Address and map
The core purpose of any small business website is drive new business opportunities to its doors. Yet there is still a large number of business across the UK who still tend to hide information regarding business location in a secondary page within the website generally called “How to find us”.
Although a “How to find us” page can be valuable to give further information and directions regarding where you’re based, why not also include business address and a map to help potential new customers reach your premises within the homepage and spare your visitors the hunt for such information?
Contact form or e-mail
When people visit your website, chances are they probably expect to be able to contact your business using the same medium. Whether it’s because they have no time to make phone calls during business hours or because they require specific information and would rather receive it in a written format, including a contact form or having an e-mail address customers can use to get in touch is of foremost importance. Set some time aside each day to check online messages and ensure any queries are dealt in a promt manner.
Telephone numbers also fall into that type of information which is often secluded within a secondary page of the website. As a general rule of thumb, the telephone number should be treated just like your address and displayed in a prominent location of your site.
In addition to this and because most smartphones enable users to ring a number just by clicking on it, a telephone number which is clearly displayed on the homepage of your site will help those potential new customers on the go.
Testimonials are incredibly important for small businesses which, unlike big brands, cannot count on a strong brand recognition and therefore need to rely on other elements to gain trust from potential new customers. Displaying a few genuine customer testimonials will lend trustworthiness, experience to your business therefore inspiring new customers to choose you over a competitor.
It’s surprising to see how many small businesses with physical premises still don’t display opening hours within their website. Not only including opening times will answer an extremely common question to all those visiting your site, but it will also reduce the time that is spent by yourself or your staff dealing with such query over the phone.
Up to date information
Would you display a Christmas tree up in your shop window in March? Of course not!
The very same applies to the information that you include within your website. Dated information and expired marketing messaging can seriously damage your reputation by showing potential new customers that your website isn’t really a priority for your business. Don’t make this common mistake and ensure all information is always correct and up-to-date.
If you genuinely have no time to update your website regularly, my best advice is to ensure all copy is not time specific so that no matter what time of year visitors come to your site, the information is relevant.
USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
Telling everyone who comes across your site why they should pick your business over a competitor should be at the very top of your website priorities. You need to give visitors a reason to make them want to do business with you and explicitly tell them why you can be trusted should they decide to commission your services or buy your products.
Just to give you a few ideas, examples of good USPs could be the extended experience in your particular field, the amazing location where your business is based or the uniqueness of your products.
About us page that sells
Following on from the USP point above, your “About us” page should be used to drive more business to your door, rather than simply telling potential customers a bit about youself.
An “About us” page that sells should be consistent with your USP and therefore tell visitors why your business is special, both from a commercial and a more personal perspective.
Remember: you need to make your business stand out from the crowd as there are many companies out there offering your same services and products.
The words used on your website are extremely important to give potential new customers a great first impression of your business. However, it’s also interesting to know that the vast majority of online users only briefly scans websites for useful information without actually fully reading a web page. This is where images come into play: great looking pictures of your premises or products will allow visitors to see straight away what’s great about your business and further their trust in your company.
Finally, I’d briefly like to mention how important the use of a web visitor tracking solution such as Google Analytics is for all small businesses. Not only Google Analytics will help you understand where your visitors are coming from (such as typing in your web address directly into the browser, using Google search or perhaps from your social pages), but it will also provide you invaluable information regarding how long visitors spend on your site, which geographical area they are based in and which pages are most popular just to name a few.
Offering consultancy on how to create an effective website that portrays what’s great about your business and provides answers to the most common customer queries is our bread and butter. Get in touch today for bespoke advice on how to improve your online presence and make your website work for your business.
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