When you build a small business website these are the things you absolutely must-have. All should have the following:
About Page – One of the most visited pages on most websites. This is where you tell people about your company, the history and what you do. This is also called, Who We Are, Our Story and other names. Whatever you want to call your page, this is one of the most important of the must-have pages.
Sub Page – Team Page – Depending on whether or not you’re an individual contributor or have employees, you may want to have a page for your team. This isn’t necessary for smaller firms.
Services Page – Tell People What Services You Offer. When people surf the web they are looking for something. Make it easy, list out all your services. This page is sometimes called What We Do, and as with About, it doesn’t matter what you title the page, as long as you clearly list what it is you do.
One thing I like to do is include a line saying if you don’t see a service listed, contact us. There may be things you don’t do normally but that you would do, or at very least recommend someone else.
Contact Page – Let people know how to reach you. Make sure you include the following:
Contact Form – Keep it simple, people are leery about giving too much information
Blog/News Page – One of the most important areas from an SEO standpoint. If you want to grow your online presence, there is no better way than to be constantly adding quality content. And there is no better way than by blogging.
Testimonials Page – REAL Testimonials. Don’t have fake or fake sounding testimonials. If possible include the person’s full name, position and company. Then the testimonials carry weight.
Call To Action – Very important to have a call to action. What do you want visitors to your website to do? Contact You? Make an Appointment? Buy Something? Have a clear call to action. We blogged about this way back in 2011, in post entitled: Clear Call To Action: Keep your eye on the prize and that post is still accurate today.
Two Level Navigation Menu – If possible, all your pages should be no more than 2 levels deep. I recently saw a small website and the page I was looking for was 5 levels deep. Ridiculous and unnecessary.
Responsive Design – If your website isn’t mobile friendly, STOP and get someone to build you a new site. Over 50% of the visitors to your site are getting having a poor user experience. Responsive design is where your website adjusts to the user’s screen size and looks good everywhere. More on Responsive Design »
Unique Logo – Logos set your brand and the design of your site. Best of all it isn’t all the expensive to have a custom logo designed.
These mainly pertain to informational websites. Depending on your business, we’d also recommend:
Ability to pay invoices online
Ability to sell online
Ability to make appointments online
BOTTOM LINE: There are of course many other things you can add to your small business website. These are just the must-have pages and elements we think are crucial, especially when you are just starting out. Of course, you can always contact us and we can go through your individual requirements and make recommendations tailored for your particular business and industry.
Update: I am adding a few more items to this post:
High-quality images: Your website should have high-quality images that showcase your products or services. This can help build trust with visitors and make your business look more professional. If you use stock photography, try to use some that haven’t been used 1 million times on the web. I always point to the picture of the operator that 10 million people used on their websites! If possible, use a professional photographer especially when taking pictures of your team. Otherwise today’s cell phones can take a wonderful picture. I always just recommend that if you’re taking pictures of your team, that you are all standing against the same background, from the same distance, etc.
Clear and concise information: Your website should have clear and concise information about your business, products or services, and contact information. It should be easy for visitors to find the information they need.
Easy navigation: Building on the above point about navigation, your website should have a clear and intuitive navigation menu, so visitors can quickly find the information they need.
We all like to do things ourselves. A lot of companies want to manage their own websites. But this is not advised in this day and age. Here are 5 reasons why you need Professional Website Management.
Security – Sadly with all the hackers and people with ill intent in the world, you need to have secure hosting and management. There are literally millions of attempts every single day. To protect your website you have to be constantly looking for threats and have a plan should your website be attacked. As a Professional Website Management company, we backup sites every day of the year and even if the worst happens we can your site back up very quickly.
SEO – Having a website that no one finds is like being invisible. You need to make sure, all your content is done in such a way to help your search engine rankings. You can write your own content but having a professional review will be quite helpful in the long run and increase your visibility. SEO it’s something that needs to be worked on constantly. Regardless of what unscrupulous SEO companies tell you with their constant spam emails, there is no magic bullet. SEO takes work.
Updates – If you are using a content management like WordPress, there are tons of updates to wordpress core, plugins and themes. While many of these updates are simple, once in a while an update can completely blow away your website. So you need to make sure you know how to get the site back up an running. As an example, we recently took over managing a website for a company. They had a problem with a plugin and the company that was hosting it just disabled all plugins. So the site was a total mess! We figured out the issue and the site was back up and running. Unfortunately this company had thought Managed WordPress would take care of any issues that arose. But as they found out, this wasn’t the case and then they moved to roosites for professional website management services,
Posting New Content – One thing we have run into over the years is that companies who want to be able to take care of their own postings, but run into a lack of time to get things done. Say your business is doing super, you need to be spending your time on what makes your company successful. If you then have to take time out of your day to work on your website, you’re not putting the time into what helps you to succeed. I can’t tell you how many times people run into this issue and then decide to have someone manage their website.
Bottom line: having professional website management and hosting will get rid of one big headache that most companies deal with when attempting to manage their own website.