It’s nearly impossible for a small business to thrive without a website or online presence these days. However, the prospect of creating a website can feel overwhelming for many business owners.
Here at LinkNow, we specialize in helping small business owners establish an online presence quickly and affordably. Today, we want to share some valuable insights on building a successful website for a small business.
If you’re a small business owner or operator seeking to establish an online presence and gain traction, consider incorporating the following key features into your website.
At Least 10 Service and Landing Pages for a Multi-Channel Presence
Picture your website like a large building, akin to a stadium or a bustling train station frequented by numerous visitors. Think about how many entrances such buildings typically boast, often situated on different sides of the building and leading out to various intersections or roads.
Now, extend this analogy to your website, and it becomes evident why having multiple entry points or channels is advantageous. Since you can’t always predict the direction from which visitors approach or how they arrive, the key is to ensure they can effortlessly access your website.
You can accomplish this by having as many pages as possible for a potential customer to land on. These pages can be tailored for specific purposes, such as advertising specific services, featuring blog posts discussing your industry, providing more information about your company, and highlighting service offerings in a specific location.
Make it easy for your potential revenue-generating clients to find and enter your website by offering them multiple landing points. At LinkNow, we often begin with a baseline of 10 pages, with the option to add more as your budget and preference allow.
Concise, Clear, Keyword-Optimized Content on All Your Pages
Once you have the doorways to your website, it’s crucial to ensure they are properly labeled for easy navigation. That’s why keyword optimization is so important.
Keywords are individual words or phrases that someone looking for the services you provide might search for on Google. For example, someone looking to begin a renovation might search for the phrase “licensed general contractor in my area”, so a licensed general contractor offering renovations might want to make sure that specific phrase is included on their website.
At LinkNow, our Organic Marketing and Content teams dedicate their days to researching the words and phrases people use when searching for our clients’ services. They seamlessly incorporate them naturally into pages of content on our clients’ websites. This ensures that when potential customers turn to Google for a small business near them, our clients’ websites appear among the search results.
In general, we aim to ensure our clients’ website pages have at least 500 words of keyword-optimized content per page and, frequently, at least 1,000 words.
A Photo Gallery of Your Best Work
The proof is in the pudding, so you should never expect your customers to simply take your word for it that you do good work. Instead, show them the quality of your skills and the results that could be theirs by integrating a photo gallery into your website.
Photo galleries should highlight the jobs you’re most proud of and that you think display your best work. It’s better to have 10 photos of impressive results than 20 of less-than-impressive projects. A general rule of thumb is to have at least 20 photos in your gallery, giving you the opportunity to display the versatility of your skillset and service offerings.
Photos should be:
- •Well-lit and easy-to-see
- •Consistent with the services your site advertises
- •At least 2000 pixels wide
A wonderful option is to have before and after photos in your gallery, highlighting the end-to-end impact of your service. Make sure you have a good camera on hand when you visit job sites—a good smartphone camera will suffice—and always snap a before and after pic from the same angle and location.
HTTPS Security for Higher Rankings and Trust
HTTPS, an acronym for “hypertext transfer protocol secure,” is why so many URLs look like this:
Every website should use HTTPS. Put simply, HTTPS is the name of a protocol that encrypts information transferred between a website and a web browser—web browsers are portals used to browse the Internet, such as Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, etc.
Encrypting data refers to making private or secure information illegible by scrambling it. Here is an example from Cloudflare:
This is a string of text that is completely readable.
HTTPS uses two security “keys,” one public and one private. The public key encrypts data sent by anyone interacting with the website, while the private key, accessed by the website owner and stored on a private web server, is the only thing that can decrypt it.
Why Does Your Website Need HTTPS Security?
Confused yet? Let’s skip past the complex technical explanations and just look at what this means for you, the small business owner with a new website:
- •HTTPS security enhances your business’s privacy.
- •HTTPS security decreases your risk of a data leak.
- •HTTPS security allows your website to rank on Google and other search engines.
- •HTTPS security means your website won’t be blocked by browsers.
- •HTTPS security helps build trust with your customers.
- •HTTPS security is, well, essential for your website.
An Automatic Contact Form so Your Customers Can Reach You Easily
Don’t make potential paying customers work hard to get in touch with you. That’s really the whole reason behind having a contact form on your website.
A contact form is an embedded form that allows anyone to type out a message to you without having to send an email or use any platform other than your website. They look like this:
Get Attention Fast with Pop-Up Contact Forms
Want to skip right to direct communication without the risk of losing your customer’s attention? Consider adding a pop-up contact form.
According to a blog post from Hubspot, nearly 50% of marketers claim that web forms are their highest converting lead generation tool, which means you could be leaving money on the table by not including one on your website.
A Blog to Share Your Expertise and Connect with Customers Looking to Learn More
Blogs are a space to talk about what you know, share your experiences, and disseminate the knowledge you’ve gained along your small business ownership journey—like a wise Gandalf guiding hobbits through many dangers.
Your Logo, Whether It’s Professionally Designed or Not
Your logo is likely one of the first things you designed for your company. It’s the small symbol that makes your business more easily recognizable and memorable, tells your customers about your company’s brand identity, and perhaps indicates the services provided.
At LinkNow, one of the first steps we undertake when a new client approaches us to take over their marketing is to ensure their logo is doing all the right things or design one for them if they’re lacking it. Here are some logos we’ve designed for past clients:
Your logo should be prominently displayed on your home page, the first place your customer lands when they visit your website. Generally, your logo should be displayed in the upper left-hand corner or high up and in the middle of the page, as in the example below from a LinkNow website. This is due to how most people scan a page, reading from the top-left across to the right and then down.
A Testimonial Plug-In That Automatically Showcases Your Customer’s Positive Reviews on Your Website
Studies have shown again and again that positive reviews are one of the most powerful online marketing tools in any business’s arsenal. There are few things more persuasive for on-the-fence customers than a glowing testimonial from a former client.
That’s why our final suggestion for your small business website is a testimonial plug-in that allows your positive reviews to appear directly on your website’s home page. This is so effective that it’s a standard feature on LinkNow websites:
Your reviews should appear in a number of places online, such as on your Google Business Profile, on your social media profiles, and more—but few citations are as key as on your website’s home page.
Ready to Get Started Implementing These Website Features?
If you can envision your business’s website decked out with all the above features and ready to attract more customers to your company, LinkNow’s Everything You Need website package has…well…everything you need!
Starting at just $1,199.99, the Everything You Need package gives you an affordable website that gets you off the ground and ready to launch quickly. Containing essentials like blog integration, and a contact form, your professionally designed Everything You Need website will have you up and running quickly.
Check out the package details here or give our team a call at 1.888.667.7186 with any questions!