We live in a connected age where you can purchase pretty much anything you want at the touch of a button on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer.
With this in mind, you may find it surprising to learn that not all businesses are tapping into this, or even quite know how to.
Research conducted for Digital Kitbag revealed that almost half of SMEs don’t even have a website, and of those businesses that do have a website, fewer than 30% are optimised for mobile.
For those of you without a website, you only need to look at your competitors online to see you’re missing a trick. However, for those of you who do have one, consider this – our research found that;
- 93% of you are not using the homepage to provide a local contact number
- 94% are failing to use it to offer a map or location
- 79% are not publishing an address
- Only half of small business websites have a contact form
- 39% provide a contact email address.
And for those of you without a mobile-friendly website – have you looked around recently at how many people are glued to their smartphones? And they are looking for local information a lot of the time.
There are a few simple and straightforward steps you can take to make the most out of the Internet and its potential to give you new customers and ultimately grow your business. Here are 6 ways you can get better results from your website:
1. Include an ‘About’ page
A very basic point, but one that many small business websites can often get wrong. An ‘About’ page gives you the opportunity to explain what you do to first-time visitors.
Many businesses fall into the trap of writing tedious and long-winded descriptions about their foundations and backgrounds. This is unnecessary. Keep to the point, and include key information such as what you sell and what your business does.
This will ensure you are attracting the right customers; the ones who are most likely to invest in your products and services.
2. Clearly display your contact details
Your ‘Contact’ page plays an equally important role as it is where your customers will go to have questions answered not addressed elsewhere on the site.
If your business is physically based somewhere, be sure to include the address and a map with directions. It’s also advisable to add your opening hours so any potential customers know when to pay you a visit or call with an enquiry.
Other information such as your telephone number and email address are key too, so make sure these details are easy to find on the page. In fact, your telephone number should be the easiest thing on the website to find, so it is a good idea to include this in the header across all the pages of the site, as well as on the ‘Contact’ page.
3. List all of your products and services
A professional and aesthetically pleasing website is important, but it’s also vital for customers to know the basics. As simple as it sounds, you need to list all of your products and services so any potential customers can see what you have to offer, and think about making a purchase.
For a product-based business, this section of your site should also show high-quality images of your products and have all their benefits clearly listed. Don’t forget to include easy-to-understand explanations of your services as this is what most customers will take away with them.
4. Make sure your pages are easy to find
It is important that your website is an easy and stress-free experience for any potential customers.
Visitors must be able to navigate their way around the site quickly and easily, making it less likely that potential customers will leave after just one visit and more likely that they will return for several more, increasing their exposure to your products or services and making them more likely to part with their cash.
If your business boasts a lot of products or services on its site, make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find what they want quickly.
5. Your website must be mobile-friendly
Over 20% of Internet traffic is now on mobile devices, and increasing rapidly, so make sure you are tapping into this. This means if your website is not appealing or accessible to smartphone and tablet users, you are essentially throwing away a fifth of your potential customers.
It is advisable to check how your website looks by viewing it on a mobile and tablet device. When you do this, you should ensure your contact number is at the top of the page, that you can click-to-call straight from the mobile, and that you don’t have to zoom in or out, or scroll left to right, to see the whole page.
6. Make sure your website looks good
This might seem like an obvious point, but one that is certainly worth mentioning. As fundamental as it is to include all the right content, a professional and attractive website goes that extra mile in ensuring your visitors believe you are serious about what you do.
Visitors are much more likely to trust the information provided on your website when it is complimented by a slick and tasteful design. After all, your website is mirroring your brand, which consumers need to believe in before they choose to invest in one of your products or services.
With all of the help and support available to SMEs in boosting their digital presence, there is little excuse to not be working on an effective website for your business.
It’s true that these steps to improve your online presence may take up some time, a precious commodity for all business owners. But if they have a positive impact on your bottom line, we’d argue that’s time well spent. Wouldn’t you?
For more tips and help with developing a successful website for your start-up or small business, make sure you read;
- 7 Mistakes You Could be Making With Your Website
- Being Successful Online – A Digital Marketing Guide for Small Business Owners
About the author
This guide has been written for Bytestart by Chris Brake, MD of Digital Kitbag, the digital marketing service from Johnston Press. With a range of simple and cost-effective services, Digital Kitbag helps small businesses get more from their website.
More help on being successful online
For more great advice and tips on promoting your business online, read these other ByteStart guides;
- How to communicate effectively with your website designer
- When to get SEO for your website, and when not to
- 5 questions you should ask an SEO agency before you hire them
- Marketing your small business through YouTube – The 4 essential steps to success
And for help with reaping the benefits of social media, try these;
- 10 Top tips for small businesses starting out with social media
- Tweets that get you followed and your business noticed – How to build a loyal following, 140 characters at a time
- How to use Facebook to grow your small business
- 5 ways to maximise your business with social media
And if you are setting up a new business, these ByteStart guides will help you start on the right path;
- 10 advantages running your business as a limited company has over being a sole trader
- How peer-to-peer lending offers start-ups and small businesses a new funding option
- How to choose the best online accounting software for your business
- 10 ways small business owners can pay less tax
- Which types of business insurance are your new business legally required to have?