Hi there, fellow entrepreneur! If you're working on your small business website in order to help you attract clients and create an Internet presence for your brand, I know just the tricks! :)
When I launched my business a year ago, I knew how important it was to have a business website (I mean, my field is digital marketing, for Heaven's sake!), but I had no clue just how many leads and opportunities it would bring me.
But, the key is: you can't simply have a business website, you must have a business website with the following 8 components in order to give your viewers a smooth browsing experience...
about me page
Your "About Me" or "About Us" page is certainly the first step to completing your business website. Without it, your site just feels bare! It's nearly impossible for a potential lead to connect with you on a deeper level without stating your business' mission and history.
Giving a background on yourself and your business can help your visitors understand the motivation behind your mission, what got you into the niche you are in and how your business operates on a daily basis, for greater reference. You may also decide to throw in a comical photo of your dog or cat, because why not?
easy contact form
An easy contact form is VITAL to any website, particularly a service-oriented website. When using a site builder such as Squarespace (my personal favorite), Shopify or WordPress, you are able to easily create contact forms that embed right into the homepage or footer of your website, allowing users to contact you without having to crazily search for your email.
Of course, it's a great thing to also list your business address (and create a Google Map for easy directions), phone number and email, but an easy contact form alleviates any trouble.
a robust blog
I know you may be weary about blogging - it's one of the most common concerns I see in my clients. You lack the time and energy it takes to produce quality, consistent content while worrying about the ins and outs of running your biz. But trust me: this is also the number one way my clients find leads and increase their web presence and brand authority.
By blogging about your niche, you are able to provide your viewers with a representation of your knowledge and skills, while giving them something for FREE - a lesson, a trick, a hack about dealing with your industry. Hence why my clients hire me! It gets the burden of blogging off their shoulders while allowing them to increase their marketing efforts. Investing in a digital marketing firm may be your best bet for stress relief, but there is certainly something to be said for the personal touch of a business owner blogging on their own!
hours of operation
Listing your hours of operation on your website is an easy fix to any incorrect hour information that may be floating around on Google or other websites. I know that I personally always look for the official website of a business when I am seeking out their menu, hours, etc.
Pro Tip: Don't forget to update your Google Business page (you know, the Google listing to the right of the search engine that lists a business' hours, location, etc.) to reflect your accurate hours and contact info. You don't want an upset customer!
linked social media profiles
A great way to increase your Internet presence is to branch out! Having a Facebook page where you encourage your fans to interact and stay in touch, or an Instagram account showing off your latest products or dishes are just two great ways to captivate your audience.
Keeping in mind, however, that it matters which platforms you choose depending upon your audience demographic. Don't turn to Snapchat unless your clientele is 15 years old ;)
Linking these social media profiles to your website creates an easy and seamless option for your viewers to check you out elsewhere. Having a button that sends them directly to your profile(s) fits the expectation of us lazy humans! When you link them, they are much more likely to click through and check out your profiles than if you simply spread the word orally.
Rich media can be defined by either photography or video content. Having a large presence on your website of crisp and emotion-evoking rich media is just the ticket to impressing a visitor!
If you don't have the money to hire a professional photographer, take some nice quality photos with your own DSLR camera, or if you don't have that, go ahead and utilize CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) stock photography. I prefer using CC0 websites such as Stocksnap.io and Pexels.com because they look more authentic than say, iStock or some other generic stock site with horrendously cheesy snaps!
If you work in the feminine creative field like myself, I recommend reaching out to some styled stock photography professionals - there are a few great subscription-based and one-time-purchase opportunities out there on the web for jazzing up your website and blog posts. I'm a huge fan of supporting fellow female entrepreneurs and this is just one way I can do it!
creative copy + cta
Adding some personality to your copywriting on your website and elsewhere can help you define a unique voice and also have some fun! Depending on your niche, this may or may not be appropriate. Making sure that I showcase a more upbeat, helpful and kind tone on my website is so important for my business as a younger millennial, female biz owner.
Also, making sure that you don't forget your CTA (Call-to-Action) is so, so important! A CTA will encourage your visitors to opt-in to your latest offer: a free assessment, worksheet, consultation, product, what have you. This is also a great way to get visitors to sign up to your e-newsletter or stay updated on your latest blog posts. Keeping your visitors involved in one way or another is the absolute goal, right!?
Storybranding was created by Donald Miller after discovering that marketing works very much like a story framework. You have the person with the problem (your client or customer) and you must reach them at their pain point while asserting your authority in your niche.
As a small business owner, I'm sure you don't have the money to invest in one of Donald's larger workshops (I sure don't!), but there is plenty of free materials around the web, in addition to Donald's own 5 Minute Marketing Makeover - a free mini course to get you started!
Which one of these do you plan to implement first? Comment below with any questions you may have + don't forget to leave the link to your business website - I'd love to check it out! :)
BLOGGER: KATHRYN COFFMAN
Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating from The Evergreen State College (Washington) in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to all of life's problems + that all women should strive to embrace a #girlboss mantra.