What every small business website needs
We recently wrote a blog post about how much a typical website design costs, which naturally depended a lot on what functions and design elements a website needs.
That post led New Perspective Design to ask the question what are the absolute essentials required for a small business website desing. Here you will find a list of the items that every small business website needs.
A contact form.
Your contact page shows potential customers all the ways they can get in touch with you. It is also important to have your phone number, email address, and physical mailing address on the footer throughout all of your website pages, where possible. Sometimes users don't trust contact forms and sometimes they'd rather make a phone call, some users copy and paste email addressed into their local outlook to email you so it's best to provide users with all the possible ways they can get into contact with you. You should also include your social media accounts as another extension of where potential customers can contact you. Be sure to include the following information:
- Phone number
- Email address
- business hours
- google map
A Clear Purpose
Every website should be created with one or more purposes in mind. In case of multiple purposes, each page on the website should be designed and dedicated to fulfilling a purpose be it to provide information, to sell a product or a service, or to provide social proof. The purposes of the pages should all culminate together to ease the user through your sales funnel.
Strong, Professional Branding Design
Branding on website design is underestimated by many small businesses. Good cohesive branding ie a color scheme a good logo and design elements that work together assist in strengthening the look and feel of both the website, the business behind it, and its services or products. This is achieved with the assistance of brand specialists and graphic designers
There is a saying in the UX field that goes "if a user has to click more than three times to get to where they need you to need to rethink your design"
Nothing could be more true, clicking to a user is committing and taking action and they want to do this as little as possible, it should be easy for them to find the information they need from any one of the websites. Web designers have a lot of options when it comes to navigation, hamburger menus, slide-out menus in contextual links each have their advantages. Whatever you choose remember to make it simple and clear and not overwhelm you the user. Check out our more on website design tips here.
Google Analytics is a critical free tool that every business owner should use with their small business website. The data that this tool about the users Such as demographics, device used, how the user entered your website ( channel ), how much time they spend on which pages, bounce rates) on your website is invaluable to accessing the performance of each page, demographic and device type. It can help you easily find bottlenecks or problems on your website. It can help you measure your marketing efforts.
When potential clients on your website are deciding the value of your product or service users much rather trust the opinion of their peers than what you as the business owner will have to say. Peer reviews ie testimonials are a powerful way to highlight the value of your product, services, and value proposition that you are putting forward. It's also a much easier way to come across as a trusted brand or business with positive testimonials about your business.
Real Quality images of your business
For most users what they see on your website is what they imagine your business product or service is like in real life. So if you have poor quality images it will affect the value the website user attributes to your business.
The type of images are also important, yes stock from Shutterstock or freepik are easy to come by and look ok, but they aren't authentic and may not speak to your user the same way that original professionally photographed images of your business may.
A secure hosting platform
Secure hosting means a secure website which in turn means a user can entrust their information on your website. Image your business website getting hacked defaced and then somebody places some suspicious redirects to other websites. This will immediately damage the reputation and trust in your business.
A page dedicated to the products or services you offer.
This one is almost the same as a clear goal for your website. It's a no-brainer imagine walking into a computer shop that advertised they sell computers but they don't have one in store. You are going to leave right? Well in the same way if a user can't find the product or service page that they are looking for on your website then in their minds you don't offer it. They will go to a website that has those pages. Further, that dedicated product pages are also great for getting into depth about the specifications and service level of your products or services that may separate you from everybody else in your industry. How can you make a purchase intent decision without any information about what you are buying?
A web address that’s easy to remember and spell.
Long website URLs are not only harder to remember but are subject to being misspelled by users which may cause your business to lose some potential customers. Try to register a domain email that is easy to spell and simple to remember.
Pages that load in 2 seconds or less.
There is a direct correlation between the conversion ratio of a website and its speed. Quite literally every second your website takes to load loses your business revenue. So optimizing your website to load as fast as possible can optimized images, smart programming, avoiding website that is bloated with code, and decent hosting is essential. It's always a good idea to check your website speed with tools such as GTmetrics and google page speed insights.
A design that looks good on mobile devices.
In website design companies we have a term called mobile-first. It's something that we use repeatedly for a reason. A website's primary use will be on a mobile phone, yes 80% of users surf the web on their phones. So we design a website that adjusts to the screen they are rendered on and we call this responsive website design.
In Conclusion, there are many different elements available to businesses when considering how to design or develop their website. However, there are a few that are considered critical for a website to function
- A design that looks good on mobile devices.
- Pages that load in 2 seconds or less.
- A page dedicated to the products or services you offer.
- A secure hosting platform
- A contact form.
- Simple Navigation
- Strong, Professional Branding Design
- A web address that’s easy to remember and spell.
- Google Analytics