Be MobileFirst and foremost, having a mobile friendly web design is the first step in creating a successful website for your small business. You want a responsive design that scales to size in either portrait or landscape viewing mode, regardless of whether it is viewed on a desktop, tablet or smartphone. The fact is, people are searching on the go daily, using different devices to access info as needed. When web visitors have to pinch and swipe and perform all kinds of finger tricks and squint in an effort to find your business phone number, it’s annoying and irritating. Prevent your web visitors from leaving your site immediately by having a responsive web design.
In addition, to show up in mobile search results, your web design needs to be mobile responsive. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to show up while people are searching on the go and you happen to be the closest location within reach. Traffic from mobile search results is only increasing and you want to tap into this audience, especially given that the number of “near me” searches continuously rises each year.
Be LocalShowing up in local online directories and ensuring your business correctly displays on Google Maps search results is key for having a successful small business website. You want your users to find you when performing searches and that begins with having a local SEO strategy in place. By listing yourself in online directories that are relevant to your business, you also have more links pointing to your site which is a good sign for Google.
Be FoundTo create a search engine friendly website, you’ll want to create content that drives traffic to your site. You’ll want to ensure that the content on your website is search engine optimized (SEO) such that keywords you want to target are included in your website’s copy. Note however, that the inclusion of keywords should be natural and not overwhelm your content. Search engines are smart enough these days to detect when content is written for search engines, rather than for people and they will penalize such behaviour accordingly. Whether you decide to blog, create rich media or have a news area that is updated regularly, by creating content with SEO in mind, you’ll be more likely to be found.
Be StraightforwardBe simple in your delivery and do not over clutter your site with too much information. Think of your website as the front doorstep to your business, you want it to look welcoming and inviting, not garish and scary. By thinking about what is essential for your web visitors and their needs and sticking strictly with that – you avoid putting TOO much of anything on your site. Whether that’s words, links, images, calls to action, etc.
Simplicity truly is an art form and by distilling what matters most to your customers, you do them the favor of creating a site that is simple to navigate and straight forward. Going through hoops on the web is infuriating and though an idea may seem clever, if it isn’t intuitive, it’ll be frustrating to your users. So keep things simple by including only that which is necessary.
Be AvailableYour contact information should be prominent, your web visitors shouldn’t have to hunt for the info. It should be readily displayed and easily accessible. Again, you want things to be simple and straightforward for those visiting your site (it’s best practice UX design). Your contact information should remain in either the header or footer area of your site and be easily accessed on all of your web pages. When your web visitors want to contact you, they should easily be able to do so. And! If your web design is mobile friendly, they should only have to click and the call will be made via their smartphone. (It is a smart phone indeed.)
Be HelpfulBeing helpful requires having content on your site that is informative and straightforward. In addition, its showcasing that you’ve helped others by posting online reviews you’ve received from happy customers. Showing that you’ve helped others is a great way to build trust and credibility with those who are considering purchasing your services or products. The rise of online review sites reflects this penchant among buyers to research what others think about a product or service before they commit to buying. By having this information available to your web visitors, you help them in solidifying the decision to do business with you.
Good luck and we wish you all the success with your new business venture.