When asked about the most effective way to brand and generate demand in their market, forty-eight percent of global marketers indicated that a search-optimized website was extremely important. In fact, they named it as being one of the top five ways to accomplish this task.
Unfortunately, only fifty-three percent of small businesses even had websites in 2014.
For a small business owner, a good website takes their business to the next level. It can have a major impact on their business’ bottom line; and it is essential when competing with larger businesses who already have an established web presence.
Building and maintaining a website can be a challenge for small business owners who already wear many hats. Fortunately there are options available that make it easy to create a website with very little effort or training. So, whether you already have a website, or you intend to build one, let’s look at 5 basic things every small business website absolutely must have.
Basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
With nearly half of all traffic coming from search engines, SEO cannot be ignored. What are some basic things you can do to make your site more SEO friendly?
- Create headers and title tags using terms for which people search
- Create great content using terms for which people search
- Create links within your site to other pages within your site
Testimonials and online reviews influence the buying decisions of many potential customers. If you have happy customers, tell the world about it. Create a testimonials page that contains the following:
- Quotes, or even complete letters, that talk about the client’s satisfaction with your products or services.
- Date that the testimonial was received
- Name of the customer writing the review.
You can also intersperse satisfied customer quotes throughout your content and in the sidebars.
Phone Number on Every Page
After bringing potential customers to your site, make it easy for them to contact you. Don’t give them time to get distracted by something else, or someone else like a competitor. Make it easy for them to contact you.
Make sure your business’ phone number appears on every page, especially the home page. It’s best to place it at the top of the page. If your web pages have a large amount of content, it is advisable to place it at the bottom (in the footer) as well. Additionally, adding a hyperlink to the phone number enables mobile phone users to easily call you.
Map with Accompanying Directions
If you have a brick and mortar business location, make sure it’s easy for your customers to find you. Include a map to your location – this can be an image or you can use Google maps to embed a map onto your website. Below the map, be sure to include simple directions to your business.
Blog with Helpful Content
Content marketing is defined as strategic marketing focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content with the goal of attracting, retaining and ultimately profiting from customers.
That’s what a great blog will do for you – help you attract, retain and ultimately sell to your customers. How?
You attract customers by including good SEO content. Create content that includes keywords and phrases that your customers use to search for information. This helps the search engines send customers to you.
You retain customers by providing the information they need and want. You become the go-to company to solve their problems. Keep providing new and helpful information to keep them coming back for more.
As you gain their trust and respect through the information you provide, they will want to do business with you (sell).
In Conclusion ….
By making sure your website has these five basic things, you help your website help your business succeed.