I work with a lot of small business owners who want a blog purely for work and nothing personal. Obviously a business site is not going to have most things a personal blog would. As a designer it’s my job to work with my clients and show them how I can put all of their needs on their site without looking overcrowded which is a big issue with most business sites since they have so much information.
When someone visits your site they should be able to easily navigate and find what they need without getting confused. The design should not be crowded, loud or poor quality. Little things like this make people have second thoughts on your product. Here is a small list that I have put together that every small business should display on their site.
1. Subscription Area
Having a way to collect names and emails of people that have bought from you in the past or like your product is very important. You will want to place the subscription area, in an easily visible area so that readers can sign up. Here are a few of my favorites and why.
a. Hello Bar
I really like this one since it’s so simple to use. It creates a small bar at the top of your site.
This is a WordPress plugin and it’s very simple, but I love the sleek look it has.
Tip: Avoid using any sort of of pop up boxes. When you get a new visitor on your site they have no idea what you or your product is about yet to even decide if they want to subscribe.
When you run an online business, having a way for potential clients to contact you is an absolute must. They may want to ask a question or have issues with something they already bought.
a. Contact Form 7
This is the contact form that I use on all of my sites as well as when I set one up for my clients. I like that people can contact you without knowing your actual email. It’s easy to set up and FREE.
b. Live Chat plugin
This is a new plugin that I discovered a few months ago and have been thinking about using it for my own business. If your online you can chat instantly and if you’re not it will send you an email.
3. SEO Friendly Images
All images for your business (even your blog) should be SEO friendly. What does that mean? Well, do you ever search google images? When others search there your images will not show up without a great name.
a. Name all of your images something that will make them easy to find. For example in this post I would name the image I am using one almost like the post title. That way users who search for links and images alike can easily find my post.
b. Having images that load well is also very important. I always resize my images and make them web ready when saving. This reduces loading time and should really be how everyone saves images.
4. Good Looking Images
Speaking of images having nice images is mandatory. If I come across a business and they have bad looking product images I just leave. Not investing in your business or how it looks says a lot to people about you and your product. If you do not have a good camera or know how to take quality images, then invest in a photo shoot for your products.
If you have digital images spend a lot of time working on them or else hire a graphic designer to make the images for you.
Believe it or not this is a huge deal for every website. Potential customers are going to have questions and putting it all out there for them reassures them and helps them along the way. When you’re first starting out it may be difficult to think of what you need to put up so try to think about what you yourself would ask. Place the FAQ in a prominent area on your site so it’s easy to find.
There is actually a lot of WordPress plugins that you can utilize into your site. Here are a few that I like.
a. Awesome FAQ
b. SP FAQ
*I hope this helps anyone who has or is thinking of starting a website for their small business. If you have not yet you really should. If you plan on selling digital, please take a look at my sell online e-course as well.