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In today’s digital, hyper-connected world, a website is essential for every business, regardless of size. What makes a good business website? To make sure yours does the job of converting visitors into customers, it must build trust, educate, inform, nurture leads and then convert them. With those objectives in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the seven business website features that every small business absolutely must have.
A value proposition
Every small business needs to specialize. In the simplest terms, your value proposition is a statement that summarizes why a consumer should buy your product or service.
The best value proposition examples target your ideal customer, define the problem you solve for them, and explain what makes your solution unique.
Many smaller businesses don’t have the resources to launch full-scale marketing campaigns.
Thus, making sure your website clearly communicates your value proposition is one of the best ways you can tell potential customers why they should choose you over a competitor.
To give you an idea of what a good value proposition looks like, here are two examples from Uber - an app that matches you with a nearby taxi driver - and LegalShield - a law firm that makes legal coverage simple for small businesses:
Uber – Get there: Your day belongs to you
LegalShield – Worry Less. Live More.
Read Next: Why Your Small Business Needs a Great Logo
About us page
After the homepage, the about us page is often the most visited page of a small business website. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most overlooked features of a good business website.
Paradoxically, the best about us pages talk about customers, rather than the business itself; after all, people always want to hear what’s in it for them.
As a result, the introduction of your about us page should address your audience’s challenges and needs, in essence, reinforcing your value proposition. Then, you can move onto expressing your values, telling your story, and showing customers a little of the people behind your business.
Trust signals and social proof
The importance of trust signals and social proof for small businesses cannot be underestimated. They are the elements of your website that could have the biggest impact on converting visitors into customers.
Common examples of trust signals include:
- Money back guarantees
- Payment assurance certifications,
- Badges for accreditation bodies.
Common examples of social proof include:
- Customer Reviews (ideally from third-party, independent platforms)
- Case studies
Combined, trust signals and social proof are the best way to build credibility into your website and boost sales.
90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, which means the first thing visitors to a website notice is how it looks. Carefully chosen images will help bring your products to life.
That said, professional photographers are expensive, costing much more than many small business owners can afford. Stock photography is a great way to make your website visually appealing on a tight budget.
There are many sites that offer free or inexpensive stock photography. Before you use any image, make sure you read the fine print and the usage guidelines to ensure your intended use is legally compliant.
Also by Kayleigh Alexandra: How To Get A Creative Business Idea Off The Ground
When it comes to solving problems, most customers prefer to help themselves, rather than contact a business face-to-face. That’s why 70% of consumers expect a company’s website to include some type of self-service application.
If your business lacks the funds or technical expertise to deploy a chatbot, creating an extensive FAQ section on your website will save on support costs, ease customer concerns, and establish yourself as an expert problem-solver in your niche.
Include calls to action on every page
A call to action (CTA) is an instruction that is designed to provoke an immediate response in the person seeing, reading or hearing it. On a website, calls to action are critical because they tell visitors what to do next, whether that’s ‘buy now’, ‘get in touch’, ‘get offer’ or something else.
Although the majority of small businesses include a call to action on their homepage, far less integrate them into other pages. However, placing calls to action on blog posts, landing pages, and your about page will help reduce the number of visitors bouncing off your website without taking further action.
Optimized landing pages
A landing page is the first page of your website that visitors ‘land’ on after clicking a link or advert. This means a landing page could be your homepage, product page, lead capturing page, the list goes on. Either way, every page that’s designed to convert needs to have a clear goal, minimize distractions, and convince.
For reference, the most important elements of a landing page include:
- A compelling headline
- Your value proposition
- Clear benefits
- Social proof
- Trust signals
- A strong call to action with a single conversion goal
So there you have it: seven non-negotiable features every small business needs. From crafting your value proposition to building optimized landing pages, following the advice above will build trust, educate, inform, and help your website convert more visitors into customers.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a community writer for Micro Startups — a network dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.
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