Clear contact info
This is pretty self explanatory and straight forward but you’d be surprised how many small business websites don’t display their contact information clearly. Don’t hide your contact information, make it easy for the visitor to get in touch with you. This includes phone, email, webform, address and you can also include Google map.
Where should you put the contact information on your small business website?
You should have at least your phone number, email address or contact link in the main navigation in the header of your website. This is where the users eyes will automatically go when looking for your details. You should also include your contact information in the footer of the website on all pages and a dedicated contact page which includes ALL your contact information.
Making sure your website is optimised for mobile is essential! Over 80% of website users now use a mobile device to search the web and businesses like yours online. If your website is not mobile responsive then you will lose out to competitors who have websites that are mobile friendly. In fact almost 60% of users are also not likely to recommend a business if it has a poorly designed mobile website! The fact is, your small business can’t afford not to have a good mobile friendly website.
How do you make your small business website mobile friendly?
Luckily all new websites are built with mobile responsiveness built in. This means that your website will automatically re-adjust itself depending on the size of the screen that is being viewed on. You don’t necessarily need to build a whole new website just for the mobile phone.
Good layout & design
Your website is usually now the first point of contact that a potential client or customer will have of your business. First impressions count so you need to make sure that your business makes an amazing first impression. If you don’t look professional enough or if your website is just badly designed then it will put people off your business and they are likely to keep searching. In fact, almost 75% of visitors make a decision on dealing with a business based on just the look and functionality of their website. First impressions count.
Having a website with good search engine optimisation at its core is essential to any successful small business website. If your website does not have good SEO then it will not rank in the search results for people looking for your services or products online.
How to set your website up for good search engine optimisation is something that we have covered in another post so I won’t go into the extensive list of things that need to be included now. However, one thing that is essential is to make sure you have a Google Business listing set up so that you are appearing in the local searches. This is called Local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is when you target just a particular area or place for your business ie. ‘Plumber Bondi’. You are ideally aiming to get a good listing on Google Maps which is a great way to get listed on the first page of Google for your business, even if your website doesn’t appear in the main search results.
It is also important if you are a location based business that provides products and services from a particular location such as a restaurant, accountant, salon, retail shop etc. so people can find you easily on Google maps.
How do you get your small business listed on Google maps?
In order to get your small business listed on Google maps you need to set up a Google Business page. On this you will put your business address, business hours, link to your website, contact details, photos etc. and Google will list your business. You will however need to wait until Google verifies your address, usually by post, until you are officially listed though.
Having a Google business page also means you can start getting Google reviews and integrate them on to your site. The more Google reviews you get the better!
Clear list of services / products
As mentioned previously about the amount of time it takes to capture a visitors attention on a website, you also need to make sure that the services or products they are looking for are front and centre. Make sure your services are clearly laid out with appropriate headings, lists and/or pages to make it easy for the visitor to determine if you are the right business for them to engage with.
Unless you are a well known brand you need to tell the visitor immediately what it is you do. For example, if they are looking for a ‘Small Business Website Designer’ then you need to make sure that you clearly highlight that to the visitor. This also ties in to good SEO as you should also be targeting keywords that people will be more likely to be looking for.
Ideally you should have a page for each service as this will help with SEO as well.
Reviews / Testimonials
Include a few testimonials from some of your clients / customers. This gives some social proof that you do what your claim to do and gives the user trust in your business.
How do you add Reviews & testimonials to your small business website?
There are a couple of ways to do this, either with a built in testimonial section into your website where you insert the testimonials and reviews in yourself every time you get one or dynamically via your Google business reviews, Yelp or Facebook.
Standard website testimonials / reviews
Adding testimonials / reviews yourself into the site is fine but we recommend including a name, business and even an image of the person if possible. It just adds more authenticity to it. You may know it’s real but the visitor doesn’t.
Sometimes a client or customer may give you a review or testimonial off their own back but in most cases you will need to ask them for one. If you have provided a good service / product and they are happy then they will be happy to give you one.
Automatically generated reviews and testimonials
Adding testimonials/reviews dynamically via live feeds means that your reviews are automatically fetched from wherever people leave you reviews, Google, Yelp, Facebook etc. and inserted on to your website dynamically. This means your website is constantly updated with the latest reviews automatically without you having to do anything. It also creates additional trust with your website visitors as they know they are authentic.
Video testimonials and reviews
A trend which has started to get more popular on small business websites is video testimonials. This is where the client or customer films themself or is filmed professionally giving a testimonial about the business. You get to see real people give real reviews. People live this, and so will your Google ranking.
Having a brief introduction video about your business not only increases conversion rate but also increases your SEO. Having a video on your website also increases the likelihood of time spent on a page by a user because they are more likely to watch your video than read the text. It also helps with your Google ranking. Google loves video content.
You don’t need to be the next Steven Spielberg to make a simple video, you can easily make a good enough quality video on your phone which introduces yourself and your business. There are also plenty of apps and software that can help you edit and add sound, images & graphics etc. Obviously if you want something a bit more higher end then you will need to pay for it but it really depends on your target market and what you are selling.
How long should a small business website video be?
We suggest that your small business website video should be between 30 – 90 seconds. Just long enough to get your message across but not too long that the user gets bored.
Real images of your business
Show off your business and build trust with your visitor with good images of your business. You can use good quality stock images of course but you can’t beat good quality real photos. These can be staff photos, location shots, recent projects and products. If you are handy with a camera then get snapping or get someone you know who is to take a few for you. Otherwise hire a local photographer to do it. You only need a few good ones and it is well worth it. It will make you and your business look so more professional and you will get a lot more leads because of it.
Advance Online specialises in small business websites so if you would like to discuss any of the above or would like more information about how we can help your business then get in touch.