According to Adaptive Marketing, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. This hugely highlights the importance for businesses to have an online presence, as well as an engaging, well-functioning website that encourages visitors to trust and understand your brand.
A small business website can act as a contact point between your business and potential customers. Good communication can help potential customers understand what you sell or what your business can offer. If they can understand what you have to offer and can clearly see the benefits, then they could be more likely to buy from you.
Creating a website for your business can be costly, but it doesn’t always have to be. SMEs can create an affordable website using business website builders like Wix, WordPress or GoDaddy. These sites make it easy for you to customise and create a website that’s right for your business. You can pick customisable themes and templates to suit your brand and your objectives, add useful widgets such as social media sharing and e-commerce tools.
However, for businesses that need a more complex or in-depth website, you should consider assistance from a website developer instead of using a business website builder. Custom sites cost considerably more than website builders, so only pay for a custom site if you are certain it will benefit your business.
Whether you’re creating a site through a website builder, or getting a professional to make one for you - the following tips should be considered to ensure you can maximise your online presence and ultimately create a website that helps you convert.
Before you create anything, you should identify the key objectives you want from a website - do you want to sell products through your site or just display a list of the services you offer along with contact information? The objectives of your website should help you choose how to display information and what to include.
Once you know the objectives you’re trying to achieve from your website, it’s time to draw inspiration from your competitors. Look at their websites and see what features and pages they have that are particularly successful. This way, you can replicate certain aspects when creating your own site.
Your website and social media pages are often the face of your business, so in order to keep customers on the site, you need to make it engaging and simple to navigate around. The longer a visitor stays on your website, the more likely they are to purchase a product or service.
It is important to pick a domain name which reflects your business name or is very similar. This allows people to easily search for your website and remember how to find it. It is better to own your domain name instead of having an extension such as yourwebsitename.wordpress.com.
When you’re creating your website, it’s important to implement a hierarchy that is simple and logical. This makes it easier for users to navigate around your site. You essentially want your website to provide an answer to a user’s questions – how do I contact them? What do they offer? Ensuring the user can navigate around your website easily allows them to get the answer they need quicker.
Stock photography can be overused on the internet so it’s a great idea to use unique images that help support your branding and accurately display the services or products your business offers.
It’s equally as important to use professional and good quality images on your website - according to Webkick, professional and quality photographs on your business’ website can increase the chances of conversion by a huge 161%.
Whether you are trying to drive traffic to your website or increase sales, all the content you post should be up to date and relevant. If you have a blog page on your site, try and regularly publish new content and keep older evergreen content up to date.
If your business website is not an e-commerce site, you’ll most probably be looking for leads. Therefore, it’s crucial to have your contact details clearly displayed on each page or in the header to ensure potential customers can contact you if they have any questions. You should also include a contact page that shows your location and a contact form, so users can email you without leaving your website.
40% of people search using their mobile, so it’s important to ensure your website is compatible with all devices, especially mobile phones. You should also make sure that your mobile-friendly site is still easy to navigate around when it is accessed through a mobile.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is something smaller businesses should utilise when creating a website. As the majority of your traffic will probably be coming from search engines, it is important to rank as near to the top as you can. For more information on SEO for your website, see our guide.