SCORE

What makes a great small business website? There are certain essential elements that every website must have in order to please today’s tech-savvy web visitors. These include:

1. Clean & Easy To Navigate 
Good web design results in a site that’s a pleasure to look at and is easy to use. Ideally, your website will look clean: not cluttered with too much text, images, or features. You need just enough to capture your customer’s attention and prompt them to take action. Additionally, a simple navigation bar that guides your web visitor easily around your site should appear on every page. Make sure your logo links to your home page!

2. Modern Design
Have you ever walked into someone’s kitchen and known at a glance from the outdated appliances and color choices that it was built several decades ago? The same thing happens with websites: design, color or functionality that’s out of date can drive your customers away. Choose a modern design to connect with the modern customer.

3. Cross Browser Compatibility
There are a number of browsers that your website visitors can use to view your site. These include Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and more. You want to make sure that your website looks good and functions well in all of them. Be sure to discuss this with your web designer or developer.

4. Mobile or Responsive Design
Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, are becoming the primary way many people access the web. Having a mobile or responsive website design means your website looks great and works well no matter what device your visitor is using. A responsive design means your current website scales down to display properly on a smaller screen, while a mobile design is an entirely separate website, designed with less text, faster loading images, and simplified functionality. Mobile websites are designed so it is optimized for mobile devices and the mobile audience.

5. Large Quality Images
Large, high resolution images that are both visually appealing and convey your brand messages well are essential to your small business website design. These images can include your merchandise, pictures of you & your team, or anything else you feel will make your site more interesting to your customers. Today’s websites need large images to ensure that from larger screens to small screens your images still look great. This is so important for businesses involved in social media.

6. Easy to Find Phone Number
Make it easy for your customer to do business with you. Make sure your phone number is prominently positioned on your website. Ideally, it will appear in several places, including your home page, contact us page and your website footer.

7. Social Media Connectivity
Social media has become the primary way people share information that they find interesting with their friends, colleagues, and family. Make it easy for your web visitors to share the information they find on your site by having share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other relevant social media platforms. You also want to encourage your visitors to follow you on social media. Accomplish this using the appropriate “Find us on” iconography and use tools like Add This to promote sharing.

8. Call to Actions
Website traffic is great, but you want those visitors to actually do business with you. That means providing compelling calls to action: text and graphics that encourage customers to take the next step, whether that’s filling out a request for more information, signing up for an email newsletter, or making a purchase. You want to capture as much data about your customers as possible, in order to better understand your customer base and market to them more effectively in the future.

9. Fast Load Time
Our customer’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. The NY Times reports that the majority of people will abandon a website if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds. When those visitors leave, the chances are great that they won’t be back. The result: you lose business. Fast load times are a non-negotiable requirement for today’s small business website.

10. Fav Icon
A Fav Icon (also known as Favicon) makes it simple and easy for website visitors to bookmark your site, adding it to a list of sites they visit regularly to read what’s new. Encouraging repeat website traffic is good business. Think of repeat website traffic as a regular customer who stops in often: sometimes they might just be browsing, but they’re certainly going to buy more than someone who never visits you at all!

Find Out More About Small Business Website Essentials

On February 25th, SCORE Westchester is proud to present “Creating a Great Website Experience” at the Scarsdale Library. This free workshop for Westchester County small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs is presented by Jennifer Shaheen, CEO of the Technology Therapy Group. It’s jam packed with simple, easy to understand information you can use to improve your small business website. Space is limited, so register today.

Does Your Small Business Website Have These Top 10 Essential Elements?