Every small business website is going to look a bit different. Companies are able to completely customize every aspect of their site with the most relevant features and information. However, there are some components that tend to be important to a wide array of different businesses.
Website Features List
Here are 50 of the most common and important features to consider when building your own small business website.
Your business needs a brand that is recognizable on your website and beyond. A simple but distinct logo is a big part of that.
Simple Navigation Menu
In order for people to get to all the different pages of your site, it should include some kind of menu or navigation bar that’s intuitive and easy to operate.
The home page should also include at least a short sentence or paragraph explaining what your business does.
Throughout the site, your own original, high-res images are important, both as a visual element and for SEO.
For those who want to dive a little deeper into the history or inner workings of your business, you can dedicate an entire page to that type of information.
Unique Value Proposition
Whether it’s on your home page, about page or both, you should make it clear on your website what you offer to customers that they can’t find anywhere else.
Explanation of Who You Serve
It’s also a good idea to frame those statements in a way that makes it clear who your customers are, so people will know when your offerings are most relevant to them.
For visitors who know exactly what they’re looking for, your website should include a small search bar somewhere so they can easily pull up that specific information.
List of Products or Services
To make doing business with you as easy as possible, your site should include some type of a menu or list of products or services that people can purchase.
People also need to be able to get in touch with you if they have questions or want to patronize your business. A contact form gives them the ability to do so right on your website.
Some people also simply prefer messaging you from their email account, so it can be a good idea to provide an address for those people as well.
For the inquiries that are more easily handled over the phone, you can also include a phone number to your store or customer service department.
Live Chat Box
Especially for businesses with techy or complicated offerings, a live chat box gives you a way to answer questions and go back and forth with customers directly on your website.
You also need to give people a way to find you in person, if you have a storefront or physical location. So be sure that your address is easily accessible.
To provide some context to your location and make it easier for people to find you, you can embed a map from Google Maps or another mapping service to show the area around your location.
Hours of Operation
For businesses that do accept calls or in person visitors, it’s also essential that you include the hours that you’re open and available so that people know when to stop by.
Photo of Your Location
Another way to show some context and help people visit your business is to include a photo of the outside of your storefront.
You can also add a face to your business by including a photo of yourself or one of your entire team.
Social Media Icons
Social media is another popular place for customers to connect with their favorite brands. So be sure to include some buttons that people can click to easily follow your company on popular platforms.
Social Sharing Buttons
In order to increase your reach, you can also include share buttons for people to easily save your images and content on social media.
Email Sign-up Form
Email is another great way to connect. So you should include a form that people can use to easily sign up to receive regular updates from you.
It’s important to provide some kind of social proof on your website so that customers don’t have to just take your word for it when you tell them how much value you could provide to them. So either on your home page or a separate page, include some positive reviews or testimonials from past customers.
If customers are likely to have questions about your products or services that could act as a barrier to their purchase, include a FAQ page that answers all of those common questions.
“How It Works” Explanation
For startups and businesses in emerging industries, it can also help to have a full page dedicated to walking people through the process of working with you, telling them step by step what it looks like.
Another way to provide some social proof for your business is to include articles and other content from outside sources that features your business.
You can also use your website to make it easier for press outlets to feature your business. A media kit should include contact information, photos, press releases and any other relevant materials that could make it easier for media outlets that want to create content about your brand.
In order to market your business and make your website easier to find, you can start your own blog section of your website to create content on topics that are relevant to your industry.
Depending on what your business does, you could also have an ecommerce section where you actually sell products directly on your website.
Video is a wonderful way to get a message across to potential customers. You could use it to introduce your business, explain your services or show your products in action.
Awards or Associations
To make your business seem more official and trustworthy, include badges or blurbs about any industry associations or awards that you’ve been part of through the years.
When it comes to marketing your business, you might want to create landing pages that are made to play up specific products or services based on how people have found your site.
For businesses that are looking to grow their teams, it can also be beneficial to include a page with job openings or information for interested candidates.
If you host any events, you might also include a calendar or list on a separate page.
Terms and Conditions
Similarly, it’s also a good idea to include a terms and conditions section that details how customers can and should interact with your website and your business.
The intellectual property contained on your website should also be protected under copyright law. So include a statement explaining your rights to the content on your site.
Some businesses might also need to include various disclosure statements. For example, if you include any affiliate links on your blog or other parts of your site, you should include a quick explanation of what that means.
To help customers get in touch with you and share their thoughts about working with your business, you can include a feedback section where you collect comments or reviews.
A site map is essentially an outline of all the pages and sections of your website, which is meant to make it as easy as possible to navigate.
In some cases, visitors might click a dead link or type in a URL incorrectly. So you need some kind of error page that tells them that page isn’t available and directs them to another relevant page.
Throughout all the pages of your website, it’s important to include keywords that potential customers might search for in relation to your business.
Headlines can make those keywords stand out even more while also breaking up the text sections of your website, making the whole thing easier to read.
Calls to Action
Your website should aim to make working with your business as easy as possible for customers. So tell them exactly what they should do next with calls to action like “call us today” or “buy now.”
A cluttered website can provide a lot of distractions and also make your business appear less professional. So make sure you either choose a clean looking template or have your site designed by a professional.
A set color scheme is also important when it comes to communicating your brand and keeping a consistent image across platforms.
A Memorable URL
The domain that you choose for your business is one of the most important early decisions you can make. Choose something that’s easy for customers to remember so they can come back again and again.
It’s also important to have a reliable hosting company that also provides some security features to keep your data safe.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a type of system that protects the information exchanged between a website and customers. So it provides important protection to those who purchase or otherwise interact with your site.
Today, so many customers are using their mobile devices to visit websites and make online purchases, it’s so important that you have a responsive site that’s easy to access and navigate on mobile devices.
The amount of time that your site takes to load can greatly impact the customer experience as well as your SEO. So make sure you have enough bandwidth to support it and test load times regularly.
Photo via Shutterstock
Originally published at Small Business Trends