Website Must Haves for Small Businesses
Posted by Buffy the Bison | August 18, 2020
No longer can a website be a virtual brochure of what your company has to offer. Instead, websites wear a lot of hats that contribute to the growth of your business.
Some critical jobs a website takes on are:
- Being optimized so your business can be found by search queries
- Building trust by validating the challenges your buyer personas are encountering
- Recognizing and educating the visitor on the pain points and obstacles they face
- Informing the visitor that your brand is capable of solving their challenges
- Nurturing the prospect through the sales journey
- Converting the lead into a sale
With so many responsibilities falling under the umbrella of a functional website, how does a small business owner know what characteristics of a website are the most critical, and should be tackled first?
We’ve put together the top four must-haves for any small business website to help you get started.
The “WHO” behind your business
First things first : a web visitor shouldn’t have to be an expert in investigative work to know a few key data points about your business, such as your name and the products and services you sell.
But, taking the “who” behind your business one step further also serves a higher purpose when inviting the customer to learn more about your brand.
In a world where options and choices are at the edge of our fingertips, when it comes down to finding the best brand to solve a customer’s pain point, many people will seek out the business they best identify with.
So, how does a business communicate who they are and what they stand for? Here are two suggestions:
1. Create and display a thoughtful mission statement.
A mission statement is usually succinct, and helps the audience understand a general overview of what the organization is, what an organization’s function is, and what an organization’s objectives are.
A few questions that might help your business develop its mission statement are:
- What does your company do?
- How does your company aim to do it?
- What are the reasons behind why your company does what it does?
Here are three examples of inspiring mission statements:
- Patagonia: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
- sweetgreen: To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
- IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
2. Tell your brand’s story by way of a comprehensive About Me page.
People love seeing exclusive, behind-the-scenes details of their favorite brands, and hearing the story behind the brand is no exception.
Why? Because divulging in the struggles, the vulnerabilities, the obstacles, and the wins makes your brand relatable.
When customers can identify with where you’ve been, your vulnerabilities, and the perseverance necessary to adapt and overcome, your brand can imprint your values upon a prospect. This leads to brand loyalty and trust and gives your company the ability to gain lifelong customers.
Products and services
This is pretty straightforward. Your products and services should be easy for your consumer to find on your website.
To that point, although listing your products and services might sound like an easy “must-have” for any business, it’s critical for companies to take this a level deeper by telling a visitor HOW your products or services will solve their challenges.
This can be done fairly simply by adding product and service descriptions to your website. These abbreviated bits of information are a great way to pique a consumer’s interest in what your business offers, while also positioning yourself as a market expert in your particular industry.
Once a customer has identified with your brand, what you offer and how your offerings will help them blast through any obstacles, you should make sure the process of contacting and finding your business is as turnkey as possible.
Basic information such as your brick and mortar address, your hours of operation, a customer service number, social media buttons, and perhaps even geographic limitations if you have an online store (for example, if you do not provide international shipping) are helpful for your audience to know.
By ensuring your contact information is easily accessible and available to all prospective customers, your business communicates to your clients that your organization is ready to help assist the customer if any questions or concerns about your offerings arise.
Furthermore, creating a website with a way to contact you via a “Contact Us” page can mean no potential leads slip through the cracks.
Having a responsive website means having a website that displays just as beautifully, and functions just as optimally, on a mobile device as it would on a desktop.
Since July 2018, Google has made it a priority to penalize websites that are not optimized for mobile devices. That means if your mobile site is slow or unresponsive, your search result ranking will suffer dramatically.
Adding another layer to the importance of having a mobile-friendly website, Merkle Inc conducted research that indicates 63% of Google’s US organic search traffic originated from mobile devices.
So, with responsive design so critical to the sustainability and growth of any small business, what action steps can you take now to ensure your website is mobile-friendly?
Your business can visit Google Search Console to help determine whether or not your website is optimized for mobile devices.
Based on the information gathered from Google Search Console, you can then utilize a software developer to create a custom website and/or application that fits the exact needs of your unique business.
Websites are very often the first impression potential customers have of a business. By ensuring your organization has these four must-haves, you’ve undoubtedly given your business a headstart on the path towards sustainable success and growth.