No matter the stage you are at with your website, there are some components and features every single website should have. We’ve already given you tips on how website design helps online marketing, but we are now going to talk through some small business website essentials
Clear Content & User Pathway
Without a doubt one of the single most important elements of any website is clear content and clear navigation pathways for your user.
What does this mean?
Clearly articulate what you want your visitor to know about your business, product and/or service. Up front and centre, you need to let your visitor know who you are and why you are the best at what you do. Why should they continue reading your website? Think of that first opening space of each of your website pages like a newspaper’s front cover. It is your job to entice your visitor to read more – pull them in with the headline, the feature image, and get them to click for more information – and contact you! Which leads me to my next point…
Clear navigation pathways
Don’t leave your visitor confused as to how to get through your website. Having an easy and highly visible menu and navigation system is absolutely crucial to any website. They need to be able to find the information they are after, or they are likely to leave your site and go to one where they will get what they need.
Social Share and Follow Buttons
Your website is full of great content and offers, so why not give your visitors the opportunity to share it? Not only does this improve the visibility of your content, hopefully translating to more sales, but it also allows your visitors to actively engage with you.
If your website doesn’t have social share buttons, you might well be missing out on traffic from social media.
There are a heap of different tools to help put social share buttons on your website. SumoMe is a free tool full of great tools to help build website traffic – and yes, one of those tools is social sharing.
Call to Actions (CTA’s)
A call to action is an absolute “must have” of every website, and that’s why it’s on our list of Small Business Website Essentials. Why? Because you are asking your customer to engage with you. And at the end of the day, that is why you have a website!
Hubspot have put together an article full of great call to action examples from all over the web, here is a taste:
- Get our tips straight to your inbox, and become a better manager. ~OfficeVibe
- See what’s next. Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime. Join Free for a Month. ~Netflix
- Are you doing your SEO wrong? enter your URL to find out ~QuickSprout
- [Limited Time Offer] Start a Blog Today and Get $297 in Free Blogging Bonuses! ~Blogging.org
- Wait! Before you go… Get 15% off your first order ~Ugmonk
There is one common trait between all of these CTA’s. Each call to action is giving the visitor something. You give us your contact details and we will give you –
- Educational materials
- Insights to help you improve
- Bonus inclusions
What are you going to ask your customers for? And…. what are you going to give them?
Keep it Usable has a great article on Call to Action Buttons, the psychology behind them, and how to increase conversions.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation is quite simply a no brainer. It is absolutely crucial that you optimise your site for search engines. You want people to be able to find you by searching for terms and phrases relevant to your business, product and/or service. If you don’t have time for anything else, this should be your number one small business website essentials list!
There are many elements to Search Engine Optimisation, here is just a few.
- Have a focus keyword on every single page of content
- Have compelling meta descriptions
- Use your focus keyword in your title tag, meta description and H1 tag
- Make sure you have at least (AT LEAST!!!!) 100 words on each URL
- Use natural language that is influenced by keyword research
- Don’t duplicate content
- Have an XML Site map and submit it to Google Search Console
- Keep your images optimised – avoid large files and use an optimisation tool and make life easier for yourself
Websites are all about educating people, and ultimately converting them into engaged customers. The best way to do this is by building trust, and one of the best ways of doing this is by providing social proof.
Social proof is evidence of other people using your products and/or service.
There are a few ways of presenting this social proof to your visitors. The first one is by including statistics on your site
- “We’ve helped build websites for over 3,000 customers”
- “1,275 support calls handled in the last 7 days”
- “Our customers love us! Rated 4.5 stars”
Social proof can also be demonstrated through:
- Case studies
- Portfolio of work
- Accreditation and memberships
- Client logos
Broken Link Checker
Have you ever gone to a website, seen something of interest and clicked on the button or text, only to get an error message? And boy, isn’t it frustrating!
There are many ways you can check your website for broken links – Google’s Webmaster Console is one of them – but we like to have a couple of different methods to keep protected, including having a Broken Link checker integrated into the site.
Remember, it’s not just about keeping your site’s URL’s in tact, but also links that you have included within your content to external websites (like I did above with Hubspot!) that you need to keep an eye on.
Website Audits by Get Online Australia
Website not producing enough leads or sales? Sick of looking at it yourself and would love a fresh opinion? Get Online Australia can help your small business website with our no-nonsense website audits.
We will review your website and give you an honest and thorough audit of opportunities to improve content, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), performance and more.