In this digital age, having a website for your small business is no longer an option. Every competitor has it, and to survive the competition, you have to be a step ahead of others in every way possible. Refusing to have a functional business these days is like a deliberate attempt to sabotage one’s own business. However, there is more to just having an online presence. There are certain elements a business website must have to be head and shoulders above the rest.
What are those features a business website must have? What are the key web design checklist for a small business website? What happens if those things are missing? These are discussed in the following paragraphs.
The chances are that over half of your visitors will be coming from mobile devices, and this is why mobile-friendliness is not even an option. It has become a necessity. A business website must render perfectly on mobile devices and provide a perfect user experience. Responsive design is the way to go, as this automatically formats the site according to the width of the device. Your visitors should have no reason whatsoever to scroll horizontally just to navigate your site on their mobile devices.
Fast page speed
In the process of trying to create a beautiful website with awesome visual effects, a designer might forget all about page speed. The truth is, the more resource-hungry scripts and visual effects you have on your site, the longer it takes for the site to load fully. This is one major way to increase your bounce rate, lose visitors, and cut down on your own profit. A business website must load fast to retain visitors. A business website does not have to be flashy. Use caching if necessary. Also, content delivery networks (CDN) like Cloudflare should help optimize and deliver static assets like CSS files, scripts, and images.
First Impression Matters: The Home Page
Most direct visitors will land on your homepage first, and this is why you must make the first impression count. The homepage is where many customers will decide if you are worth doing business with or not. As a matter of fact, it is where a lot of customers will form their verdict.
The home page should tell your customers how you can help them and what they stand to gain doing business with you. As most visitors are in a hurry, content on the homepage should be short, direct, and precise. The home page should have strategically placed call-to-action buttons. Appealing images should also be used to your advantage to present your business visually.
This is often overlooked, but a small business website needs a blog. While this might seem like a daunting task, it eventually proves to have several benefits. Having SEO-optimized articles is one way to randomly bring potential clients to your business. Existing users will also appreciate the value you provide through insightful and helpful articles.
This goes without saying, but a feature as little as good navigation might make a potential customer lose interest in whatever you’re trying to offer. Make your site navigation as simple and accessible as possible. A user should be able to locate whatever they want with ease and move back and forth as they wish.
Search Engine Optimization
Back in the days, you could build a terrible website with non-existent on-page SEO and simply create thousands of spammy links to rank up in search results. This is no longer the case. These days, great content, on-page SEO, page speed, and several other factors contribute to your ranking on SERP. Be sure the website is compliant with recommended Google Webmaster practices. Installing Google Analytics to track visitors’ behavior will also allow you to make informed decisions about your traffic. A highly optimized business website that ranks high in SERP has the potential to grow faster than anticipated.
Persistent Contact Information
No matter where a user is on your website, your contact information should be clearly visible. People love personalized services, and this is one way to assure them that you are always ready to answer their questions or provide guidance on their choice of product.
Remember, it’s not just about having a website; it’s more about having an online presence that converts random visitors to loyal customers.