There are certain things your business website needs to be successful. While some features are super important while others are optional. I will explain as I go.
I have always felt that you need to look at your website or blog through the eyes of your visitor.
Ask yourself these questions:
– What are they looking at when they see your website?
– What do they want to see?
– What do they need to see?
– What information is vital that the customer or visitor will not do without?
Read this article, thinking about your website and put yourself in the shoes of your visitor.
What key features or pages should your business website have?
– About Us
– Contact information
– Telephone number (optional, see below)
– Hours of Operation
– Search Feature
Too many business websites are impersonal. This page gives the visitor some information about you and/or your business. You don’t need to get too personal. You could share how or why you started your business, your goals for your business, or what your main product line includes or hat services you offer.
People like to connect with a real person and this page gives them piece of mind that you are indeed a “real” business and they would be dealing with a “real” person.
Believe it or not, many websites forget to include a way for the visitor to contact them. You should include this information, whether just an email address or physical address or phone number, on ALL pages. You never know how someone is getting to your website. They could be coming in “through the back door” meaning they don’t come to your website through your index page and if they never visit your index page they still need a way of contacting you. http://newtimezone.com
If you want visitors to contact you by phone this should be easily visible on all pages as well. Put it at the top of the page so it is clearly visible and your website visitor doesn’t have to search for it. This information can be optional if you really don’t want to give it out but you could be losing business if they cannot contact you by phone. It all depends on what you are selling.
For Contact and Telephone information, never make the visitor search for this information. It should be easily visible on all pages.
Hours of Operation:
Whether you have a physical store or work from your home you should set hours of operation. If you don’t then people will be calling you at 10 pm on a Sunday night. If you work at home and the phone rings after your hours of operation you should discipline yourself not to answer the phone. Also, don’t assume that the visitor to your website lives in the same timezone as you do. Include the abbreviated timezone next to your hours of operation as well.
If you don’t have a way for your visitor to search on your website you just might lose their business. I visited a website recently looking for fabric and while their website was very well organized they had no way of searching for fabric. They probably have over 2,000 pieces of fabric on their website. Without a search I would have to look at every category and at every piece of fabric until I found what I wanted. Unless someone really wants your product that bad they will just move on to the next website if they can’t search. There is so much competition out there why wouldn’t you include a search feature to keep your customer at your website instead of sending them to someone else. If your shopping cart doesn’t offer that option you can also use the free Google or Yahoo search features to embed on your website. They will provide you with full instructions for installing the code.
If your web host or shopping cart software does not include a search feature then add this free search feature to your website. You will need knowledge of copying and pasting HTML code into your website. You will find many free search services out there such as freefind.com. They can be customized to blends in nicely with your website so it looks like part of the design.