Small businesses need to be online if they want to compete in an increasingly connected digital world. A recent Telstra survey shows 1 in 5 consumers will not consider a small business they haven’t used before if the business does not have a website. So without an online presence, your customers will struggle to find and trust you.
When it comes to your physical presence, having a website is one of the most effective methods in building your presence. Word of mouth and Social Media posts can be powerful tools; however, if they don’t have a website to go to after they’ve engaged with your social strategy, you’re missing out on an important channel to connect with your customers in a more in-depth fashion and directly drive leads.
Many business owners think that having and setting up a website is too time-consuming and difficult. At HESK Digital, we’ve researched some top small business website tips that will assist you with developing your website. Below are 5 small business website features that are part of the most successful websites.
1. Your Navigation Bar Should Be Well Organised
When creating your website, it’s important to have an easy to use navigation bar. A visitor must be able to navigate to all of your key pages on your website from the navigation bar. Having a messy and unorganised navigation bar will complicate getting to pages on your site, this will push users away from using your siteThis bar should appear clearly defined at the top of each of your pages. You can also set a “sticky” navbar where a user scrolls down and the bar remains present at the top of each page.
You should link your logo on the navigation bar to redirect a user to your homepage. A well-organised navigation bar should also be designed to work on mobile devices. To do this, placing your navbar links into a ‘hamburger menu’ can ensure that all mobile users can navigate across your site.
Below is an example of our navigation bar on our site showing you what a well formed navigation bar should look like.
2. The Design Needs To Be Fit For Purpose
The purpose of your website is to attract customers; so your site needs to focus on a great user experience for your target market.
Your site should be designed in a way that achieves the objectives of your business. For example, a site selling products will need to have features that aid customers in finding and purchasing the products they are considering buying. Here are some simple design principles which you should be following when making a site for your small business.
The first is a responsive design. Your website needs to be responsive to all platforms. Many modern CMS platforms support the addition of dynamic elements that respond to screen size, device type, accessibility settings, and other issues.
Search Engines such as Google favour responsive websites over static ones. This is because many more users over the last few years have started using search engines on mobile devices. Failing to make a responsive website will mean you have lower engagement and conversion rates. This in turn will reduce your Google rankings as Click-through-rate and return visitors drop..
The second principle is the User Experience Optimisation. Having a user friendly structure to your website is the key to success. While you may want to incorporate images, visuals and colours; it’s important to nail down the basics first and use those elements to add to your site’s creativity afterwards. Testing page variations, creating analytics funnels and looking at engagement metrics are all great ways to find out how to optimise your page
The third principle involves Calls to Action. A Call to Action is a part of your website where you’re attempting to convince your user to do something. A Call to Action can have many forms. These include: Contact Us, Get a Quote Today, Download Here, Shop Now etc. It is always a good idea to incorporate Calls to Action on your site.
3. You Need to Be Accessible
How will your potential customers contact you if your details aren’t provided on your site? Surprisingly, many sites don’t offer the appropriate contact details. At the bare minimum, your website should have the name of your business, the contact number, email address and the address of the physical location of your business.
You should present your contact information on a Contact Us page with a contact form. In our navigation bar, you’ll see that we’ve placed a link to the page to aid users. You should also place links to all of your social media accounts on the footer of your site, along with at least one method of contact.
This tip seems like a no brainer, however, many people either don’t provide sufficient contact information or forget to do it altogether. Leaving your contact information out can be detrimental to both leads and to Google, who require it for many marketing purposes.
4. On-site Blog
Have you set up a website for your small business and it’s not performing as well as you wanted it to? It might be time to start doing some content work on your site. Many business owners stay away from on-site blogs because they’re ‘’only for the bigger businesses’’. This is a myth. An on-site blog can lead you to a competitive advantage against your competition if you do it right.
When thinking of starting your blog, you should take note of a few tips for writing them. An on-site blog shows users that you’re a well established brand and that your brand is up to date with innovations in your industry. You should only write about relevant topics. Writing a well written and structure piece of content which is also relevant improves your SEO and online performance. This allows you to incorporate your website into your marketing strategy.
When coming to present your content on a blog, there are some simple mistakes which many owners make when presenting it on their site. For example, you should ensure that the main page of your blog provides a list of your posts in chronological order and in the appropriate categories. You need to also be consistent with your font, tone and visual style. Most importantly, you should incorporate a call to action and link it to a lead form, the contact page or the products and services that your business offers.
To assess whether your blogs are well written and performing well, there are many SEO tools such as Moz and Ahrefs which provide you with keywords and SEO performance reports.
5. Measuring your Progress
The top tip when it comes to your website is to integrate analytics and conversion trackers. If you don’t know how your website is performing, how are you going to know which tips to implement and what needs to be changed? The overall aim of your site is to increase traffic and convert users browsing the internet to become your customer.
Useful all-in-one SEO software such as Moz and Ahrefs provide you with the right data reports to understand how your site is performing and what specifically may need improvements. The questions you should be asking yourself and finding the reports for include:
- The volume of people entering the site.
- Where they came from.
- How long they spend on a page and on your site.
- Which of your page’s are performing the best.
- Which are performing the worst.
- What is the conversion rate (either products and services or lead forms etc)?
By using the tools mentioned above to find reports and data on each of these questions you can evaluate the performance of your site. This means you can make changes such as removing toxic links and pages which are performing poorly, or even the need for a redesign. Understanding where your position is against your competitors and what you can do to gain a competitive advantage should be a small business owner’s first priority.
By following the tips shared in this article, you’re in a position to improve the performance of your website for your small business. At the end of the day, it does take a lot of effort to design, redesign and maintain a website; But it’s worth it to help your business grow.
If you’re thinking of having a website created for you, here at HESK Digital, we’re more than happy to help. Get in contact with us today for a free quote!
HESK Digital is a Sydney based digital marketing agency specialised in business growth. Take your business to the next level with our customised digital marketing solutions and innovative methodology. We are SEO, Pay Per Click and Social Media Advertising, and Website Developments and Design professionals. Our experts have over three decades of digital marketing experience in converting traffic into real sales through customised marketing solutions.
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