We recommend that every small business website include the following five pages in its design:
1. Home Page
Your home page will give visitors the first impression of your business, so it should provide a clear understanding of who you are and what you do. But be careful not to overdo it, get right to the point and with only the information you know your customers need to have. In our humble opinion, the home page of your website should include the following:
- Contact Information. Shockingly, a recent study conducted by BIA/Kelsey indicated that almost 75 percent of small business websites neglected to include an email link on the home page of their websites. Don't miss out on earning new customers by forgetting to include this important contact information. You should always include your physical location, phone number, and a clear email link on your home page.
- Relevant Images. People are highly visual, and including quality, relevant images can leave a lasting impact with your audience. You might want to think twice about including images with special effects (spinning, shaking, flashing lights, etc) as that can be highly distracting and bog down the time it takes to load your website on slower internet connections. A great substitute for images is relevant iconography.
- Working Links. Make a habit of checking the links on your website on a regular basis. Broken links have a tendency to stop shoppers from completing their orders as well as make your business look unprofessional. Be sure not to add too many links on your home page though. Each link on any page of your website is a decision your visitor has to make. Add only the links that you want them to click and where you know they'll need an extra little push.
- Email Signup. You would be surprised at the number of customers that are willing to provide their email addresses in exchange for a discount on a future purchase or for more information that you can offer they would be interested in. Having a simple subscribe form in your website's footer can go a long way.
- Social Media. Make it easy for your customers to connect with and follow you on social media with visible buttons on your home page. This adds just a little bit of validation for visitors who want to take extra steps to verify you are who you say you are and do what you say you do.
Your website provides your business with the ability to establish a deeper relationship with your existing and prospective customers, and instead of making it a strictly transactional website, include a page that is dedicated to providing a background of your business. The best "about us" pages may include images of key employees, are written in the first person, and position how the business is the solution for the key concerns that the target audience has. Think about it as the modern place for listing your mission statement, but in a more interesting and relateable way. Always be sure to include a call-to-action button on your about page toward the end of the content on the page. This should be used to help funnel readers through to another area of your website, such as a Services or Products page.
3. Services or Products
You want to make it very clear to visitors of your website what your business does, so including a services page will help to accomplish this. Be sure to offer a brief summary of each product or service that your business offers and if necessary, links to more detailed information for each individual product or service. Keep in mind that when your customers are searching for information on the internet, they want answers quickly. Therefore, be sure to address the key points that they would need to help them to take the next action.
Most small business owners are using blogs today to not only help drive more organic traffic to their websites, but to also position themselves as industry experts. Taking the time to write high quality content on your blog will provide great value and insight to your audience. Many times it's a blog that will be the first introduction of your business to new visitors, so without it, you're just another company on the internet with little to nothing other than your products or services to offer visitors.
While all of your contact information should be highly visible on your home page, you will also want to include a separate "contact us" page. Be sure to include your business name, physical address, mailing address, phone number, email address, and website address. You can also include a form on your "contact us" page to encourage interested parties to very easily provide their contact information in exchange for a follow-up email or phone call from your company.
At the very least, you will want to be sure to incorporate these 5 pages into your website design to make it very clear who you are, what your business does, and how customers can contact you.
To learn more about how solid website design can help take your business to the next level, swing by our Website Design services page or send us a note.