Websites are essential for businesses of all sizes, especially in today’s technology driven world. Although this may be the case, a large percentage of businesses don’t have an online presence, and a majority of the ones that do, don’t have the important components and features every website should have.
In addition to the general design look and feel of the website, there are many other features that must be included to improve the success and effectiveness of a small business website. Some pointers are given below with regard to the website homepage and the important features that it should have…
- Domain Name: An easy to remember domain name relevant to the business
- Logo and Tagline: Your business logo featured prominently with the tagline of your business (generally something that represents what your business does).
- Phone Number: The phone number must be featured in the header in prominent clear font so visitors can reference it with ease. It is usually placed towards the top right of the header.
- Call to Action button: A Call to Action button is something that attracts a visitor to click and perform an action. Usually such buttons will have text like “Get A Quote” or “Sign Up Now” and are generally placed below the phone number (on the top right).
- Navigation Menu: This is the main menu used to navigate your website. This must be clear, organized and easy to use
- Breadcrumb list: Usually placed below navigation menu and above the page content, the breadcrumb list shows the path or location you are on while browsing through the website. This feature gives visitors an idea of exactly where you are on a website.
- Banner or Slider Image: This is the big image that’s highlighted at the top of a website, sometimes it can be an interactive, dynamic slider or simply a static image. The images used must be relevant to your business and the services you offer. You can also have featured points that highlight the positives of your service or product
- Main page heading: This is the main heading that describes the page you are on; in the case of the homepage it is always good to use a heading that includes your target keywords. (As this is the main heading or, it has an impact on SEO)
- Important Business Information: Crucial information of your business can be featured just below the banner under the main heading. This can be presented as featured links using icons or divided columnar sections. You can have maps, reviews, videos, restaurant menu, and other important business information featured in this section.
- Main features: After the important business information the next set of content to appear should generally be a list of the main features of your business, this can be products or services offered. Each of these can be featured with an icon accompanied by a little description that links it to the relevant inside page.
- Quality Content: This can be an excerpt of text that appears below your featured products or services. This can be a little ‘About Us’ paragraph or ‘Why Choose Us’ paragraph with a few bullet points. When writing content for the website in general it is important to first consider the user and then the search engines. Content that is crammed with keywords and doesn’t make any grammatical sense will be detrimental in the long-run.
- Internal Linking: Have various links within relevant content and text using keywords as anchor text to create internal links to other pages on your website. This way while a visitor is browsing and reading through content they can follow certain links through for more information. It is also a good thing for SEO
- Contact Information: The footer must always include your important contact information such as phone numbers as well as email and if possible the business address too.
- Business Hours: If applicable the business hours or support hours must also be listed here.
- Links: Important menu links and links to other pages of your website must be included in the footer as well. This is so people can navigate and find pages easily using the footer if they require.
- Social Media Buttons: Another essential feature to include are social media icons that link to your relevant social media pages. This is a good way to make it easier for people to find and follow your business on social media.
- Newsletter Sign Up: A newsletter sign-up feature can be a great way to gather the contact details of visitors to your site, you can use this information to then send them follow up newsletters and marketing material via email.