Fundamental Features of a Small Business Website

By Carol Trehearn | October 22, 2020

In the modern world, businesses need to be able to keep up and deal with the demands of the digital age. One of the most crucial parts of running a modern business is creating your own website that accurately reflects your mission as a company, as well as displaying your products and/or services. While websites can vary wildly in terms of design, there are some fundamental features that should run universally throughout them.

A Clear Web Address

Your customers need to be able to find your website without too much hassle, and a clear web address will significantly help them do this. Ideally, you will clearly state your name within the address – or if not – you need to be able to sum up your products and services. If possible, try to avoid dashes and underscores as this can add some unnecessary SEO complications. A .com address is the classic option, though many of these have already been taken, so you may find it more of a struggle to get yours registered.

An Accurate Description

As a result of the shortened attention spans of the modern age, people don’t tend to be willing to spend a great deal of time on websites to work out exactly what you are offering. Therefore, it is particularly important that you have a couple of clear sentences or an introductory paragraph outlining what it is that you have to offer and what sets your business apart from the competition. Once you have caught that initial attention, you are more likely to get them to stay for longer before they move on.

Easy Navigation

After you have got their attention, you need to make sure that your users can find what they are looking for without too much trouble. Your navigation menu should have easy-to-understand titles that describe each of the pages, and you should also consider using drop-down menus to give a preview of what each page has to offer.

Contact Information

One of the main reasons why people visit websites is to access the contact information, so make sure that it is easy to find. Display all of your different options clearly to allow your consumers to get in touch in the way that they would like. While phone numbers and email are still popular, social media is becoming an increasingly favourable way for customers to contact you. When you display a contact option, you need to ensure that you get back to the enquirer efficiently; people expect quick customer service more than ever these days.

Basic SEO

Even if you are not an SEO whizz, you can still build your website with the basics of search engine optimization in mind. Putting correct keywords throughout your copy, adding in backlinks and naming your pages and URLs can make all the difference. Also, it is worthwhile having a blog page that you can update regularly with fresh content as this can help you to rank highly in searches. This also gives people a reason to keep coming back to your website time and time again.

A Clear Call to Action

What is it that you want and expect your visitors to do after visiting your website? Rather than expecting them to get there on their own, you need to spell it out with a clear call to action. Perhaps you want them to sign up to your mailing list or subscribe to a limited-time offer. Draw attention to the text by highlighting it or displaying some special buttons that look enticing to click on.

A User-Friendly Design

It is important to ensure that the design is user-friendly, so choose a web design agency with care and attention. While it is nice to have a website that is all-singing and all-dancing, it also needs to load quickly as people are less patient than they once were. As for any text on the website, you should make sure to break it down into clear paragraphs complete with bullet points. People tend to scan read what they see on a screen, so try to highlight any important words or phrases on the page.

A Secure Hosting Platform

Don’t assume that just because you run a small business website that it is not at risk of getting hacked. So, you should make sure that you choose your hosting platform with care. You should also ensure that you keep everything updated as there are likely to be some crucial security updates that you may end up missing out on otherwise.