The Thursday Stop is the time during my week that all things stop for a few minutes to reflect about my business and life. I use this time as a mental breather, to look back and forward at the direction things are going. Occasionally, I recall questions from customers and clients and share my answers with viewers.
For this Thursday Stop, I wanted to give you the top 5 things that your local small business needs on its website in order to get what you need out of it… more business! While this list may seems trivial, they are often overlooked or completely forgotten on many local small business websites. So, here is the list:
5. A Nice, Branded Design
Don’t skip out on your website’s design. Why not? When a visitor makes their way to your website, let’s assume they are a business prospect – someone who is possibly interested in your product or service. In a brief moment, that visitor is going to visually take in what your website shows. If the design is not appealing and professional, their attitude towards your business will match. You will also have difficulty keeping people on your website long enough to learn more.
Must haves in your website design:
- Professional logo
- Brand colors
- Beautiful imagery
4. Social Buttons
Social buttons on your website includes having at least 1 link to an online profile for your business (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), as well as share buttons for social networks. These items are important for your visitors to see how active you are (by posting updates on the social accounts) and giving them the ability to share your business and information with others.
Must have share buttons:
- Share on Facebook
- Tweet to Twitter followers
- +1 on Google Plus
- Email to a friend
3. Web Forms
Your website is just a brochure, unless you give your visitors something to do on the website. The most basic way of engaging your prospects on your website is to give them a form to fill out. I’m not talking about a form to download, but a web form that can be filled out and submitted. The easiest and most popular type of web form to include on your local small business website is a contact form. A contact form should include inputs for Name, Phone, Email, and a box for entering a Message.
Other web forms for your website:
- Subscription form to receive a newsletter
- Interest form for more information
- Online application for hiring
- Evaluation form for services
2. Phone Number
This should be quite obvious for you and your small business website, but you would be surprised at how many websites that either do not have a phone number or the phone number is hard to find. The phone number on your local business website should be the most apparent thing on the page, and possibly all pages. In local communities, it is very convenient for your fellow citizens to pickup a phone and call. With most people being mobile capable in the world today, with an iPhone or Android device in hand, making your phone number large and click-to-call, you are making the task of calling your business number a very easy task for prospects.
Best places for phone numbers on your website:
- Large in the website header on all pages
- In the footer on all pages
- On the contact page
1. Call To Action
When you give your website visitors too much to do, they will often choose to do nothing. This is why you need to be very clear with what action steps your visitors must take to start the sales funnel. Should they call you directly? Should they fill out a web form? Be direct and specific with the next steps to give your prospects direction. Again, I must repeat, do not give your website visitors too many options. If they do decide to choose, it will most likely be the simplest one – to leave the website.
The best call to actions to use:
- Call us now
- Start your evaluation
- Register for our contest
- Like us on Facebook
In the Thursday Stop video, I give a bonus “thing” that your local small business website needs to be efficient and effective. Make sure to watch to find out what it is!
What is your local small business website missing?
Leave your answer in the comments section below.
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