Your small business website is a global front door.
That’s why it’s surprising that many small businesses don’t have one. According to the 2018 Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report, 48% of customers won’t consider a small business without a website. The same report states that only 51% of businesses with 2-4 employees have a website. It’s an even smaller percentage for sole traders.
You might be thinking, ‘well that’s not me, I have a business website’. But even if you’ve got one, the design and content could be stopping you from getting customers.
Scary isn’t it? The whole point of a business website is to entice customers to step through your front door. Not have them clicking the back button and heading to a competitor quicker than you can say ‘holy toledo’.
Here are 9 small business website tips you can’t afford to ignore.
1. Get a business website
If you’re reading this and you don’t have a business website, let me share those stats with you again. 48% of customers will not consider a small business that doesn’t have a website.
If you don’t have a website, customers can’t find you. If they can’t research your products or services, your business will get left behind.
Go get a website. Then check out the small business website tips below.
2. Have a mobile friendly website
A mobile-friendly site means all your content will adjust and resize to be viewable on smaller mobile and tablet screens. Visitors don’t have to zoom in or rotate their screens to read content or click on links. They can view your business website, in its entirety, whenever and wherever they want.
If your small business website isn’t mobile friendly, customers might head to a competitor’s site because it’s easier to view. Search engines also favour mobile-friendly websites.
Do a check now to see if your business website is mobile-friendly by viewing it on your phone. Be thorough and check all pages.
Poorly designed small business websites are frustrating for customers. With these simple tips, you can create an enjoyable experience for customers and prevent them from heading to a competitor.
3. Make navigating your website easy
Minimise the work your customers need to do to find the information they’re looking for.
Try not to reinvent the wheel. Keep it familiar and easy for customers by:
- Keeping the main navigation at the top
- Using generic menu labels or use words that make it obvious what your customers are clicking on.
- Limiting the number of web pages in the navigation menu (so you don’t overwhelm customers).
- Having an internal site search option. This extra option helps customers find information and will help keep them on your site.
Test your website with your colleagues, family and friends. Ask them for feedback on the way the information presents and how they navigated around your site. Don’t forget to test your links.
4. Be wary of too much text
If you’re staring at a wall of text on your website, it’s time to cut it back and format for readability.
Online readers skim text and have limited attention spans. They’ll decide whether a website is what they need within seconds. If they can’t find the information they’re looking for, they’ll move on.
Be specific. Write short, simple sentences. Avoid complex terms, jargon and acronyms. Break up information by using headings and subheadings, bullet lists and images.
5. Proofread your content
Your small business website is like a job interview. It needs to be well prepared, clearly presented and error free. Your businesses’ credibility and professionalism are on display.
If your business website is full of typos with poorly laid out content, chances are customers will leave. They’ll likely think your business is not credible or legitimate.
Proofreading your own work is tough. If you’ve got a colleague, friend or family member to help you out, go for it.
6. Tell prospective clients what problem you can solve
The key to great small business website content is persuasiveness and leading customers to take action. Like buying your product or service.
As a small business owner, you need to understand your customer. Understand their needs, desires, pain points and what motivates them to take action. This kind of research is critical.
Weave this understanding of your customer into your business website copy. Show them what problem your product or service solves and how it can make their lives better.
7. Have up-to-date and relevant content
Give customers a reason to come back to your small business website. Even better, give them a reason to want to share your site and content with others.
A regular blog is a great way to educate and engage with customers. Steer clear of content that focuses only on your business. Instead, choose topics that relieve customer pain points so they’ll want to come back to learn more.
All content should be well written and researched to keep your credibility intact.
What’s in it for you? Well, there are some great benefits to blogging on your small business website:
- Driving traffic to your website by creating opportunities for sharing content
- Establishing your business as an authority figure in your industry
- Getting a boost to your search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Strengthening relationships with existing customers.
- Connecting people to your brand
Yes, a blog can do all this and more.
8. Include Calls to Action
As a rule of thumb, every page on your business website needs a Call to Action (CTA). What is a CTA? In a nutshell, it’s when you ask a person visiting your website to do something.
A great CTA makes it easy for customers to know what action to take.
Here are a few examples:
- Email us for…
- Call now and get…
- Sign up for our….
- Subscribe today and…
- Join free and…
Your website copy is what builds the desire in them to take an action and your CTA spells out what that action is. That’s why a great place for your CTA is after your main content
9. Consider hiring a professional
Hiring a professional to build a well-designed and responsive small business website is a great investment (if you can afford it). But, what about content?
You could write your own website content. The question is, do you have the time and the ‘know how’ to develop clear and persuasive copy? Copy that is an extension of your brand and gets you customers?
As a small business owner, you’re already busy. So consider hiring a copywriter to free up your time and get your website working for you.
Here are some great reasons why you should work with a copywriter and why you’ll never look back:
- Working with a copywriter is easy. See for yourself by looking at my copywriting process.
- Your copywriter does the hard work for you. They research your target audience and get to the heart of the problem/s you solve.
- Your services or products will sound exciting and engaging for your audience.
- Your copywriter understands the difference between features and benefits. They’re trained to showcase your unique selling proposition (USP).
- Your business website will build trust by looking professional and free from typos and poor punctuation.
- You’ll have a better chance of appearing in search engine results. Most copywriters write SEO friendly copy that can boost your rankings.
- Save time and engage with customers by letting your copywriter write regular blogs. This will also boost your SEO.
- Your copywriter will write objectively from a marketing perspective. We all know that it’s possible to be too close to your business.
Head over to your website. Does it tick all the boxes or could it benefit from a few of the small business website tips above?
Be honest and thorough. Share your findings (and your website) in the comments below.
Don’t have the time? In need of some professional help to make your website stand out? Take the guesswork out of creating copy for your website and contact me today.
More benefits about having a website (and how to set one up) can be found at business.gov.au
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Hello, I’m Leeha a freelance copywriter and owner of Mind Your Words. I write clever, SEO friendly and engaging content to help small businesses deliver their message, connect with customers and grow. If you’re a small business looking to stand out from the crowd, book me for your next project.
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Leeha Debnam is a freelance copywriter and owner of Mind Your Words. She writes clever, SEO friendly and engaging content to help small businesses deliver their message, connect with customers and grow.
If you’re a small business looking to stand out from the crowd, book Mind Your Words for your next project.
Sign up to the MYW mailing list to get your free 'Kick-ass About Page Checklist'. You'll also stay up to date on the latest news and get my blog posts delivered straight to your inbox.
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