BUSINESS INSIGHT // Small Business Website Checklist
How To Create A Website That Attracts And Converts Customers
With Rochelle Lowe
Do you need to build a website for your new business? Or perhaps you need to update your current website but keep putting it off because……too hard and too scary!
And if you’ve managed to get around to doing it, what should you include on your website? Is that a ‘how long is a piece of string’ sort of question or is there a definitive answer – or at least a guide – to get super busy business owners started?
We’re glad you asked! Rochelle Lowe , the Managing Director of Wink Marketing in the Southern Highlands has helped shine some light on the process for us.
“Designing your business website can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be. Choosing a web developer or project manager that has managed website builds in the past is the best thing you can do for yourself - it will end up saving you so much time!
"It’s true, there are a lot of factors to consider when building a website. From which platform to use, where to host the website, selecting the best navigation option…. The list is long! Whether you have decided to build the website yourself or you’re choosing to work with a supplier, it’s important to spend some time thinking about all of these things."
To get you started, Rochelle has kindly provided a list of some of the most important things to consider. Have a read – this list will come in very handy!
ONE // Communicate the solution your business is providing
When people google a business, they often start their search with a question because they have a problem and need a solution. Do you provide that solution? Then place it in a prime location on your home page so it’s the first thing a customer sees. And make it concise and simple so they stick around. If you were looking for someone to engage to do a home reno, something like this is pretty hard to ignore….
Home renovations on budget and on time.
It’s succinct and solves a problem (two actually!).
TWO // Concise description of your core services
Don’t confuse visitors with lots of information. Many small businesses have lots of strings to their bow and that’s good to shout about for sure, but split your core services and products into a small number of categories. Then write one simple sentence (make it a short one too!) describing each category – that’s all you need to whet the appetite and encourage a click through.
THREE // Clean, simple branding and supporting graphics
First impressions count! A busy, cluttered and overly colourful website will confuse and put off potential customers. Many small businesses don’t have a full brand style guide to work with, so if this is the case, carefully select a palette of 2–4 colours and 1-2 fonts in line with your logo and stick to them. Streamline the space with minimal copy (words) and use a small number of attractive, curated and high-resolution images to support the messaging. Consistency is the key to creating a professional looking website and less is more if you are struggling for content.
FOUR // Mobile friendly
In 2019, mobile compatibility is critical. Nearly 60% of Google searches originate on mobile, 50.3% of global website traffic is via a mobile device and - the kicker - almost 90% of social media is now accessed via smart phones! So if nearly half the population is looking at websites on a mobile device, your website needs to be mobile friendly. If people find your website difficult to load, read or navigate on a mobile, they’ll click away. Ouch!
FIVE // Strong and obvious call to action
A call to action is what you want a potential customer to do when they land on your website. Make a reservation? Sign up to your newsletter? Follow you on Facebook? Call for a quote? It’s all about managing the sales pathway for them, and making it very simple to do any of those things with a clear call to action in a visible spot on the home page.
SIX // Contact details
Make it easy for people to call you, email you or visit you with clear, correct and up to date contact details. A contact page is always useful and placing contact details in a slick and streamlined website footer is also a good idea.
SEVEN // Share your socials
Potential customers love seeing what you’re up to on social media so make it easy for them to Follow and Like you by sharing links to your social media platforms on your website. Double check to make sure those links are correct and not broken!
EIGHT // Sign-up space
Here’s an interesting stat for you….72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email! Provide a visible and simple way for website visitors to sign up to your database through a lead magnet and then follow it up with regular, targeted and useful emails (but that’s a whole other article!).
NINE // Easy peasy navigation
Research shows you have very little time – just three seconds! Wow! - to grab people’s attention and get them comfortable to explore your site. If people leave quickly they tend not to return, so you have one shot. BUT if they find the website easy to navigate, they’ll click through to other pages and stay a little (or a lot) longer. Make it super easy for people to find their way around with accurate navigation titles and clickable links. And if you’ve got a search feature? Make sure it works!
TEN // Optimise for SEO so people can find you
No point in having a website that's easy to navigate, is aesthetically pleasing, and on point overall if no one can find you! Keywords will become your best friend in the SEO process. What keywords are your potential customers using to find you and your service? Find that out and then use them throughout your content on your website strategically. This may be where you need to bring an expert in to help you, or get you going at least. SEO can be challenging to get your head around, but if done well it can be your most cost-effective lead source.
So, is it time to redesign?
Your website is one of your key business assets and essential for your business development and sales funnel. It’s critical to stay up to date (and ahead of your competition), continually adapt and evolve as technology and customer behaviour changes. And boy, do both of those elements change quickly!
If your website needs a reboot, stop procrastinating and bump it up the priority list, you’ll see it pay dividends.
Wink Marketing is a full-service marketing agency offering businesses their expertise in digital marketing and social media, content marketing, business and brand planning, and creative services. Find out more about Wink Marketing here.
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