Just like a gourmet dish is cooked up using the blend of the best ingredients, your local business website should have certain pages and features to make it successful. Below, I will discuss the key features and elements necessary for building a high impact small and local business website.
1) A Home Page that Makes Visitors Want to Stay
The home page gets the most visits. As such, making a strong first impression is very important. If you fail to capture visitors’ attention within the first few seconds, the visitors will bounce and might never come back again.
Within the top half of the home page, you must clearly communicate what services your business provide, who your target audience is, what problems you solve, what are the benefits of your services, and why they should do business with you.
You can convey the above important messages by using a combination of a strong headline, the copy on the paage, and by incorporatin relevant photos and videos.
2) Tell Your Story in the About Us Page
The “About Us” page is an important page, yet many businesses don’t put enough efforts in writing a compelling and engaging “About Us” Page.
On this page, you get an opportunity to build trust and connections with your visitors by telling your story.
First, talk about the mission of your business. Let the visitors know why you started your business and how you can help your customers. Succinctly let your visitors know what make you special, why they should do business with you and why they should trust you.
Next, talk about the history of your business, how long you have been in business, and provide some background about yourself as well as your staff.
You should also talk about your credentials and include testimonials, endorsements, awards, or mention of your business or yourself in the news.
Lastly, be sure to show photos and/or videos of yourself, your storefront, as well as your staff. Photos help make your appear more personable and likeable!
3) Service Page(s)
If you provide multiple services, you might need a separate service pages to provide more details about each service. Clearly describe each service benefits your customers, how it can solve their problems and pains, and how it make their lives better.
4) Contact Us Page
The Contact Us page should include a map of the location of your business, directions to your business as well a form for customers to fill out if they need to contact you or ask you for more information. If you use Google Maps, Google provides you with a code that you can embed on your website so that the Google map of your business location can be published on your website.
5) Stories/Testimonials Page to Build Credibility
Testimonials are important for establishing your credibility and instilling confidence in your prospects’ mind. By including photos of the people giving the testimonials could add more power to your credibility.
6) Show Off Your Works in the Gallery Page
The Gallery page is recommended for business such as photography or general contractor. Here, you can show off photos of your past projects. You can also show the “before and after” photos of your clients/projects.
7) You Need “Call To Actions”!
Your “Call to Actions” could be calling you for more information or to make an appointment, filling out a “contact us” form, or signing up to your newsletter. You should use prominent colored buttons for your “Call to Actions” and place them in visible places like on the side bar area and in the content area.
In addition to making sure your website contain the above elements, your website should follow the guidelines below to ensure the visitors have the best experience and to ensure the search engines understand what your website is about.
- Use relevant and meaningful names for each webpages. Don’t call it www.yourdomain.com/page1.html or www.yourdomain.com/page2.html. If you have a page about hair coloring, then name your page something like www.yourdomain.com/seattle-hair-coloring.html.
- Incorporate videos – Videos are great for engaging your visitors. A welcome video on the home page is great to have. Nowadays, it’s so easy to create a video. You can create a video with a Flip Cam or even your phone camera. Alternatively, you can do a slideshow video with music and it’s just as good. Animo provides an awesome platform for you to easily create stunning videos by combining your images with music and cool special effects. Below is an example of a video produced using the Animoto engine.
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If you follow the above guidelines, you will have a professional, engaging, and high impact website for your local and small business. Once you have built your website, the next step is to drive visitors to your website. This is most important as it is no use to have an attractive website without visitors. One of the best ways to attract visitors to your local business website is to do SEO for your local business website.