Essential elements for a small business website
When setting up or redesigning a website there are a number of items that should be considered as it is vital that they work well for your site and your visitors.
- Logo/Company name
It may seem obvious but make sure you have your business name is set out in a clear way. If you don't have a business logo, it may be a perfect time to get one, a quality business logo portrays a professional company. You want visitors to know they are in the right place so place the logo in an expected place, usual areas are top left or top right. Keep this consistent through out all of you pages.
- Navigational menu
A navigational menu is essential to allow your visitors to be able to move around your site. Put thought into the navigation as you will lose you visitors very quickly if they cannot get around your site. Smaller sites with only a small number of pages can have a link to all of the pages in the navigational menu, whereas large site may want to group the pages into several sections, known as a nested or sub level navigation.
- Keep it simple
Keeping your site simple and clear to read is probably the most important thing you can do. Visitors will make their mind up very quickly whether they will stay on your site, an overcrowded page where it is not easy to find anything will not keep visitors for long. Keep images basic and preferably related to the content of your page. Consider animation before having that on your page, whilst a careful piece of animation can attract visitors to where you want them, multiple animations can be a distraction driving people away. Keep the text relevant to the readers, don't go into too much technical detail if your visitors would not understand the information.
- Contact information
Always make sure that your contact information is readily available, many visitors will use your website just to get your contact details. Always give your visitors options, give your email address but also include a contact us form in case they are away from their preferred email client. If you provide your telephone number, make sure you provide your hours of opening. Remember to include your links to social media pages that you have, and where appropriate make you pages easy to share on social media sites.
- Mobile optimisation
More and more users are accessing websites through different devices, including tablet and mobile phones, all with different size screens and resolutions. All your pages, shopping carts and dynamic content must work well on any device. The most important aspect is the page load speed, most phones will use slower data speeds to connect to the internet so do not have long pages with lots of large images on them. If you use video on your site, make sure it works on as many phones as possible usually resolved by having multiple versions of your video. If you have pop-ups, ensure they can be closed when viewed on a small phone screen.