What to include on your company website

Posted by Admin

Your small business website should be a reflection of your business. It should be unique and in line with the times. You can go as wild or as conservative as you like, but there are a few key elements that every well thought out site will need to make your site get the results you desire, namely, generating new business.

  1. You must include a means for your customer to contact you. The easier it is for a customer to make that initial contact, the quicker you will be able to make a sale. Do make sure you either include a customer contact form or a quote request form on your site.
  2. Lead capture form. You should always attempt to get every visitor to your website to leave their email for you to get in touch with them in the future. For some people, today may not be the ideal time for them to purchase your product or service, but that does not mean they are not interested. By capturing their email, you will be able to contact them again and address any obstacles they may have had with purchasing from you.
  3. Links to your social networking accounts. You should include your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn links and a request for your visitors to follow you. This may capture the visitors who did not feel comfortable filling in the lead capture form but will still allow you to stay in contact and inform them of anything new within your business.
  4. Easy navigation. I can't stress enough how important it is for your visitors to be able to get around your website easily. If the traffic to your site cannot find what they are looking for at a glance, they will leave and you will miss out on the opportunity to do business with them.
  5. A means for visitors to interact with you. A blog is the easiest way to do this. You not only can quickly and easily add fresh content through a blog, you also give your customers a chance to offer their opinions through the use of comments on your blog.
  6. Don't forget the privacy policy and terms of use (if applicable). A privacy policy is a required element of a website in today's web standards. Especially if you are using any kind of analytics or Google tools within your website. You will not get indexed well in any search engines without this element included in your website.
  7. Analytics or site stats. You must be able to track the performance of your website. Unless you know how many visitors you are getting to your site, where they came from and what pages they visited, you will never be able to improve your site performance. It is vital that you be able to look at your numbers.

There you have the main elements that every business website must have in order to get a good return on investment. You want your small business website to bring you new business and grow your bottom line. Without these features, a website will not be the best business generating tool for your company.

Also remember to check:

Every day thousands of businesses release their new websites to the internet. Often times, these websites are not developed by professionals and have many underlying problems and missing elements that can help turn a website into a valuable investment.

Check for Broken Links

One of the ways to ensure your website is professional is to verify that all of the different links of your website work. I am constantly amazed at how many websites that contain broken links. Go through all of the navigation links and other links on the text in your website. If you link out to other blogs or websites, check those areas often as well. Often times, if you link to another website, they may change the web address and your link will be broken. Check all of the links regularly on your website, your visitors will appreciate it.

Test Your Website's Appearance in Different Internet Browsers

With many different users using Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari, it is important that you check these three browsers to see how your website looks on each. Often times, there are big differences in how the website appears in each. I have seen some cases where the contact information is completely hidden in one browser and it is fine in another. Items on your website can appear broken or out of place. This is the main reason as you want to have your information and design as consistent as possible for your viewing audience.

Have Contact Information Readily Available

Having customers dig for contact information is a big mistake with competitor's just a click away. I prefer to see a website with contact information listed at the top of every page. It builds credibility for the business. I have heard of many cases where a user is on a website and has to dig for contact information only to be so frustrated that the user leaves the website and goes to a competitor. A missed opportunity simply because of the lack of contact information. The best way to make sure this does not happen is to have contact information listed in as many places on the website as possible.

Easy, Consistent Navigation Structure

It is a necessity to have an easy, intuitive, consistent navigation structure for your website. I constantly run across websites that have inconsistent navigation on each page and it makes it a problem for all users who are trying to navigate through the website. The standard navigation is across the top of the website or along the left hand side and this seems to work pretty well. Users are familiar with this type of navigation and I would highly recommend using more of the standard.

Making sure your website has the above recommendations can increase the chance that users will come across your website and possibly do business with you. Remember that your website should resemble the professionalism of your business and if it does not put forth the image you have of your business, I would advise to seek the help of a professional.