When you’re looking for more detail about a local business, the first place you’ll likely go is to their website. Your potential customers do the same. It’s vital that your website is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and provides all the pertinent information quickly, or you’ll lose potential customers.

An effective website is a business essential, or you risk losing customers.

Your online presence provides credibility, sells your product and services, communicates with customers, screens job applicants, and so much more. Your website is the public representation of your business, and it needs to reflect the same experience people will receive when they visit you in person.

If you haven’t given your website a health check in a while and reviewed the content, you’re in luck – because the doctor is in!
Or, maybe you are at the start of your website journey and want to create a new site. Here are the essential factors that you need to consider for an existing site and a new site:

What Components Are Vital For Your Business Website?

Think of the most common questions asked when someone phones your business. Many times we’ve gone to a website to find this simple, relevant content, only to find it missing from the homepage or missing altogether.

Your website needs to be customer-focused. The primary purpose of your site is to make it easier to do business with you. The common questions must be answered on your home page and, ideally, “above the fold.”

DEFINITION: Above the fold: the top part of the page that you see immediately without scrolling further down the page.

These are questions like “Where are you located?”, “How do I get a hold of you?”, “When are you open?” and “Do you do what I am looking for?” Above all else, your website needs to answer those questions as soon as people land on your site, providing contact details, hours of operation, and mapping links. Then you can get into more details for those who need other information or want to learn more about what you do.

It’s Gotta Look Just As Good On The Little Box As The Big Box

When it comes to business websites, there are a few key things that make them effective. First and foremost, it needs to be user-friendly and easy to navigate to make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for.

This applies to the version seen on desktop computer screens and mobile devices. Most websites are now accessed through a mobile device, so it is essential that business websites are responsive and mobile-friendly. Make sure your site looks good on a mobile phone and tablet.

Are you kidding me – have you been out to eat at a restaurant since Covid? Many restaurants have converted to putting their menus online and ditching paper menus.

I don’t have a problem with that. But, when they ask you to scan the “QR” code on the table with your mobile device to see the menu, the menu is in a PDF format, and you can’t read it. And you have to squeeze and squint to get a partial view of a menu item. UGH! Very frustrating. Please, if you have a restaurant, make sure your menu is mobile-friendly; it’s what your customers want.

Sorry for the rant, but it’s very frustrating; now, back to our regularly scheduled info…some key elements to keep in mind as you review your site or build a new one:

Keep it simple

  • Use a simple domain name that reflects your business name.
  • Keep your pages clean and uncluttered. Too much copy is overwhelming. Readers have a very short attention span (less than a goldfish!) and will only skim large amounts of text. Sentence and paragraph length should be short, using common words and language. Sub headlines and bullet points all help to break up copy.
  • Keep your design simple – graphic design and pictures are important, but only if they are relevant and descriptive.
  • Make it easy to navigate – simple clicks, scrolling, and links.
  • Steer clear of the fancy and shiniest tools that web designers might come up with; as in many things, simple is best.

For specific ideas about what pages you should create and what they can contain, you can read: How To Build The Perfect Website

How To Create Engaging Content

  • Get personal-the site represents you, your company culture, and your connection to the local community. This is your opportunity to NOT look like a large corporate business and focus on your individuality and what makes you the best alternative to all other options.
  • Regularly create and publish high-quality content – this might mean a blog, adding fresh reviews and testimonials, new products and services, and special events.
  • Have a call to action – visitors are used to accessing what they need online. Give them the ability to order, book an appointment, and check for availability. This is also helpful for you, as it eliminates the need for staff.
  • Respect the need for speed – we’re in a world that moves quickly – people don’t have patience for slow page loading. If your site is slow, they’ll leave.
  • Make sure it’s accurate- Nothing is more frustrating than finding out the information you got off a company site is wrong. Double-check everything – map link, hours of operation, pricing. People expect what they see on your site to be correct, which will cause issues when they visit you and find out otherwise.

Your Cousin’s 8th Grade Son Might Not Be Your Best Option For A Developer.

When creating your online foundation for your business, you might want to look into hiring a professional designer, copywriter, and developer. Or, a company that can provide those professional services. Website design is a fluid thing. It never stays the same, and programming rules and templates, plugins, etc., are continuously being updated and changed. Get someone who has done websites before and knows what they are doing. It will prevent lots of headaches in the future for you.

Some things to ask a good website company:

  • Do you provide a secure, scalable website host with good tech support? Because you want your site to be stable.
  • Do you use webmaster tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Webmaster Tools? These help monitor analytics and optimization. The tools track various types of information that can help you target the right customers.
  • Will my website be mobile-responsive? Do you test it across multiple phone types and sizes?
  • Websites need updating in the background to keep them running. Hiring or delegating this maintenance to someone monthly will ensure your site runs smoothly.

If you’re looking for an awesome company that has done hundreds of websites for restaurants, auto repair shops, retail shops, gyms, professional services, and associations, give us a call or shoot us an email. We have created and hosted hundreds of sites across multiple industries. We would be happy to look at your site and let you know how to improve it to attract more new customers. Click the link to schedule a FREE Website Health Check

>>YES, I Want A FREE Website Health Check

If They Don’t Like You, They Won’t Show You

It used to be that your website was simply a place to have all the details about your business that you would send people to from your own marketing. But now, it’s one of the best tools for new customer acquisition.

When people go to Google and search “your business type in your town,” it’s imperative that you rank high and come up on the first page of the listings, or no one will ever find you.

That means your website needs to be optimized for search engines with well-written, keyword-rich content. Consider doing some keyword research by writing a list of words that people might use to search when looking for a business like yours. Those words should appear on your website to be picked up by the search engines.
This is a larger topic than we’ll cover here, but there’s more information on SEO optimization in our previous article: How To Get Your Website Ranked Higher On Google.

Pro Tip: Google likes the little screens. So if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it will penalize you and not show your website to your prospective customers on page one. And you want to be on page one when someone is looking for you or your type of business. Because…
The best place to hide a dead body is…PAGE 2 Of Google!

Your Website Needs Love And Attention Too!

Maintaining your website is an essential part of keeping your business running smoothly. You should update your website regularly, at minimum once a month, with new content to keep your users engaged and coming back for more.

You should also check for broken links and ensure that your pages are loading correctly. Search engines also like fresh content, which will factor into how you rank on their search results. Have someone test it who did not aid in the creation, as they’ll have fresh, unbiased advice.

You’re The Boss

A well-run website is an essential part of any business. Your web presence is your opportunity to project a polished and professional image. It’s the one place on the internet where you control what people see about your business, which means it should reflect positively for both new and returning customers.

FREE Website Health Check

Just like you, your car, and your furnace need a health check, so does your website. Because you’re on our list, (and we love you for that, btw), I have a FREE Offer for you. We will have our chief developer look at your website and let you know if it’s in good shape or if any improvements need to be made or updated to perform better and get you more new customers.

It doesn’t hurt to have a professional review your site to ensure it’s performing at an optimum level, so you’re not missing out on any business regarding your online presence.

This is a $297 Value FREE because you made it to the end of our article. See, it pays to read the whole thing!

Schedule My FREE Website Health Check A $297 Value
Michael Thibault

Michael Thibault

Known as “The Done For You Marketing Guy for Restaurants.” International Speaker on Restaurant Marketing. Published contributing author of 4 Marketing Books. Industry expert on Google Searches and Review Sites. Recovering Independent Restaurant Owner and Caterer of over 21 years. And, all-around good guy.

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