Building a website for your business is a great way to attract new customers and keep in touch with existing ones. But building a website that’s missing key elements—like a phone number and address—can lead to frustrated customers rather than new ones.
Here are 12 things your website needs to have.
1. Phone Number
It might be obvious that your website needs to have a phone number so customers can call you. Make it big and place it front and center. Also make sure that the phone number is text, rather than part of a graphic. Many of your new customers will find your website on their mobile phone. When the number’s in the text, mobile phone browsers can automatically dial the number when someone taps the number. If it’s part of a graphic, though, then people will have to memorize your phone number and switch to their phone app.
Also, if you have multiple departments with phone lines, include direct dial numbers or extensions so customers don’t have to navigate a phone tree.
2. Business Address
If someone is looking for your restaurant, dry cleaners or florist shop, there’s a good chance they’re on the go. Like with the phone number, be sure to include your address as text rather than as part of a graphic so people can click on it to open up their Maps app and get directions.
3. Email Address or Contact Form
Depending on your business, people might prefer to contact you via email instead of the phone. It’s good to have an electronic means of contact on your website. This also helps you if you’re a small business and can’t always answer your phone. Email addresses tend to be picked up by spamming bots, so many people prefer to set up a contact form for their site. These forms are easy to set up in WordPress using either Jetpack or a contact form plugin.
4. Personalized About Page
People want to know they are working with a reputable and personable company. Your website should have an About page that explains who you are, your experience, and your business values.
Customers look for reputable and personable companies, but if you provide a service, they also want to get an idea of your prices. Dry cleaners, for example, can list their entire price sheet on their website. Services companies can list a starting price or entry-level package option. A starting price also prevents unqualified tire-kickers from calling you. If you are a landscaper and your services start at $1,000, displaying this price will weed out people with small budgets.
This one applies to restaurants and other businesses that have a menu of services, such as a nail salon. Display a menu on your website so customers can get an idea of what you offer.
A key point: do not post a menu in PDF format! PDF menus are common on restaurant websites but are horrible for displaying on mobile phones. They require a lot of pinching, zooming, and scrolling. They also hinder your search engine results (SEO) because search engines can’t index that content.
7. Social Media
Make it easy for your customers to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or any other platforms where you’re active (and you should have at least a couple of social media profiles). A standard method for doing this is to include small icons near your menu bar or logo.
When your customers follow you on social media, your brand remains in the forefront of their mind. Maybe they’re not ready to call you up today, but next week when they need your services you’ll be the first one they think about.
8. Reservations & Appointments
Restaurants, massage therapy offices, and other businesses that allow online reservations or appointments should have a prominent link to allow people to schedule time online. Include a link to OpenTable.com or other services, or embed your reservations service right on your website. Make it easy for new customers to schedule with you, and you’ll be more likely to build your traffic.
9. Discounts & Coupons
Customers like deals and they want to make sure they aren’t missing out on anything. If you regularly offer discounts or coupons, create a page on your website that includes these deals or a list of your daily specials. Even better, be sure to post these deals on social media.
10. Fresh Content
A lot of businesses create their website once and then don’t update it. Search engines like new content, though, so you’re missing out on a lot of potential traffic if you don’t add content to your website from time to time.
There are many ways to provide new content. Consider setting up a blog or news section with photos, seasonal specials, and news about your business. Regularly update your services, menu, and discounts. Or provide a space for customer testimonials and interaction.
11. SSL certificate
An SSL certificate is a security layer that protects the data sent between a person’s computer and your website. SSL certificates aren’t absolutely necessary unless you have a customer portal or an e-commerce site that allows customers to buy things on your website. Even so, Google prefers sites that are protected with SSL, so getting an SSL certificate can boost your site traffic. At Namecheap, SSL certificates start at only $9 per year.
12. Make It Responsive
This last one isn’t something that needs to be on your website. Instead, it refers to your entire website itself. A responsive website adjusts to the size of your customer’s screen, making it easy to read and navigate regardless of platform. So whether your customer is using a laptop, iPad or mobile phone, they will be able to find all of the important information about your business without having to stretch the site or dig through a confusing menu.
Back in the old days, it was common for businesses to create a regular and a mobile version of their website. A responsive website is a better choice because you only need to maintain one site. And the good news is that most new WordPress themes are responsive.
Stand out from the crowd!
You have a lot of competitors. Creating a website with these 12 things will help you get more customers and keep your current customers coming through your door.
And when you’re ready to build your next website, be sure to check out Namecheap’s new managed hosting service, EasyWP. It’s only 8.88 for the first year!