At Webeden.co.uk we have put together thousands of websites for small businesses. Here’s our essential checklist that every single one has to have. Why does your business need a website? What information are your website visitors looking for? How can you give your website visitors a positive impression of your business?
These are the types of questions you need to ask when putting together – or overhauling – the website for your business. But website design varies so much that it’s not easy to uncover the important elements that all sites can’t do without.
1. Your Business Name
It’s amazing how often this is overlooked: Make your Business Name clear and obvious. Most of your website visitors will have already heard of you, so reassure them that they’re in the right place.
2. Your Business Function
You know what your business does, but others might not. Be clear about what you do, in simple layman’s language. If you’re a plumber in Maidenhead, and you trade under the name ‘Jbloggs’, then visitors might not be clear on what you do from your name alone. Far better to say:
JBloggs: Plumbing Services in Maidenhead. We can
- Service your boiler
- Fit a new bathroom
- Stop any leak
And so on.
3. Your Contact details
Most people arriving on your site will be looking for a way to get in touch. Make sure your phone number, email and address is on every page, in the same place – top right hand corner if possible. Also have a ‘contact us’ page where you repeat your contact details.
4. Opening hours
Don’t work weekends? Offer a 24 hour call out service? Be clear about when you are available and when you’re not. Along with your contact details, this will be one of the main reasons someone is looking for your website.
Again, many people will look for your website in order to find out where you are. Make it easy for them to find you by including a map. This also underlines that you are a real business in the physical world – a factor often lost with online services.
(a). Photos of you and your business
To reassure web visitors of your existence, display photos of you and your business premises. These photos create a connection between your business and your website visitors and make them more likely to get in touch. It’s so much harder for someone to turn away from a real person.
(b). Customer testimonials and reviews
Someone is much more likely to want to deal with your business if they have been personally recommended by another. Customer reviews and comments are one of the easiest ways to achieve this.
The testimonials have to be authentic though – don’t try inventing your own, savvy visitors can often detect made up reviews. Try to add authenticity to reviews by including the name of the reviewer, and a way of verifying them. That might be a photo or even their contact details
If you’re putting together a website then make sure you tick off this checklist of essentials. In the next post, I’ll start adding more color with a series of features which – whilst not essential – add real personality and depth to your website.
Don’t forget to read my previous post about;
How to Add Personality to Your Local Business Website