No, Virginia, business websites aren’t dead. In fact, small-business owners need them now more than ever before. And here are six things any self-respecting business website needs.
Are business websites obsolete? In the best debating tradition, we’ll counter that with another question: Have you seen how many websites there are? Obviously, the website is alive and well and replicating like crazy.
You may think that websites are gradually being elbowed out of relevance by Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. However, this report from the Acquity Group, quoted on Brafton.com, shows that a whopping 84% of people surveyed research businesses using – you guessed it – the company’s website.So then, you understandably want to put your best digital foot forward.
What does your website need to appeal to the modern Internet user?
Six Things Every Business Website Needs
- Its Own Domain Name. It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: spend the extra couple of bucks and get your own domain name. Think about it… how much trust would you put in a company whose online address looked like this: webhostme.sites.techspertservices? Very little. But techspertservices.com? It’s much more professional, not to mention much easier to remember.
- Photos. Text-only websites are so 1999. Now, eye appeal shares the spotlight with punchy, tight content. You must have both. Even if you’re a business that doesn’t seem to be all that visual – an auto repair shop, say, or a cleaning service, you may not have product photos to display, but you can tell a story in pictures. And you should. If you doubt the appeal of images, consider Pinterest. It’s an entire community built on pictures.
- Contact Form. Having a website without a contact form is about as smart as mailing an invoice with no address. What’s the point? Aside from a simple fill-in form with blank fields – pretty standard website fare – you need to have some standalone info. To inspire confidence, make sure your contact page includes ALL of the following:
- Physical address or PO Box
- Phone number
- Email address
- Days and hours of operation
Omit these things and you risk looking like a scam at worst, or a lazy amateur at best. And this way, if your customers can’t or don’t want to fill in the form, they have alternate ways to reach you.