8 Things Every Small-Business Website Needs

rawpixel-752512-unsplashLaunching a new company is an exciting endeavor, but there are so many components to consider. Beyond your business plan and all of the helping hands needed to ensure your starting success, you will need to create a clean, yet effective, website.

However, it can often be difficult to determine what a website should have in terms of content, which is why it helps to have a guide once you take on this important task. Regardless of if you plan to build your website on your own or hire a professional web developer to complete the work on your company’s behalf, you must first provide an effective blueprint to get the ball rolling.

What pages should a website have?

Deciding what to put on a website for a business is the first step in structuring your web content. Take a look at the websites of successful brands and companies to see what they offer. It also doesn’t hurt to consider what your competitors have already published. Of course, you do not want to copy their site designs, nor the content, itself, but it is always wise to survey your competition. Then, you will have a solid foundation from which to build, along with an idea of how to go above and beyond the status quo when doing so. The most important pages on a website include:

  1. A home page: This is the main page of your website. When you begin to circulate your web address, or URL, this will be the page where your traffic will land. (Of course, this is not to be confused with a landing page, which is a page that you design specifically for paid web traffic, based on your ad campaign or conversion intentions. You might design a page specifically for this purpose, or you may decide to utilize your home page as a landing page. However, a landing page is typically meant to encourage action via a conversion, like signing up for a mailing list or selling a product.) When deciding what to put on the homepage of your website, keep it simple and concise, since you will have several pages below to cover everything necessary in detail. Consider a logo and/or a photo, a brief statement or slogan and easy access to the remainder of your navigation.
  2. About us: This page should explain your business and its history. You can call it “Who We Are,” or any other title that alerts visitors that this is where they should click to read about your company or your mission statement.
  3. Services and/or products: Let your readers know exactly what you offer. If you are selling one product, include it in detail. If you are selling several, include a digital catalog of sorts. If your website will act as an ecommerce portal, make sure that all of the descriptions of your products are accurate, you have professional photos and your shopping cart feature works properly. On the other hand, if you are offering services for hire, make sure you define everything it is that you propose. You can include prices, or encourage visitors to contact you for rates, directly. If you already have a press kit created, you can pull details from these existing written materials. You can also feel free to place video content of demonstrations or original content from your team here.
  4. Meet the founder/team: Depending on if you are a solo entrepreneur or if there is a team behind your business, this is the place in which to make team member introductions. If you have authored professional biographies of any sort, you can upload the content here. It also helps to include photos in this section, which allows for a more personal connection to your readers. Click here to read more about why you need a professional biography.
  5. Contact us: You have two options for your contact page. You can simply include a form page, where visitors can fill out a digital contact form to contact you/your company through your website, or you can include your contact information, whether an email, a phone number, or both. In addition, if you have a physical storefront or office location, make sure to include these details, along with your hours of operation.
  6. A blog: Although this page is optional, it is only to your benefit to create a blog tab on your website. By authoring blog posts regularly, you can solidify your credibility in your industry. Not only can you provide useful information and helpful details surrounding your services, but you can show potential clients that you are an industry expert.
  7. Testimonials: Also not vital, but helpful if you are advertising your company to web traffic is a testimonial page. If you choose to go this route, it is important you collect strong testimonials from real people who have utilized your services. A good rule of thumb is to showcase anywhere from three to five testimonials of just a few sentences in length.
  8. Social media access: These days, every flourishing business employs social media. Your website gives visitors an added opportunity to find you, follow you and engage with you/your company moving forward. Social media also allows potential clients to view your interaction with the public, which is strongly representative of your reputation, personality and branding techniques.

Tips on Creating Effective Website Content

Now that you can answer the question, “What information should be on my website?” the next step is reviewing a few tips in making it stand out among the competition. Over at BlockMediaWorldwide.com, our tips include:

  • Keeping it short, sweet and clean: The average visitor does not want to read a novel when visiting your site. Keep your content short and simple to read. Shorter paragraphs make content easier to scan, as does employing lists with bullets and/or numbers. Keep the juicy details on reserve for your blog!
  • Writing content that is relatable: Use language that makes it easy for visitors to relate to your company. The last thing you want to do is to scare off potential clients because they cannot relate to who you are and what you do.
  • Ensuring there are no errors: Read and review your content over and over again to ensure it is clean of errors. It never hurts to ask for a second opinion.
  • Using easy navigation tactics: The simpler your site is to navigate, the higher the chances are of keeping a visitor on your page. Make sure your navigation menu is easy to operate. Test this out with friends, family and coworkers prior to publishing.

Who will write my web content?

When it comes to authoring your web content, you have three options: you can write it yourself, delegate the task to someone else within your company or hire a third-party writer/content service to get the job done for you. Whichever route you choose, make sure you decide on the pages your website should include before assignment. Provide as much background information as possible, which will lessen back-and-forth communications, allowing for a more efficient process.

If you decide to hire a professional content service, make sure to request samples of already-published websites for reference. Compare rate quotes and performance before deciding on the most suitable candidate.

Editing and Auditing Your Website

Once your web content is authored and in hand, consider that what a website needs to be successful in the long-term includes further review. Take the time to analyze the content before publishing your website. Hire a skilled proofreader to ensure the content is pristine, as typos and poor grammar can have a negative impact on the signing of potential, new clients.

Once your site is live, make it a habit to audit regularly, so it remains accurate and current at all times. For example, if your product catalog changes, make these updates in real time. If you lose or gain team members, make sure these changes are reflected, as well.

Remember: Strong, relatable and up-to-date website content has the power to win over a new client from even your toughest competition.

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