I see alot of website owner still to this day with site's that either look like they were built in 1998 (even though they were built since 2008), have really bad branding/messaging, don't effectively communicate any relevant information to their visitors and worst off all, don't have any call to action techniques to get site visitors to either pick up the phone and call the business or schedule an appointment or any type of conversion methods. These sites are basically "just some website". Usually built in-house or by the classic "Well my nephew is good with computers; he can build my website" scenario.
Unfortunately, these websites are not only a waste of physical money (domain and hosting costs, paying your nephew a couple of hundred dollars, your time invested to do it yourself), but they are an incredible waste in opportunity costs and potential profits. This is because these sites do one thing alone - turn business away. By having a non-professional website (or any other form of marketing, in reality), you are saying one thing about your business; you're not professionals.
Proper SBO Web Design
So what defines a good modern website for small businesses? Well we like to stay humble so we aren't going to say that our methods are the absolute be-all-end-all method of web design and marketing. We are just going to show you what has worked for our customers and made them successful. Take a look at the image below:
1. Professional Logo
Your logo is your most important piece of marketing there is. It defines your company and your message while giving a recognizable element to your customers. Don't ever think that logos aren't important. Put your logo at the top of your site to give it proper emphasis.
2. Phone Number
You want visitors to call you right? Then don't make them search for your phone number. Give it to them immediately at the top. A little coding trick: link your phone number in HTML for click to call ability (great for mobile phones) with this line of code, replacing X with your phone number:
<a href="tel: XXX-XXX-XXXX">XXX-XXX-XXXX</a>
This is probably the strongest piece that makes your business' website stand out from your competition's, in terms of wow-factor. A great looking and informative showcase piece will give the visitor the feeling that you care about your business and want to show off your strengths. Instead of looking like amateur's, this shows that you invest in your business and are going to be around for a while. No "fly-by-nighters" here.
4. High-Quality Professional Images
Nothing is more amateur looking on a business website then poor quality, non-relevant, and pointless images. Hiring a professional photographer is probably too expensive for most small business owners, but thankfully there are some great resources online. Visit sites like istockphoto.com, shutterstock.com and dreamstime.com (where we get our images) to purchase high-resolution, professional, royalty-free images for as little as $1. These images are licensed to use on websites so you will also avoid any copyright infringement problems by "stealing" images from other websites and resources like Google Images.
5. A Contact Form on EVERY page
Most people will want to pickup the phone and call you to make a purchase. However, there is a lot of customers in your market that can't or won't make a phone call to get more information from you. Think of the person at work, who is shopping online for services. They can visit websites, but its not really easy for them to use the phone to talk to someone about non-work related things without getting caught. A contact form on every page will give them this ability. Remember, the point of your website is to get more business. Give your visitors every opportunity to do that.
6. Content is King
A solid block of good and readable content will give both your visitors and search engines a solid idea of what your business is and what your strengths are. This will help your site get found online while giving your customers great information about why they should choose your over the competition. We recommend 350 words per page.
7. Informative Modules (Or Idea Boxes)
Get creative on your site. Highly visible information about your services or cool tools are a great way to get your visitors to remember your site and importantly you. In this example, we listed some popular times when someone might book a limo rental. Perhaps, the visitor came to this site to rent a limo for a wedding. But they were reminded about an upcoming anniversary and also booked a limo rental as an anniversary gift. Another great example, is on an HVAC company website we added a local weather display; this acted as a reminder of current weather conditions to start planning for.
8. More contact information
We can't stress enough, giving your visitor every opportunity to buy from you is critical. Have a storefront? Add a Google Map with driving directions to make it easy for your website visitor to get to your location. Serve a large regional area? List the cities/counties where you provide your services. Don't be afraid to list an email address either. Most modern content management systems have "email cloaking" built in; this disguises your email address to spammers and makes it only useable by actual humans. Don't forget to add links to your social media, such as Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter.
Hire a Professional Web Designer
The best advice we can give you is to hire a professional web developer. A true professional designer will make your small investment into building a proper website pay for itself hundreds to thousands of times over. A web developer will also free you up to do what your do best - run your business. Remember, your business isn't building websites so hire a pro.
Simple CMS Design offers full website design services at a great value for small businesses. We provide full design, graphics, images, content management systems, training, SEO, and consulation. Our packages cost as low as $295.00 and our customer service is second to none. Call (208)740-1534 or go to our Website Design page to learn more.