A website for your business – whether it’s a small, home-based or startup business – is a necessity for enabling potential customers to find you through search, and gain a deeper insight into your brand’s potential.
A website can act as an extension of your business card, showcasing your ethos as a company and what you have to offer for future customers. But most importantly, your website should detail your background, credentials and experiences so that visitors know exactly what they’re dealing with and how you can help them.
This might sound simple but creating a website for your business for the first time can be a daunting experience. That’s why we have put together this business website checklist so that you can include everything you need in order to give your business the platform it needs to attract the right audience.
So, grab a pen and paper and follow this list so that you don’t miss out any essentials!
1. Choose a simple domain name
This is a key starting point before you even begin to build your website. Your domain name is going to represent your brand, so keep it simple. You want visitors to be able to access your website easily so don’t over complicate the name you choose. The simpler the domain name, the more memorable you and your brand are going to be to customers.
2. Clear and concise navigation
When visitors are on your website homepage, they are going to want to be able to find their way around with as little hassle as possible. Create a clear navigation site map that will direct visitors to the various pages on your website, as well as the information in which you want your visitors to see. Dropdown menus are good for this because they keep all of your page headings together compactly and they categorise your information accordingly.
3. Easy-to-find contact information
One of the most important aspects of your business website is your contact information. A number of visitors may click on your website solely to find a way to contact you, so be sure to make this information easy to find. This can be achieved by having your contact information on every page – either in the footer section or on the side bar – allowing easy access to your details.
It’s also worth noting that one of the biggest mistakes business owners make is to have only one way of contacting them. Be sure to include a phone number, email address, postal address and even your social media pages as options for customers to reach you. The whole point is to make it easy for users to communicate with you.
5. Customer testimonials
Honest words from others who have used your services will do wonders for the image of your brand. Testimonials help potential customers build trust in you, especially if you are a company that is just starting out. Not only do people love to find out positive stories about you (and they can find out firsthand what your company could do for them), it also paints your brand in a successful and appealing light – it’s win, win all round!
6. Offer direct and straightforward information, but have a personality
Visitors are going to want to know exactly what they are going to get from you so be punchy with your information. Tell them in thorough detail what your business offers and what services they can choose from. The ‘About’ section on your website is going to be a frequently visited page so this is a good place to talk about your credentials and other perks.
Chances are there will be a number of businesses like yours that are offering similar services – so make yours stand out. Having a personality is key in giving potential customers a personal approach. They are more likely to remember you if you give your brand a unique voice, so incorporate that into your content and visitors will be more likely to remember you and revisit your website.
7. Know the basics of SEO
Your website won’t stand in a solid position for driving traffic if you don’t make it more accessible to search engines. That means using the correct keywords throughout your content, adding plenty of relevant links and naming your page titles and URLs correctly. Images and videos are also good additions to your website to give it more character and allow people to visualise exactly what it is that you do.
Fresh content also works wonders for SEO, because it prevents your business from becoming stale and you can keep people up-to-date with new information via your social media feeds.
8. Have a friendly design for online readers
As much as content is key, it’s important for your website to be visually appealing to visitors. You can have some of the most interesting content featured on your website but if the layout and design features are untidy, you could run the risk of either losing customers’ attention, or having a customer be put off exploring your website as soon as they click on the link.
Content and design go hand in hand so make sure both are equally as strong. Careful consideration on what type of design would suit your business could really enhance your brand. Not everything will work for every business so it’s important to do your research so you can execute this effectively.
Furthermore, visitors are less likely to hang around for slow loading websites – so make a conscious effort to consider the speed of your website pages to avoid losing potential clients and viewers.
9. Have a blog
In today’s society, it’s very rare to come across a website that doesn’t have a blog and there’s a very good reason for that. A blog can act as the personality behind your brand and allows you to show creativity within your company. Having a blog can help you connect to potential clients and is great for SEO if you use your keywords and links effectively. Just remember to post regularly on your blog to keep it fresh.
Blogs can help your business with the following:
- It can establish you as an expert on a certain subject matter
- Brings more web traffic to your website
- Makes your website more lively and friendly
- Builds a following of readers or visitors with the potential of turning into clients
- Gives you free publicity through search engine results
- Gives you the opportunity to develop and apply your creative skills
Whatever industry sector your business falls in, be sure to ‘tell your story’ online. Customers want to know who you are and these helpful tips are the way to do that.
If you are thinking of setting up a website for your business and you want some help, why not get in touch? Our dedicated and expert team can assist you on web design, content, social media and much more.
We can help to drive your business in the direction it needs by effective website planning, so what are you waiting for? Contact us today!