Small businesses don’t use websites to show off; they use them to build customer interest and make sales. And if you haven’t updated your website in a long time, the odds are very high that your website isn’t delivering as many leads or sales as it could.
Savvy small businesses don’t ignore opportunities to drive more traffic and generate more leads for their sales team. So when it’s time to rebuild or redesign your small business website, you’re less focused on award-winning design and more focused on client-winning design. And you want a website that works best for your target audience — not something that’s trendy that would be ineffective at getting more leads and sales.
If you’re in the market for a new or redesigned small business website, here are four things that will make a website for a small business great:
1. The redesign process starts with customer personas
Don’t work through the design process only to end up with a beautiful small business website that doesn’t clearly communicate your value to your potential customers. Just like a larger company, investing time in the planning your website around your customer personas will help you get better results.
If you haven’t updated your personas in a long time, do so before building your site. Make sure you understand what problem your customers are trying to solve, and then make a clear explanation of how your business solves that problem part of your website requirements.
2.Contact information is obvious
Let’s face it, one reason your small business has a website is to give potential customers a way (or at least the information) to contact the company for new business purposes. Don’t test the patience of site visitors by hiding your contact information on a second page or at the bottom of the screen — make it prominent. List your phone number or contact information at the top left or top right of your company’s homepage, and, if possible, on every page of the site so that there’s never a question of how to get in touch.
Depending on your industry, it may also be appropriate to take it a step further and provide several different contact options — phone, email, contact form, live chat — so that customers will never miss an opportunity to get in touch.
3. Prospective buyers have plenty of content to sink their teeth into
Don’t just take time to make sure the design and the technology behind your website are updated. Effective redesigns also examine content. The way content is organized, the way it’s presented to potential customers, and the way it’s written play a pivotal role in making your small business website a sales tool. As buyers visit your small business website to learn more and consider all their options, your website has an opportunity to be a part of that decision-making process — but only if you build in targeted content opportunities to do so.
Potential customers come to your website to learn more. Let me use our own website as proof. For every person filling out the form to contact us, over 110 people fill out a form to download one of our e-books or other information.
Giving people information they can use – but that require some contact information to get – can help warm up a sales pipeline and generate leads you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.
Eighty-eight percent of B2B companies of all sizes used content marketing last year, and they used their company website to distribute that content. Successful websites for small businesses meet high standards of user experience and design, but also high standards for engaging your customer throughout his buyer’s journey with high-quality content on your blog and other resources.
4. Pays attention to the technical details
How your small business website functions online is just as important as how targeted it is to your customer’s needs.
Technical details that should be carefully considered include:
- Making sure your website is built in such a way that it will be optimized for search engines
- Page load time is kept to a minimum for the best user experience and search engine optimization
- Considering how the website will scale to fit mobile device screens, and if you’ll deliberately remove or add information when viewed on a mobile screen
- Building a website to make it incredibly easy to update, even with no code knowledge whatsoever
Websites that don’t show up in Google search results, take too long to load, or don’t appear correctly on mobile or tablet devices won’t help you achieve your business goals.
Don’t let your technical options overwhelm you — work with a partner (in house or outsourced) that will walk you through your SEO and advertising options, as well as maximize your page load speed and website responsiveness.
Weigh the options: Should you outsource your website design?
If your website isn’t performing as well as it could, you’re leaving leads and money on the table that could help your business grow. That’s why so many small businesses are redesigning and rebuilding their websites with these four points in mind.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community