Essential Elements for a Small Business Website

The experienced website designers and developers at Dentons Digital Agency have built hundreds of small business sites. Here are the top 10 things they've learned about how to turn visitors into customers.

Why do small businesses need a website? It’s simple – your online base is where you’ll showcase what you do or sell, capture the attention of potential customers, and give them the opportunity to get in touch and do business with you.

It’s a case of get online – get noticed – get business.

That’s the why, but the how is just as important, if not more so.

In order to work for you the way it should, your small business website needs to meet some crucial criteria and include certain elements.

The experienced website designers and developers at Dentons Digital Agency cut their teeth on hundreds of small business sites, which are now bringing in the profits for their owners. There is, arguably, no-one better placed to know what a cracking website needs, so we picked their brains and came up with these 10 important points:

  1. Make it clear from the first glance at the home page who you are and what you do. Your site visitors should be able to tell within seconds what your business is all about. Contact information also needs to be extremely prominent – in the header, footer or sidebar of each and every page.
  2. Everything about the site needs to be SEO friendly. Search Engine Optimisation can be built in all the way through, from the design and background data to the written content and imagery. It’s the only way the search engines are going to find your site and get it noticed by those who are searching for your goods and/or services.
  3. Make your website fully responsive. That means it should display and load as well on a desktop PC as it does on a mobile phone or a tablet. Around 65% of all Google searches begin on a mobile device, so if your site isn’t optimised for mobile you’re selling yourself short.
  4. Clear Calls to Action (CTAs) are vital. These are the buttons and links that potential clients can click on to take them to an order form, contact email, phone number – anything that will make it easy for them to do business with you. If your site visitor has to spend time perusing a page to find out how to get in touch, they’ll quickly lose interest and an order will be lost.
  5. Consistent, clear and organised navigation is a must. This is all part of a good user experience (UX as we call it in the trade) that will give your website visitors a positive feeling about your site and enable them to find out everything they want to know in just a click or two.
  6. A simple, clean and uncluttered design not only looks professional but also helps your site visitors to pick up the message you’re conveying quickly and easily. Branding is useful to make your business memorable, but don’t confuse and confound with too many colours and complicated logos.
  7. “Content is King” said Microsoft founder Bill Gates back in 1996, and it remains true today in the world of digital marketing. Content is not just the written word, but can encompass imagery, sound bites, videos, graphs and anything else you choose to feature on your site. Whatever it is it needs to be of good quality, engaging, informative, relevant and subtly promotional – not just there to look pretty or pad out a page. Think entertaining blogs, how-to-guides and so on – all good for SEO too.
  8. With content still in mind here’s a tip – check the spelling, grammar and punctuation on your website. There are many purists out there who will be put off of your business if you fail the language test.
  9. Include customer reviews on your website, because these not only have the power to influence consumer decisions but can also strengthen your company’s credibility and build trust. This is known in digital marketing as “social proofing”. Reviews also guide you in how to move forward with your business by better understanding your customers and improving customer service.
  10. Don’t be shy – have an “About Us” page on your website to introduce yourself and your staff, and build up a rapport with your customers. Explain in plain English what your business does and how and when you came to start it. Feature your staff members, your company vehicles, pictures of your employees at work – anything to show your credibility as an established, honest business.

All this can be a bit intimidating, but we’re sure you’ll agree it all makes sense from a business perspective. Without having a well-thought-out website that is designed and built with all these elements in mind, you may as well not have one at all.

Don’t despair if your current site is not up to scratch, or you don’t know where to start with getting your business online. Just get in touch with Dentons Digital for a no-obligation discussion and we’ll explain how affordable it is to have our team create a website that works for you.

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If you would rather, you can ring up for a chat, or drop in for a coffee. We can help and advise you on how to improve your digital presence. There are no catches.

About The Author

Lucille Parker

Lucille Parker

Lucille is Dentons Digital content writer, crafting SEO friendly content for clients’ websites and blogging for the company. She’s been writing for the web for more than 20 years after switching to digital from a career in print journalism.

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Call us on 01373 580126 or click on the link below to see how we can help you.