What are the 5 Essential Elements of a Small Business Website?

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Answered by: Suzanna, An Expert in the Build Your Website Category
The Homepage - This is the first point of contact with a potential client. A good layout and easy navigation are a must for a successful small business website. Though Flash banners are eye-catching, keep in mind that the consumer's foremost concern is information on the product or service your small business provides. To portray a professional image, your homepage must provide easy access to relevant information.

Contact Us - A business that is trustworthy makes it easy for clients to contact them. Security is a concern on the mind of every online consumer. Provide multiple methods of contact. List your street address, email address, and phone number. Encourage clients to contact you through an electronic contact form on your small business website. This is a convenient way to capture essential marketing information for potential sales.

Services - Whether your business is selling a product or service, this should be clearly laid out in your small business website. When a potential client is researching companies, this is often the first link that they go to. Often, a visual chart is helpful for the client to see how your business can benefit them. Pricing can be listed on this page. Saving your potential client time will leave a good impression. If it is not practical to list pricing, make it easy for your client to contact you by providing contact information or a contact form on this page.

About Us - This is different from the Contact Us page, but just as essential to building the client's trust in your small business. It answers the questions: How long have you been in business? What is your area of specialty? What other clients trust your services? How good is your record with accredited rating agencies such as the Better Business Bureau? Has your business received a Small Business Recognition Award? This is the perfect platform to display such awards or recognition. This will build client trust.

FAQ - Address frequently asked questions in this section. The majority of visitors to your small business website will be looking for answers about what your business can do for them. Covering common questions will save you time in answering such repetitive questions by phone or even more time-consuming for most business owners, by writing. Save yourself time and frustration with an FAQ.

Maps and Directions - Make it as easy as possible for your potential clients to get to your place of business. Of course, this only applies to brick and mortar businesses that are using the small business website as a portal to their store or office. Providing a Google map as well as written directions will keep the client browsing on your site a little longer. As with a physical store, browsing can lead to additional sales.

A note about:

Graphic Design - The visual appeal of your small business website. View this as another opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism. As with attire, a neat appearance is the key to looking professional. If you are not personally trained in this field, it is worthwhile to invest in a professional web designer who can lay out your website in a manner appropriate to your business.

Web Development - The sound structure of your small business website. Will it be easy to navigate? Can it handle the volume of traffic that will be coming through it? Consider these questions when hiring a web developer to build your small business website.

Copywriting - The words that capture your client's interest. Are they clear and understandable? Do they invite the reader to seek more information? Are they error-free or do they cause the reader to question the trustworthiness of your small business? Hiring a good copywriter and proofreader will reflect well on your business, not detracting from its attractiveness to potential clients.

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