website. If SEO is part of your marketing efforts, you need to be mobile compatible since Google is releasing a mobile-friendly algorithm update on April 21st.
Links To Customer Testimonials
- You can tell a customer how great you are at what you do…as will every other competitor that you have. BrightLocal released a study in 2014 about the importance of customer reviews. As a result we learned that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Customers will look at your reviews and make a decision whether or not they will do business with you. Knowing this, give your customers what they want. Review sites such as Google Plus and Yelp provide you the ability to feed reviews into your website. For others, link directly to them.
- If you’ve spoken to or attended a seminar by a marketing professional, you’ve probably heard the term “content is king”. Content is vital in today’s world of marketing. This doesn’t mean you have to have paragraph after paragraph of text on each page but it does mean you need to have meaningful & unique content on each page. Not only for organic placement on the search engines but also for consumers. Consumers do more and more research online prior to visiting your business, if you don’t give them the pertinent information they’re looking for, they will look elsewhere.
Website Tracking Software
- If you’re marketing your website, you should be tracking it. There are a number of free and paid website tracking tools, what you need to determine is which is best for you and your team. For most local businesses, Google Analytics fits the bill, for enterprise and larger companies, they may choose to use a paid model as these will have more data to evaluate. Either way, tracking your website is vital to gauge the success of your marketing efforts. Determine when and where people are coming to your website, what they are doing and how often them come back. All this information allows us to identify what marketing channels are working and more importantly which ones are not.
- There are thousands of social media websites online. Chances are if you’re surfing the internet today, you’ve visited one. Social media is much more than Facebook & Twitter, most business owners aren’t aware that many industries have social media/networking websites dedicated to their industry. Social media is an avenue to extend your voice to another audience, think of social media as the new word of mouth. Allow potential customers to easily find your social channels by placing links to them on your website. Preferably the header or footer which makes them easily accessible on any page.
Remember when building a website for your business, don’t overlook the small things. We can get enamored with the design which allows us to lose focus of the bigger picture. You’re websites ability to engage your audience and convert visitors into leads should be the primary focus. While the design is important, make sure you include the items above.