Having a business website is important. But it’s also important that your website has key pieces of information – the type of information that your website visitors are looking for. From your branding to contact information to answers to questions, here are 10 pieces of information to have on your business website.
1. Your Business Name.
While this sounds like a given, you’d be surprised at the number of websites we see where the business name is unclear. We recommend that your business name is in at least three different areas:
- The header. It should be in your logo.
- The footer.
- At least once in the text body on every page of your website.
This is especially critical if there are other businesses with names similar to yours. If you’re ACME Consulting, you don’t want to be confused with ACME Inc. or Acme Services LLC. Even businesses with unique names are not immune so take a few minutes to do a web search on your business name. You might find that there are other businesses out there with a similar name. If that’s the case, make sure your business name (and if you have a tagline, include it) is loud and clear on your website.
2. Your phone number.
Even though people are looking at your website, many still like to pick up the phone to get more details. The biggest complaint with social media companies is that there’s no easy way to call them when there’s an issue. Unless it’s a tremendous inconvenience for potential clients to call you, then your number should be on your website. You can even add a call button to the mobile version of your website that visitors can click to automatically call you.
If you’re a small shop or a home-based business and you don’t have a separate phone line, get a free one through Google Voice and forward it to your cell phone. You can even send texts and make calls using the number.
3. Your email address.
Putting a link to your email address on your website is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it makes it easy for site visitors that are potential clients to email you. On the other, it makes it easy for everyone who visits your site, including spammers, to email you.
We create an email alias for our clients that we only use for their websites. This way, they can filter those emails into a folder and if they get too much spam, we can change the alias. But another option is an online form. We recommend using a reCAPTCHA with any forms to cut spam. A reCAPTCHA often includes a challenge such as requiring visitors to type in a phrase or select photos with a certain object in them. This makes it difficult for spam bots to fill out forms.
4. Your address.
If you have a physical location that you want people to visit, then this is a must-have on your website. We recommend putting it in your footer so that it’s on all pages and on your contact page. Adding a map or integrating it with a mapping site adds a professional touch to your site.
If you don’t have a physical address, or even if you do, you can add a link to an online meeting scheduler. If you don’t have one set up, we can show you how during our complimentary consultation.
5. The products and services that you offer.
Again, this sounds like a no-brainer but we frequently see sites that have a lot of text but don’t clearly state what the business does. We recommend listing out your company’s top three offerings along with a sentence or two for each towards the top of your home page. It’s even better to have a services/shop page, or section, with more details about your offerings. Remember, most people don’t have the patience to hunt around a website to find information that should be clearly stated on the home page. So make sure people can clearly understand what you sell by looking at the top two or three sections of your home page.
6. Why visitors should purchase your offerings.
Listing your offerings is half the battle. The other half is giving your visitors a compelling reason to use you over your competition. You don’t have to sling mud at other businesses, but you should explain what your products or services have that others don’t. We recommend making an emotional connect with your site visitors.
Nothing beats social proof so ensure that your website has testimonials on it. At the very least, you should have at least one or two on your home page. If you have a lot of testimonials, then create a separate page, or section, that includes all of them. We recommend adding both text and video and video reviews.
Ideally, testimonials should include a person’s name, a photo, their role, a quote about the great job you’ve from them, and if possible, their city or the company they work for. Now, some businesses (such as therapists) need to keep their client’s information confidential, so you can just use their initials and their quote.
If you have a number of reviews on a particular platform such as Google, TripAdvisor, or YouTube, we can automatically integrate them into your website.
8. Answers to common questions / FAQ.
Put your website to work for you by having it answer common questions about your business. For example, if you’re a plumber, list your service area on your website. This prevents people from calling to find out if they’re within your service area. If you own a restaurant, post your hours and menu on your website so people aren’t calling to ask you about them. Also, if you don’t take reservations, clearly add that to your website to keep your phone lines open for other questions.
It sometimes makes sense to create a frequently asked questions( FAQ) page. This is helpful if you find yourself answering a number of questions multiple times. For example, software companies would use this section to cover things such as app compatibility, refund policies, integrations, and support options.
Also keep in mind that it may not be appropriate to share some aspects of your business, such as pricing, publicly.
9. Your social media links.
This is a tricky one because you should be driving traffic from your social media properties to your website, not the other way around. However, it’s still important to have a strong social media presence. We recommend that your site has links to all relevant social media accounts for your business, but they should open in a new tab. If your social media links open in the same tab as your website, you risk losing your visitors’ attention.
10. Legal Disclaimers
Each business has its own requirements here that depend on what you’re selling, what features you have on your website, and what data you collect. We recommend speaking with an attorney familiar with your industry as they could properly advise you on which disclaimers you need. Some types of disclaimers include:
- Terms & Conditions
- Data Collection Policy
Again, an attorney familiar with your space would be the best person to speak with. Web designers can integrate these documents into your website, but legal questions should go to legal experts.
If you have any questions about any of the items on this list, then set up a complimentary consultation with us to learn more.