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A Simple Small Business Website Checklist

October 25, 2013

Creating a website can seem like a lot of handle for a small business. What do you you place on the homepage? What do I need to update constantly? There are a number of questions and we are here to help you with this simple checklist of what you need for a successful website.

1. A visually appealing header and logo can take you a long way. It is what people first see when they go to your website and what they judge. This doesn’t mean to use flash and crazy colors and effects on your page but rather a clean and effective design. This makes your viewers see that you are a no-nonsense and practical business. Your logo should also be the most visible aspect of your header. Think of your header like your name. It is what people first know about you and from there, they will see how your business is.

2. Simple Navigation. People don’t want to have to search so hard to get from page to page. By keeping it right below the header or down the side of the page. This will allow people to go from one important page of your site to another easily. Also, make sure that you don’t overdo it either. Do not include links that aren’t necessary. You should limit the number of links in your navigation to no more than five links.

3. Provide an offer to opt-in. You want to stay in contact with those who view your website. You can do this by giving a free offer to opt-in to. Whether it’s some tips, a newsletter or an e-book, you want to give people something of value so that they plug in their e-mail for you to reach out to them in the future. Have this offer in an easy-to-locate area of your website or make it stand out somehow. This is key to start connecting with your visitors and potential customers.

4. A static sidebar that’s visible on all pages of your website makes sure that your viewers always see what you have to offer. “Sticky content” can include your opt-in offer or a welcome blurb to new visitors. It’s common to have popular links on your site in your sidebar as well including some of your services. This will give people an idea of what your best services are. People like seeing how others react to your services and this can give them an idea. You can also have a sliding testimonial widget to move further in this realm.

5. Social media integration is important. You should also have these buttons in your sticky sidebar. This will allow your visitors to continue to opt-in to your business on many different networks and share news about you to others. It will allow for free marketing from satisfied customers. Social media also allows for you to communicate with your viewers in a timely manner. It allows you to immediately respond to questions and concerns and make your customers as satisfied as they can be with your business.

6. Contact information must be included because this is how people can reach out to you. Not everyone is involved in social media, but if you provide your phone number, email and location, you can help people with their questions as well. Professionalism is important when it comes to the web because anyone can make a website. People like seeing to believe and this makes you “real.” Providing this contact information makes you look more legitimate as a business.