I have been spending a lot of time on small business websites recently, and the quality of them in general is fairly disappointing. And since there seems to be some confusion over what a small business website should contain, here is a handy checklist:
The small business website checklist
- Photos (outside and inside)
- Opening hours
- Active social feeds
- About the business
- About the owners
Let’s go through each of these one-by-one:
- Name is obvious – I include it here merely to have a complete list
- Photos – As a user, I need an outside photo to see more easily where I am going (particularly true for accommodation) and I need photos of the inside so that I can try and judge the quality of the place.
- Location – I need the exact location. Ensure that is right on your map. Draw a map with nearby landmarks if it makes it clearer where you are (e.g if you are off a main road).
- Opening hours – Don’t make me call up for these. Just don’t. If you have ‘normal’ opening hours you still need to tell me that.
- Services – You cannot put down too much detail about what you do. For example, most bicycle shops can carry out a bicycle service. Not many go to the trouble of detailing exactly what the service entails, along with a pricing for it. This sort of thing really drives home the value that the customer is getting.
- Active social feeds. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Keep these reasonably up-to-date (postings within a week in slow times). If it is too much work for you, focus on fewer outlets and remove links to dead feeds from your site.
- About the business – how long you are going, how you have changed, future plans perhaps – be concise but tell as much of your story as will interest others.
- About the owners – this is a follow-on from the previous point. What drove you to start the business? How do you differentiate yourself from others? Why do you like doing this work? What makes you qualified to do it?
- Testimonials – don’t go overboard with these, just try having two or three. The line of business that you are in will determine how credible they are. Aim for testimonials from people whose identity can be verified.
- Pricing – somehow this seems to get left out of websites. It is absolutely vital that you include this. If your service is bespoke then include examples. But don’t just leave it out or tell people to call you. The internet exists so that people don’t have to call you.
- FAQs – Frequently asked questions should be as extensive as possible while remaining relevant. Put in every question about your business that you can think of.
Get your small business website right and convert prospects to customers quickly and effectively. All of the above apply to you. Put in the work and your rewards will come.