Building a small business website can be a fun design process. There are innumerable options for color palettes, page layouts, image and icon choices, and typography. However, your content is just as important as the website's stylistic design as it is what keeps your visitors on your page and encourages them to come back.
To start from the beginning, ensure you have the best website content to attract and retain your target audience. There are five elements that should be part of your website content plan and set your business up for website success:
Your business website is your online business card, so at a minimum, include everything listed on your business card. This means your logo, contact information, and tagline all need to be present and accounted for in your website content. Brand consistency across your print and digital marketing materials is essential for credibility and establishing trust with your potential and recurring customers.
The header area is a common place for logos as it is above the fold (meaning no scrolling is required to see it) and catches the visitor's attention immediately. As many people scan from left to right, the upper left-hand corner is prime real estate for your logo. Place it there for instant recognition.
Your business name and tagline are other important pieces of your brand to prominently display on your website. Have your business name front and center so no visitor is left confused as to whose site they've landed on. Your tagline gives visitors a flavor for your industry and personality. Place that near your business name so they become linked in your reader's mind.
As for contact information, your email address, physical address (if applicable), phone number, and social media handles should all reside in your footer area. Your footer carries over to every page, so it only takes a little scrolling to find a variety of ways to contact your business. Additionally, having a dedicated "Contact Us" page is content must, but we'll get into that later in this article.
Once these elements are in place, you can add unique content to your website.
Beyond the brand basics mentioned above, your homepage needs to immediately engage its visitors to keep them interested and on your website. Your homepage should pose a question or begin telling your business's story to pique your visitors' interest.
Strong background imagery that speaks to your brand's mission or industry is one way to capture attention. You may be wondering how high-quality images qualify as content, but we assure you, your imagery is a valuable piece of your content pie. Using images and icons that are clearly recognizable and relate to your text helps bring your business to life on your homepage. Your images aid visitors in visualizing what your business does and sets an expectation about your products, services, and customer service.
A best practice is to include your business name, tagline, and a quote, question, or short statement that causes readers to pause and consider the statement. Paired with a related image, you've hooked your visitors into staying and clicking through to other pages of your website, which is the ultimate goal of your homepage.
About us page
Even though your homepage gives visitors a sense of your business, your "About Us" page is where your true brand personality can shine through! Use this space to tell your business story. Give readers a glimpse into your small business journey and what lead you to do so. Passion is behind every small business venture and potential customers love reading about people pursuing their ideas.
Keep in mind your reader's attention span and pare down your story into about 200-300 words. This amount of text appears manageable from the reader's perspective and gives you as the business owner an adequate opportunity to share your story.
As always, use of photographs and iconic images that are unique to your business are great accompaniments to your story. Break up the text with your store's grand opening photograph or your latest culinary creation picture. Whatever you include, ensure the image resolution is crystal clear and is optimized for mobile so your website looks its best no matter the device.
Products and services page
Use your products and services page to highlight your business offerings in an easy-to-read way that inspires sales. In our recent Small Business Customer Expectations Report, nearly 45% of participants indicated that they're primarily looking for product information on a small business website. Don't miss out on a huge section of the market by not including product and service information. Succinct and informative descriptions paired with product images show your reader exactly what they're getting. People like transparency, so give them what they want on your product page.
If you're in a service industry, itemize your offerings with full descriptions of the service and what the customer can expect from your business. While you may not have images of your services, icons are a great substitute as they help readers infer value and meaning before they read the descriptions.
To create an inspiring product or service page, drop the industry jargon and speak to your audience as if you were talking to a friend. Use their language and write in a way that your customers can relate to. Make it as simple as possible for them to think, "Yes, I need to work with them!" Ultimately, your products and services page aims to convert website visitors into sales, so provide every opportunity for your images and text to persuade them into buying from your business.
Contact Us page
Your contact page is a powerful engagement tool. It is where people automatically go when they have a question, want more information, or decide to work with you. A well-constructed contact page reiterates your full contact information (address, email address, hours of operation, and phone number), and any other specifications - such as by appointment only and expected response time.
Many contact pages include a message submission tool, where visitors enter their name, email, and message, and it's sent to your business email account. To get the most out of your messaging function, provide a blurb above or beside the submission form to guide your visitors. Is this form for inquiries or to set up appointments? By instructing your visitors to provide specific information, you will receive valuable communication from which you can build a relationship with your prospective clients. Believe us, your clients will appreciate the guidance as it reflects your understanding of their needs and that you want to provide top notch service.
With these five website content pillars, your small business is prepared to build a website. Incorporating these standard, but often overlooked, elements of your business and brand help visitors recognize your business as well as bolster your search engine rankings, so potential customers can find you more easily. Give these tips a try for better engagement and more website traffic.