What Makes a Good Website For Small Businesses

January 18, 2022
Laura Smith

So, what exactly DOES make an amazing small business website in the UK?

Firstly, a website should be well enough built that it can be found in search engines.  A website is all well and good but if nobody can find it, its neither use nor ornament!

Secondly, your small business site should be functional yet pleasing to the eye and portray a consistent brand as well as answer users' questions. Keep reading to find out exactly what your small business website needs to make it a success in 2022.

15 things your small business website has to have

#1 URL

URL is the short form for Uniform Resource Locator, a website URL is basically its address on the internet!. Every small business website needs a URL.  The URL or domain name that you choose will have an effect on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Read more in our blog Why Your URL Choice Matters.

#2 Sitemap

Site maps are crucial when it comes to small business SEO. Including an XML sitemap file in your website makes it easier for search engines to digest your content and interpret what your website is all about, this will help your website to appear in search results.

#3 Homepage

Your home page is essential for a variety of reasons, not least as a space to direct people around your website. Your homepage should clearly define your proposition, any seasonality that is relevant such as Christmas and your best offers. 

#4 About Us Page

Why is an 'About Us' page important? Haven't you already told the user what they need to know on your homepage?

No! The difference is that the 'About' page is personable. It features the people behind the brand and any back story or journey so far. The about page on your website is key to building trust with potential customers. It gives your small business credibility and helps to humanise your brand by presenting the people and story behind the business.

#5 Contact form

An area on your site where any visitor can submit their name and email address, great for generating warm leads.

#6 Services or Product Page

These pages (depending on your business model) are your online sales people. All of the information that the customer needs to know about your services or products should be found here. Basically, this is your opportunity to sell, sell, sell!

#7 Strong Call to Action

A call to action is any button or element on a website that asks the user to take some form of action. A great example of a CTA or call to action is the ‘Add to Basket’ button often displayed on product pages. Why is a call to action important? The call to action is a signpost that lets the user know what to do next. Ensure the design, wording and placement is spot on.

Understanding the elements that make a good business website.

#8 Brand Identity

Your brand identity represents not only all that your small business has to offer but the values that it represents as well. Just like your personal identity, your brand identity is what separates you from everyone else and your website provides you with a huge opportunity to share it!  Ensure your branding is consistent across the site with your logo, messaging (including your values), font and colour scheme. 

#9 SEO Optimisation

Meta describes tags, titles and descriptions that you need to create and add to your websites CMS (Content Management System). Why do meta tags matter? Meta tags offer more details about your site to search engines and users who encounter your site in the SERP. They can be optimised to highlight the most important elements of your content and make your website stand out. 

#10 Responsive Web Design

Let’s face it.  When is your mobile phone NOT in your hand?  Well, the same goes for the next potential user of your small business website. Essentially, responsive design is a way to put together a website so that it automatically scales its text and images to match the screen size on which it is viewed. Responsive web design prevents users on mobile or tablet devices from needing to do extra work to read your content.

#11 Checkout

Why does your small business website need a checkout? Well, maybe it doesn't. You only require checkout functionality if your user has to complete an eCommerce purchase.  If however, you do require a checkout, ensure that the checkout experience is as smooth and easy to navigate as possible or you may see potential customers lost at this point in the buying journey.

#12 Content

Blogs, landing page text - basically areas where you can frequently add new content, is a must on your small businesses website. Good SEO results are largely driven by new content and relevant keywords, which means fresh content and a place to house it.  Think about adding a blog area or frequently asked questions to your website. Adding fresh content may help you rank higher, which could make it more likely to get clicked.

#13 Chat Bot

Your small site should have a chatbot! Chatbots build your customer service offering stronger than if you were trying to answer every query yourself. Satisfy your customers and make yourself available (via a bot) to answer questions 24/7! A chatbot is no longer a value-added service, users have come to expect it.  A chatbot can go a long way towards improving your website UX by providing a personalised conversation experience for every customer in your database, allowing you to provide customer service on a large scale.

#14 Testimonials

Testimonials are one of the most important pieces of copy you can put on your website. The reason for this is they give your user trust in your site, brand and that final push to buy your product or service. They are also organically beneficial for search engines.

#15 Tracking

Why do you need to track users coming onto and leaving your small website? The main reason websites track users is to gain insights into how their customers use their site. Understanding how many visitors your site has had last week vs the previous week, where that traffic has come from (search, social, email) and at one point they left the site is crucial for improving your website and in turn growing your online business.

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