It’s becoming hard to ignore the fact that websites present small businesses with enormous benefits. As people become more connected to the digital world, a brick and mortar store isn’t the only option anymore. Even owners of the smallest local businesses are realizing that creating a website is more effective and trackable in terms of opportunities and results.
In a 2017 survey, 92% of small businesses said that they will have a website ready by 2018. Unfortunately, creating a website (or even delegating the creation of one) can still be intimidating. Many small business owners don't have tech backgrounds, and there are a lot of mistakes to be made.
Here, we will delve into three key components that small business owners sometimes overlook when creating websites - and focus on how to get it all right.
1) CONTACT INFORMATION
Maybe you offer just a few shoppable items, or maybe you’re selling a service instead of tangible products. In these cases, putting up a shopping cart may not be appropriate. In this case, it’s important for your customers to be able to reach you instantly.
In this case, it is important to make your business number prominent on your website, or create a contact form that’s suitable for your target audience. In my experience - this means easily accessible and less time-consuming. We don’t want to scare anybody away before they can even click a “send” button on their first contact attempt.
2) ABOUT PAGE
Often, the creation of your website's About Page is an afterthought - thrown together from the website's theme with few changes. But, on the internet, establishing trust is the name of the game. To truly make a good and lasting impression among potential customers, you’ll need to make sure that you can convey your values and passions through this page right away. Often, it is one of the first places a customer is looking - this especially applies to small businesses.
The goal is to charm your way into your audience’s hearts by highlighting how you started, or by defining what problems do you are looking to solve. Answer questions like, “What makes my brand stand out?” or “What’s there to gain by working with us?” Give your customers the confidence that you are a real person, and that you continuously strive to provide them with only the best products or services.
About pages can trigger EMOTIONS. One of the top ways marketing really works. These emotions that can inspire website visitors to support your small business. Don’t succumb to the common practice of filling yours with jargon and meaningless filler text commonly seen on some sites - although it sounds smart, it is too impersonal and can be alienating.
Lately, big companies like Google are dedicating a lot of their efforts towards “Evangelizing and forcing a change of mindset from desktop to mobile.” Even small business owners can take cues like this from the big leagues. If you’re a business owner, you should expect that visitors will be using a multitude of different devices to visit your site. Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure that your website is designed to be accessible on any screen size, and on a variety of platforms. DON’T be part of the alarming statistic that only 30% of small business websites are mobile-friendly!
Oftentimes, this comes with choosing the right website designer. An experienced and thoughtful designer will consider all of this when creating your site - and will place a huge value on making sure it is all mobile-friendly.
Your website designer should make sure your site is adaptive. The Adaptive approach uses multiple page layouts then chooses what to display depending on the size or width of your screen. Adaptive design snaps your content into a defined environment or layout.
People are more likely to stay longer if they see that you’ve placed a premium on user experience. When you get potential customers to stay longer on your site, statistically, there’s a bigger chance of convincing them to purchase something from you!
While creating a website for your small business might be easier today due to the wide availability of tools and services that you can get for cheap (or sometimes even free), this doesn’t mean that you should neglect the fundamentals that make a website fit your business goals, optimize the customer experience, and in the end, promote SALES. Better website, better ROI - this is why it’s important not to sacrifice when creating yours. As customers’ attention spans get shorter, it will be harder for you to convince them to make a purchase. Carefully constructing various elements on your website will pay off, and it will make you stand out from the rest.