Your business may be small, but a business website is no longer optional -- even if you serve a local customer base, and have no intentions of selling your products or services online.
Here are five essentials every small business website should include:
1. A powerful home page
Your website’s home page is the first impression you give the online world about your business: It should clearly communicate your business’s brand image through appealing visuals and copy, along with:
There are many creative ways to approach your home page, but it should include (at minimum): your logo, a brief description of your business and a navigation menu that directs users to other important pages on your site.
Now that at least 68 percent of Americans own smartphones, according to Pew Research Center, your website should also include responsive design features that ensure it’s as easy to view and navigate on smaller screens as traditional desktop computer orientations.
2. User-friendly navigation
Whether your navigation menu expands across the top of your site or in a sidebar, it must be easy for site visitors to locate, and should include logical categories that make it simple for site users to find the information they seek. According to an infographic, poor navigation is the No. 1 reason people abandon a website they’ve visited.
Consider how you can best structure your navigation menu and the categories (and possibly, subcategories) it will contain based on common questions a new customer to your business might ask. For example:
What broad categories of items or services do you sell?
What do those products or services cost?
Where is your business located; what are its hours of operation?
How do customers purchase items or services, and what forms of payment do you accept?
Ideally, a clean navigation should use logical sequencing and titles that help customers easily identify the section of your website they need to visit.
3. Search features
Include a search box feature in addition to your site navigation menu so customers can type keywords or phrases to find the information they need when the navigation menu doesn’t meet their needs. When customers type content into the search box, they’ll be presented with relevant pages to visit, so they don’t have to handle their search manually. (The more content you have on your site that addresses all possible keywords, the more beneficial the search box feature becomes.)
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