4 Critical Elements Every Small-Business Website Needs Right NOW

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What is your business without a website? The short answer is probably not much. Or, it hasn’t even begun to reach its full potential. While it’s true that for some businesses a website isn’t always essential (those that rely on foot traffic like a barber, for example) a website is generally a prerequisite to establish strong presence – and thereby strong profits – for your business.

So, we are going to assume here that you already have a website. But, have you thought about how your website might be better? Do you believe that your customers are having the most positive experience that they possibly could on your site? Most people would agree that there could be room for improvement. And, a better website means more conversions i.e. more dollars. So, what are the top ways to improve your website today?

An effective home page

You would have heard it said that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression and this is so true when you consider a website’s home page. This is clearly the page that your customers see first, otherwise known as a landing page.

When someone is wanting to buy some goods or services and they have a good ‘ol google for said thing, then this is where they are naturally going to wind up. Because this page receives the bulk of your traffic it’s crucial that it facilitates the process of transforming visitors into a base of paying customers – otherwise known as “conversion”.

Call to action (CTA)

You need to direct people to where they can take action on your website. This is what is referred to as a “call to action” or CTA. It’s most valuable to have an image or line of text on your landing page so that your visitors, leads and customers can take action in the first instance. A CTA can link customers to a purchasing platform (such as PayPal) or a subscription form that allows you to capture their contact details and to set up a customer database.

Or, they could be used to facilitate such marketing tools as downloading an eBook, obtaining a coupon or watching a webinar. They are also very effective at the end of a blog. CTAs can be used throughout your website to increase your conversion rate as much as possible. Some tips for a great CTA? You want the design to be eye-catching and you want to pose a proposition that explicitly tells people what they will get in exchange for clicking on it.

Functionality

A website is only ever as good as the user experience. Contact information need to be easily accessible so that conversions are achieved and your brand legitimacy is never called into question. Is the site easily navigable? People will click away in seconds if it’s all too hard to use. Another question you need to ask is can the website be viewed easily on all devices? Smartphone and tablets are driving an increasing amount of traffic to e commerce sites. You need to make sure you’re not missing out.

Is your site social media integrated? This is all about keeping your audience engaged where they participate most (and that’s usually Facebook, Instagram etc.) so this is a massive marketing tool that you must to tap into. Having the right buttons on your website to connect your users with various social media channels also keeps your search rankings high on Google, referring here to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Content

Customers need to know the benefits of buying from you but they don’t want it served up in a dry fashion. You need to provide content on your website (often by way of a blog) that is entertaining and engaging while still being informative.

It’s about giving your audience the information that they actually want to read while neatly slotting in some promotional material for your product or service. It’s a tricky thing but, nonetheless, a very important factor in achieving effecting SEO. Customers also love to feel connected to your brand and providing a “humanised” reference point can go a long way to enhancing loyalty and therefore your profit margins.

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