The most effective website for small business - what should it contain?
So that small, local business owners often get new customers through referrals. If they decide to create their website, they often do so at the instigation of "specialists" and decide on a "business card page" which serves mainly an informational function. However, a small company's website should, above all, be effective, that is, it must convince the customer to choose you instead of using the services of a competitor. Remember whether you want it or not - the vast majority of customers check your company on the internet and it depends on whether, and on what conditions you will work with them. Learn how to make your website maximally effective.
Let's start with the goals of your site
Before we talk about the essential elements of a website, it's worth discussing what goals it can achieve first. Check the list below and verify that this is the case for your site. If not, it will probably be worth refining it in this respect. Make a note of what to change on it to support your business even more.
If you don't have a website yet, plan its content to achieve these goals. If you are still looking for a contractor for your company website, see what questions should be asked to its creators so, that you can get a website that will allow you to promote your products and services online and acquire new customers online.
Goals of the company website:
- Building trust - this is by far the most important of the goals of every website for micro, small and medium company. The small business website is proof that it exists and operates on the market. But just having a company website is not enough. Users visiting it should get the impression that they are dealing with professionals and that it is worth considering using their services. Trust will allow you to attract new customers without getting involved in advertising. When you build them - you will also be able to achieve higher margins than your competitors and efficiently implement projects - when the client feels that he has entrusted the work in good hands, he will not interfere in your projects.
- Be found - thanks to the company's website users will learn about the existence of your business. For example, you can reach a new group of clients or acquire business partners.
- Providing information - the website must state what you do and what problems you solve, who you are, how to get to you, how to contact you or place an order. Basic information is necessary because for someone to use your offer they must understand what you do. Communicate it clearly, presenting your company, offer, and experience, as well as implementations. Providing you with all the information you need also gives you the benefit of saving time - when a customer learns everything they need to know, you won't have to spend time answering his questions.
- Education - your website should allow you to learn more about your products/services and their applications. You can publish valuable content on your blog, organize webinars, offer e-books for download - think what form of communication will be appropriate for your target group.
- Converting - a website should be built so that as many people as possible decide to send a request for an offer, fill out the contact form on the website, generate valuable sales leads, or book a visit.
A website can also perform other, additional functions, e.g. help in finding employees.
Your website must be user-friendly
You want your customers to feel good about using your services. Let them feel they have choosen the right person and that you will do what they pay for well. Similarly, you should care that everyone who visits your website feels confident about it. So that he can use it comfortably and find what he was looking for there without problems. Your task is to make it easy as possible for him. To do this, make sure that your company website has 4 features.
4 features of user-friendly website:
1) FEATURE 1: Adaptation to different devices
The days when we browsed websites only on computers are long over, so you need a page that users can conveniently use from a mobile phone or tablet. The pace of life is getting faster and we are looking for services when we are at work, at home, but also on the bus or train, so you need a website that can be viewed in various circumstances.
What is responsive website?
Responsiveness means "relevance", however when we define a website as such, it means that it is suitable for all devices on which it can be opened. In other words, all of its content will display correctly on screens of all sizes, desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
The responsive website is automatically adjusted to the device resolution and thanks to this all the website content is visible. The user can freely and conveniently browse such a page e.g. on a mobile phone and does not have to move the content of each subpage sideways, enlarge a small font, photos, etc.
Why do you need a responsive website?
You can still find many websites that look good only when displayed on a computer screen. However, if you open the page on your mobile phone, there is a problem. It takes a lot of effort to find the content we are looking for, or even switch between subpages. This is because the width and structure of the website are not adapted to the resolution of mobile devices (and yet the smartphone has a screen much higher than the wider, and the laptop the opposite). This is a big mistake because at present over 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices (mainly mobile phones).
This is a very large group of potential customers, and you can't afford to lose them. If your site will not display well on mobile phones, you will probably lose half of your website visitors' attention and the chance to become your customers. Decide on a responsive website to give them a good experience of using your website, and they will stay there much longer. However, if it will not match the resolution of their device, they will probably leave it very soon - customers today are very comfortable.
Importantly, the time spent on the site is one of Google's ranking factors. So, if the bounce rate (the percentage of users who visit only the main page and do not go to any other subpage) is high, your site will be perceived by the search engine algorithm as useless, not corresponding to the needs of its visitors, and therefore its position in Google will be lower and will go down. Remember that the competition is not sleeping. If it has responsive pages, then users interested in services like yours will reach them, not you.
Responsive or mobile website?
Two solutions allow you to get a website tailored to display on your mobile phone: responsive and mobile. What is the difference?
The mobile website is the second version of the website, created specifically for the requirements of mobile devices. However, in the case of a responsive page, the contractor creates only one page that automatically adapts to the devices on which it is displayed.
A much more popular solution is responsive websites in RWD technology because they are cheaper - both in terms of their creation and maintenance. We pay only for one page, and mobile pages - for two versions of the site. A responsive page has one URL, and the mobile page must have a different URL than the desktop. In the case of RWD pages, there is also no phenomenon of content duplication and there is no need to update the content twice on each of the mobile and regular pages, so this process can be carried out faster. As of today, we can say that responsive websites are becoming the standard.
Check if the contractor creates responsive pages
To adapt the website to mobile devices, web designers create responsive websites or a separate mobile version of the website. Before you choose a person who will create a page for you, check their portfolio and open individual pages on your mobile phone. Check if they look good. Be sure to ask if the page created for you will be responsive. Here you will find a list of other questions that should be asked to web designers.
2) FEATURE 2: Intuitive navigation
You already know that your website should be comfortable to use. Well-designed and well-thought-out navigation should also serve this purpose. Its pillar is the menu visible on the page, but the navigation should also be placed in the footer. The use of tile navigation and the so-called hamburger.
What subpages should the small business website contain?
Typical subpages for small businesses are Home, Offer (Products, Services), About us (About us, Team), Portfolio (Realizations), Price list and Contact. This does not mean, however, that exactly such tabs are to be included in your menu.
View competition pages and think about the subpages that are specific to your industry. For example, in the case of restaurants it will be Menu, and in the case of hotel facilities - Rooms. Think about what your customers can get and what your competition rarely has. If you run a guest house, the Tourist attractions subpage will certainly be very encouraging.
Before you start designing navigation, be sure to think about what content your site should contain to effectively convince you to take advantage of your company's offer. The content should form a coherent story leading the potential customer from the first hearing about your company, by getting to know its offer, the value you offer, how you deliver it until the purchase, i.e. the transformation of the potential customer into a real customer!
You can learn more about storytelling on this website from this article.
Why is the menu on the company website important?
The purpose of the menu is to show the content of the page or at least its most important elements. It is to enable quick access to the most important information on your site and ensure easy navigation and return to the main page. Usually, a clickable company logo is placed on the menu that takes users to the home page. Small business pages usually use horizontal menus, but you can also find sites that have a vertical menu.
If you design a website's navigation well, users will spend a lot of time on your site, and you care about it. You want users to visit various tabs on your website, and to become familiar with your offer, price list, and become convinced to use your services. The more time spent on the website means also better positions in search results.
Not only your potential customers move on your side, but also Google robots. The better the structure of the menu and links on your site, the better it will evaluate and will be rewarded with a better position in search results. To sum up: good navigation effectively supports positioning.
Website menu - how to plan it?
Take a pen and paper and try to plan the menu scheme. You can also ask for the opinion of the developer of your website, but it is much better to go to him with an outline of what you plan. Use clear names of subpages in the menu so that users know what kind of content they will find in a given tab.
The order of items on the menu matters. In the beginning, there should always be a homepage (you don't have to put it as a menu item if your company logo will be linked to it). Usually, there is a subpage About the company, then subpages related to the Offer, and then Portfolio, Blog, and Contact, which is always at the end.
Don't put too many items on the menu. When you use more than 7, the menu may not be readable. Do you have many materials that you want to put on your website? Calmly. Not all of them need to be included in the menu. A popular practice is e.g. using a submenu, e.g. placing subpages with individual services in the Offer tab. You can also publish sitelinks as a list on the related subpage.
It's also a good idea to put your business phone number and business email address above the menu. This way you will make it easier for users to contact you.
The sticky menu is "glued" to the part of the screen (usually the top) and remains visible all the time, even when scrolling (scrolling) the page. This makes it much easier to navigate between subpages because the user does not have to scroll to the top to see the menu again.
You can also design the menu in such a way that it is not visible when the page is scrolled down (then it is probably the user's intention to read the page content), and it appeared only when he started scrolling the page up (because then his intention is probably switching to another subpage visible in the menu).
The sticky menu takes up some screen space, which can be problematic. It should not be too high, because then it will obscure a large part of the content of the page - especially on devices with low resolution.
Is a hamburger menu a good idea?
Increasingly, a hamburger menu is used on websites, i.e. a distinctive icon representing 3 horizontal lines of equal length, after clicking on which a menu appears. This solution specific to websites in mobile versions began to be used on desktop (desktop) pages. The hamburger saves space on the site and looks modern, but users who rarely display websites on mobile phones may feel lost and do not know that you should click on the hamburger icon to expand the menu. The hamburger also requires users to perform an additional action and does not allow immediate familiarization with the entire structure of the site.
Consider whether your audience will recognize that the menu is hidden. Perhaps in the future, a hamburger will be so common that every Internet user will know that it is necessary to click on it to display the menu. At the moment, however, this is not the case and some users may not. However, if you direct your offer to young people familiar with technology, a hamburger will be a good solution.
How to use tiled navigation?
Not only menu names or text fragments can be linked. Tiled navigation is also often used on company websites. In this type of navigation, it is the images that transfer to the content in other tabs. For example, you can use such navigation on the home page and publish icons or photos on it, representing various services, linking to subpages of those services, where users learn more about your offer.
It is a common practice to place a page map in the footer, i.e. a list of subpages that make up the website. In the footer, you can also provide links only to certain subpages, which we consider the most important, e.g. Offer (write services linked to individual subpages here) or Materials (link the price list subpage and other documents here, e.g. in the case of a window manufacturer, this may be an instruction, how to measure windows, window catalog, ordering regulations). It happens, however, that the footer places links to subpages that are not to be visible at first glance, e.g. an offer for regular customers.
3) FEATURE 3: Professional website layout
Review the appearance of your site
Websites created over 3-5 years ago are usually out of date. If you have a website for several years, verify that it complies with current website creation trends. You probably are used to her appearance and do not want to change anything, but it's worth looking at her in the context of how good websites look today. Check competitors' websites, including those from abroad, and see what templates for companies in your industry look like. Pay attention to what sections they contain and what they look like. This will help you decide how you want your services, portfolio, opinions and visit booking section to be presented.
The most important thing is balance
Your website should give the impression of balance. The balance is to be maintained, among others for texts and the accompanying visual elements or colors used. It is best if the website's colors match the company logo and its visual identity (it is consistent with branding). The point is for customers to quickly associate your company - not only based on the name but also based on visual elements and colors used in your logo.
t is a mistake to use too many colors and to use colors that look bad when put together. However, these errors can be easily avoided. There are color palettes that designers use when creating a website design. Ask that the person you entrust to create your website before you make the project presents you with some suggestions for such palettes. You can also tell us in advance about your preferences and the impression you want to create on your website (proximity, warmth, distance, seriousness, prestige, etc.) and provide the designer with the elements that make up your company's branding - above all, the logo design.
An important quality of graphic designs is simplicity, so it's best to avoid using too many elements, colors, styles or fonts on one website. Properly defined and used hierarchy of elements will help in maintaining transparency. The banner, headers, passwords, menus, and buttons should be visible. It is worth specifying the arguments for using the offer and, above all, contact details and the so-called CTA (call-to-action) - i.e. direct phrases expressing what action you expect from your site visitors (e.g. that they call you, fill out the contact form, come to your office).
Clear company website and clear message
Readability is also extremely important. The texts on the website should be legible, but also what you want to communicate. The following paragraphs should create a coherent message in which you specify what your business does, what it offers and why the user visiting the site should use your services.
The sections should be visually separated and not too long because you want to avoid the "wall of text" effect, which no one will read. After the section, which contains the background image or icons, it is usually best to present a minimalist section, e.g. consisting of only text placed on a neutral background. It is good practice to alternate the sections on neutral and colorful backgrounds.
The font used should be "easy to read". You don't want users to have to "decrypt" content. The text can not be too small, and the size of the headings should be well matched to show the hierarchy of elements and pay attention to the most important information. In addition to the text, line spacing and paragraph spacing are also important, because space gives the impression of transparency and makes reading easier. Do you want to learn more about it? Read the text on how to choose fonts for a website.
4) FEATURE 4: Tailoring the website to the industry
There are general guidelines for all websites, but the industry for which the website is created is also of great importance. The website of the kindergarten and production company will have a completely different character, different colors, graphic motifs, sections, and subpages.
Once again, think about which subpages are worth placing on the page. Think about what useful aspects you can show your potential customers and what content will make you present yourself as an expert and inspire confidence. In the case of a physiotherapist, for example, the Exercise subpage will contain a video guide on how to care for the right posture and advice on which forms of physical activity to choose to stay healthy.
Think about what is important to your audience.Read how to know who your customers are (trick 1). Think about what elements of the site will be crucial when deciding whether to choose your company. If you are looking for an artist for your website, check his portfolio to match the site to the industry. See if there is a gap between what the company does and what its site looks like.
The impression of the consistency of the content and the visual layer as well as a good selection of the page structure to the offer works in the company's favor. Users visiting a website usually spend only a moment on it. If they judge that the site is not related to the services they are looking for and their appropriate level, they will leave it very quickly.
BOWWE Website Creator offers website templates dedicated to various micro, small and medium businesses, e.g. photographers, cafes, dance schools, doctors, hairdressers, beauty salons and many. many others. You can create such a website for free. See how easy it is. Set up an account at BOWWE or order a well thought out, designed and made company website.
These elements will increase the efficiency of your website
You already know what goals your website should achieve and you know the general features it should have to make it attractive to users. Now it's time for details.
Find out which sections are worth placing on your site.
1) A promise you can fulfill
There is a promise behind every business. Someone who decides to use the services of a particular company must be convinced that this promise will be fulfilled. If he feels insecure - you can quickly lose a client to your competition.
You can't let this happen. Instead of letting the customer leave, give him a reason to use your services. Offer your recipient something he needs or something he needs. Communicate it on your website so that this information is clearly visible. Place a headline on the main page and mention the promise in the texts on other subpages.
Examples of company promises from various industries:
- Optician: ensuring good vision and aesthetic appearance
- Pet store: Your pet's well-being and health
- Laptop repair: Your computer will recover, you will be able to use it freely and save money by choosing to repair rather than buying new equipment
- Cafe: Aromatic coffee and delicious cakes that you will eat in a cozy place and a pleasant atmosphere
- Toy store: Your child's safety, joy, and development
- Windows: Safe, solid and top-quality windows at a very good price. Quick quote and assembly
Remember that these are all words and think of how you can prove to the client that you are fulfilling the promise. You can choose from a portfolio, before and after photos, customer reviews, diplomas, and certificates.
2) Information about your company
The company is not an impersonal creation, but the people who create it. When you show this, it will be much easier for you to build trust with people who are looking for services like yours. Show your face, write who you are, what are your goals and mission and what you would like to deliver to your clients. If your work is your passion, it is worth showing it to your clients, preferably in a subtle and unobtrusive way - the site is a great tool to show it, then pay enough attention to it. It is often worth publishing photos of leaders, perhaps also team members, consider it especially if they are people who have contact with the customer and have a very large impact on providing everything that is important for your company in the context of customer relations.
If you run a business in a specific place, show them. Present the interior of the premises inside and outside. Often, even if customers never appear there, the same place where you work can show them a lot and you can gain a lot of trust. On the Contact subpage, publish a map and driving directions to help you reach you. Show me how you work. Consider whether it can be presented in the form of a video. If you are a physiotherapist, you can record a video showing how you do the massage. If it takes some time to complete the order, show the stages. It is worth presenting them in the form of icons, accompanied by descriptions.
By showing who you are and what you do, you build trust. Try to present your company in an unusual way that will make you remember. Customers usually visit many company websites and it is difficult to keep their attention and to remember them. Think about what story you can build about your company. Are you a continuator of several generations of family traditions? Or maybe you quit your job in the corporation to start making money on your passion and make your dream of starting your own business come true? Here in trick 5, you'll find more tips on how to create a story about your business.
3) What you give and what your competition does not give
Is your offer unique? If so, you are in a very small group of companies. Usually, there are many micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that often provide identical services, differing at most in the area in which they operate. How to convince customers in this situation to choose you and not other companies from your or neighboring region?
Show and prove your competitive advantage.
Here are examples of things that can make your business stand out:
- High quality and professionalism
- Owner's passion
- Dedicated account manager
- Short delivery time
- Very fast response to inquiries
- Presenting a specific, very detailed valuation
- Favorable prices and the possibility of getting a discount
- The highest quality products (e.g. high durability, tightness) and services
- A wide range of products and services
- Narrow specialization (also can be an advantage especially when there is a wide market)
- Aesthetics, originality, and uniqueness
- Good location
- Reliable information on products and help in choosing the best solutions
- Comprehensive services in the package (e.g. turnkey apartments)
Show not only what you offer, but the value you give. Communicate the benefits of your products, services, service, premises in the texts on the website. You can also create a folder presenting your offer and link it to your website, e.g. in the footer. Marketing guides often tell business owners to highlight the uniqueness of their business. This is important, but be careful not to overdo it with bragging. Instead, be approachable. Your goal is to make your customers feel special and confident in using your offer.
4) Answers to questions that have not yet been asked
Why should your site answer customer questions?
Remind yourself how frustrated you feel when you get to the website of the company whose services you are interested in and you can't find the information you need. Make sure your website answers questions that your potential customers may have.
Many internet users are lazy and if they don't find information on your site, they won't make a phone call or write an email. He will sooner visit the websites of other companies in your industry and you will lose customers to the competition.
Where to publish the answers to the questions?
It's a good practice to create a FAQ page with a list of frequently asked questions and answers. On such subpages, companies often write about how the order is being carried out and shipped, what the purchase terms are, and how the cooperation with the company is going. They provide specific information, e.g. who the services are directed to, what are their advantages, and answer questions directly related to their business.
However, it is not always necessary to create a separate subpage with questions and answers. You can answer questions, e.g. on the Price List subpage (e.g. What is included in the service packages? How do you prepare the quote?), Offer (What are the stages of work implementation? What do customers gain by choosing your company?), Contact (Does the company work mobile or provide on-site services?) and of course on the home page. The most important thing is for the visitor to get a set of the most important information, thanks to which he will feel more convinced to take advantage of the offer and take the next step - he will call to make an appointment or send a request for a quote. Remember, people like to have something in writing - they feel safer then, they are calmer and more open to your offer.
How to check what customers are asking about?
First, make a list of the questions you most often receive when talking to them. Ask your employees to write down the questions customers ask them. You can also view topics related to your industry in discussion forums and see what users are talking about, their doubts and what they are looking for. Try to group the collected questions into categories and specify which ones are key and the answers to them should appear at the very beginning of the FAQ or in an exposed place on the main page.
Secondly, you can check on Google what phrases related to your offer are searched. When you start entering words into the search window, hints related to the words you entered will appear. This auto-complete will help you get an idea of what your customers are looking for. Google displays hints in one more place. After entering the phrase related to your offer in the search engine, scroll down the page and at the bottom (under the search results) you will see a list of similar searches.
Also try Google Keyword Planner, which will show related keywords to those you enter and display their approximate monthly searches. It's best to prepare a list of key phrases related to your offer and separate their positions with commas. You will be able to check if they are searched. Importantly, the tool also suggests new keywords (based on the key phrases you enter).
Use the Answer The Public tool to find questions. For example, if you select Polish and enter "home insurance", you'll see questions including "where", "which", "what" and "how"
Examples of generated questions including "housing insurance" and "where":
- Where to insure the apartment
- Where is the cheapest home insurance?
- Home insurance where it's worth it
- Where to insure the apartment in the block
Sometimes the results may be incorrect in terms of language, so you need to edit them, but often provide ideas for valuable content for users. They will often be good ideas for articles on your blog.
Website optimization for clients' questions
If you choose the most frequently asked questions and give them satisfactory answers on your website, you will increase the chance of contact from them and improve your visibility in Google search results. At this stage, you can still make changes to the planned structure of your site. Consider whether it is worth adding a subpage related to the queries you have searched for.
Think about the key phrases related to the content on particular subpages of your website. Write down a list of such expressions and try to include related expressions in the texts. Do not publish language incorrect terms, even if they are included in key phrases. This can negatively affect your company's image. Also, remember that the content should sound natural and the text should be easy to read.
It is very good practice to write one blog entry related to one key phrase. The article should cover the topic. If you write several texts related to the same key phrase, then they will compete for a position in search results.
5) Well-chosen photos
As you may have read before, the visual side of a company website is of great importance and can have a decisive impact on whether you will be selected. However, the layout itself, even if it is very well made and selected for your industry and business, is not all. It is easy to "ruin" it by publishing low quality or incorrectly selected photos.
What kind of photos do you need?
What photos you need depends on what your business is related to. However, for many micro and small businesses, several types of photos will work.
Types of photos used on small business websites:
- Photographs of you and your team
- Photographs depicting the services you provide
- Photographs of the products you offer
- Photographs showing the projects you have made
- Photographs showing the office
- Occasional photographs (e.g. taken during training sessions and conferences in which you participate or business meetings)
Think about what kind of photos your business needs. Or maybe another type of photography comes to your mind? For some companies, photos showing "before and after" effects will be very good, e.g. old and new hair, makeup, change after aesthetic medicine, change of upholstery after washing, image of the person before stylist consultation and after shopping with the stylist or changing the appearance of the apartment after the work recommended by the interior designer. Showing the effects of work in this way speaks strongly to the imagination and can make the difference that someone will choose your services.
In the case of repair and production companies in the form of photos, you can present the stages of workstages of work, e.g. car washing or furniture production. Some customers want to know exactly what will be done and by publishing such photos together with a description you will gain their trust. Also, by showing how work is carried out in your company, you are transparent, you do not hide anything, and this also increases trust in your company.
Where to get photos for the company website?
First of all, you can do them yourself. If you have a good quality camera and are interested in this field, you know how to set up the equipment and know the rules of composition - this may be enough. However, if you do not have such knowledge, get help.
You can hire a professional photographer. Ask friends for recommendations or search for a contractor who deals with business photography. Be sure to ask for implementation for companies. You need to check that the photos have been well prepared and look professional. Photo sessions are associated with costs, but you will be able to use the photos taken not only on the website but also in e.g. advertising materials and social media.
Yet another solution is the so-called stock photos, i.e. pages with photos that can be used for free or for a fee on your website or in your publications. Make sure you pay attention to photo licenses. You are interested in those with a CC0 license. This is a type of Creative Commons license that allows commercial use of a given photo without providing its author, source or license note.
A list of sample photo databases that you can use for free on your company website:
Bet on authenticity
Photographs should show the "human face" of you and your employees. Do not publish passport photos or other photos taken for documents. Such photos arouse distance instead of encouraging contact. Remember to smile and have a relaxed body position. You should look friendly, as well as your team. Nobody likes to be served by people who do not look enthusiastic about the work they do. Show in the pictures that what you do is your passion and that customer satisfaction is your priority. Remember to dress properly - yours and your employees', and if you photograph your place, make sure it is tidy.
What if you decide to use stocks? In many photos, you can see people taking serious, stiff poses. You do not want such photographs on your website. Instead, choose the ones in which the characters look natural.
Reduce and compress photo
Photos on your website should be light so that they load quickly and display correctly to every user, including those who use free internet. How fast the site is also has a big impact on how it will rank in search results - Google rewards sites that load quickly in search engine results.
The weight of all photos published on one subpage should not be more than 1 MB. The Portfolio subpage may be an exception, but it is also worth optimizing. To make the photos not too heavy, you need to reduce their size before throwing them on the page, because both photos from stocks and those that you will take or make for you are very large.
When you open your page in Google Chrome you will be able to check the size of the image as follows:
- Right-click on the image and select "Search this image".
- In the panel that will appear on the right, find the link to the image and hover over it with the right mouse button.
- You will then see the size at which the picture is displayed on your website, and in bracket the actual size of the picture.
It's best to put on the website photos that are slightly larger than those displayed on your website. To reduce their size, you can use, for example, the free GIMP photo editing program (Scaling tool).
Besides, it's worth compressing the photos so that their weight is even less. You can use one of the online compressors, e.g.Optimizilla czy Compressnow. Check, however, that after compression the photos have not lost much quality because you do not want the photos to see pixels. Try 50% compression and see what its effects will be (image quality and image size in the resolution you want). Before placing photos on your site, make sure they are clear and compare them with photos that have not been compressed.
When you order your website, be sure to talk about graphics guidelines. Some web design companies don't care if the site will load quickly. They only want to complete the order as soon as possible (at the lowest cost). Check if you are dealing with a reliable contractor who will properly prepare the photos before placing them on your company website.
Complete the ALT and title attributes
Google robots can't read what's on the graphics, but there are attributes to describe the graphics. The ALT attribute (alternative text) was created so that the content of web pages was accessible to blind people because there are special programs that read this attribute and so people with vision problems can find out what is in the pictures. Because Google’s goal is to reward those sites that are available to those users, the ALT attribute has become one of the ranking factors in determining the order of pages in search results. The text placed in the ALT attribute does not appear on the web page but is visible in its code.
In turn, the title is an auxiliary text that appears in the "speech bubble" when you hover over the image with the mouse cursor. Also, the completed title has an impact on how well your site will appear in search results.
Remember to include in the ALT and title attributes a description of what is actually in the pictures, e.g. expressions related to your offer. Try not to duplicate the description of the pictures. Be sure to discuss this with your page designer. You can make an appointment with him and provide him with a list of phrases to be included in the ALT and title attributes of the images, and he will put them on the page. How do you know if he did it? The title will be displayed in the "bubble" visible after moving the mouse cursor over the picture, and ALT you will see in the page code alt = "expression in alt" when you right-click on the picture and select from the Checklist.
6) Apply social proof of equity
How do we make decisions when we are not sure which choice will be the right one? Very often we are guided by what other people do. We ask friends for a competent professional recommendation, we check opinions on the Internet.
How to use social proof of equity on a website?
A customer who is looking for a contractor knows that there are better and worse companies on the market. He is probably afraid that he may find a dishonest company or that the work will be done improperly. You also want to find out if the products offered are worth the price, which is why you check the experiences of other customers who have already cooperated with a given company.
Your task is to ensure that you are a recommended company on the Internet, because your reputation may notice the success or failure of your venture. How to do it?
When you set up a website in BOWWE, you will be able to place an application with customer reviews on your website. They will be statements of your real clients confirmed by the Honaro certificate. Thanks to this solution, you can be sure that your competition will not leave you negative reviews on this platform, and visitors to your site will be guaranteed that it wasn't you or your employees who wrote them. In addition, you will gain an effective place to defend yourself against negative opinions issued by unverified people, e.g. on Google, Facebook or in many other places. With such a tool, when someone publishes a negative opinion there, you can simply politely thank her and invite him (and all other people who check your opinions) to a place where only real customers give their opinion, i.e. to Honaro. This is the best answer in this situation. On the one hand, by answering you show that you care about your reputation, and on the other hand, you will direct all future customers to reliable opinions about your company.
To collect reviews in Honaro, simply ask your customers to set up (free) profiles on Honaro, add their photo and provide feedback on your company. When you publish the Opinions application on the BOWWE website, the recommendations will be visible on it, along with photos of your customers. You can add such a widget on several different subpages at once, e.g. on the main page and About us, or create a separate subpage containing recommendations and references.
Create a website in BOWWE and gain new customers thanks to recommendations.
Ask customers to post your opinion on Google and your company profile on Facebook. Here, in step 3, you'll find instructions on how to set up a Google My Business card. The more positive feedback you have about you, the greater the chance that people who don't know you will choose your services.
b) Opinions of influencers
You can also establish cooperation with local bloggers, Instagrammers or YouTubers, who will test your products and services, describe your impressions, and you will be able to quote a fragment on your website. Remember, however, that such cooperation is associated with costs - bloggers earn from cooperation with companies. Be sure to include the influencer's photo and a link to the published review.
c) Expert opinions
We trust with followers in a given field, and in addition, such people may have their "fans" or observers who count their opinion very much and will probably be interested in products recommended by him. Think about what an expert could recommend your services.
For example, Montessori kindergarten could publish on its website the opinion of a child psychologist who would praise such education methods and show that they have a very positive impact on child development. In turn, dietetic catering could be recommended by a dietitian, and a store with exercise equipment a personal trainer and a physiotherapist.
Maybe you have experts on your friend's network or their friends. All you need to do is ask people around you if they don't know someone of a particular profession. You can also simply search online for specialists from your region and ask if they are interested in recommending your products or services. Check on LinkedIn if you have any mutual friends who could introduce you to an expert.
Such an expert's testimony will be even more convincing if accompanied by photography. If you decide to put expert photos on your website, ask if they have high-quality business photos ready. If so, you 'll have to organize a photo session. It is best if the experts live in the region as you do, that the whole process can be organized and that customers who also live in your region benefit from your offer.
d) Logos of companies and partners with whom you cooperate
"Since these companies have entered into a cooperation, so can I" - such an impression is caused by the Partners or Work for section, in which company logos are visible. This is a great way to build an impression of professionalism and to inspire trust, especially if they are the logos of recognizable companies.
However, before you start placing logos on your website, remember one thing. You must always have the official consent of the person managing the company to use the company logo on your website. If you do this without the knowledge and consent of the company, you may have problems.It is not enough to ensure a private employee that you can do it. It is best if you get written permission to use the logo on your website - it will protect you for the future.
d) Awards, certificates, diplomas
"If they were rated so well, their services are definitely good" - such a conclusion comes naturally. Similarly, rewards work: "if someone awarded them, they probably had a reason." So if your business is rated well on Facebook or on the Google My Business profile - show off the number of stars obtained on the website. Restaurants or hotels can refer to reviews on TripAdvisor.
Find out if there are any industry or local competitions organized. You can register to participate in the plebiscite and encourage your regular customers to vote for you. Sometimes even a nomination in a plebiscite can make your company louder and you will benefit from it because more people will hear about the existence of your business and will want to try your services.
Show off your diplomas from completed training courses related to your business. Confirming your skills by other people and institutions builds your credibility as a specialist and inspires confidence that you will perform the service well.
e) Case studies
Case studies seem to be the domain of large companies. However, small businesses can also use them.
Describe how you solved the client's problem and what the effects were. Outline the "starting situation", state what you have done and show what has changed. When visitors to your site see that other people/companies have succeeded or improved their situation, they will start thinking that they can expect the same effect.
For example, a financial advisor may indicate what the client's situation was, his debt status and how it was resolved - the choice of a consolidation loan that significantly reduced the monthly installments.
The fact that others have used your services and you can see this effect is another of the social proofs of equity that works in your favor. It is best if your website has a visible portfolio (projects). If you post a file from your portfolio in a PDF document, anyone can download it, but many people will not. A suitable place to present a project on the website is the Portfolio or Realizations sub-page, or the Gallery subpage.
Show your best projects on it. You do not have to, and even should not disclose, works that you are not completely satisfied with, for example, you made concessions to a client and implemented a project closer to his vision. Think about whether you can divide your projects into categories. For example, a renovation and construction company may have categories listed on the page showing built houses, renovated restaurants, hotels, renovated individual rooms (bathroom, kitchen, living room, etc.), fences, paving stone laying projects. It may also be a good idea to add to the portfolio of works from a given project divided into stages (e.g. preparation of the area and foundations, the stage of erecting the first and subsequent floors of the house and subsequent stages until the ready to move in the house). Nice and detailed photos showing your work at each stage will clearly show that you always do your work with the utmost diligence.)
It is also worth including descriptions of individual projects. You can write for whom the project was made, what it concerned, what were its stages. When you add categories and descriptions - the Portfolio subpage will be easier to find, so more people will find it - straight from the internet search engine.
A portfolio is not just photos. Video and panoramic photos are very interesting. The first will work perfectly when showing the implementation of works, and the second - to present the interior of the premises, office, restaurant or hotel. It is important to update your portfolio regularly, showing that you remain active and have many clients.
In BOWWE, you can quickly insert the Portfolio application on your website. Photos and their descriptions will be easy to add in a few minutes by logging into Honaro and you will be able to update at any time. You will also be able to modify the portfolio's appearance by editing the widget's appearance. Create an account in BOWWE and create your own company page that you will conveniently manage.
g ) Your achievements in numbers
How many years have you been on the market? How many customers have you had so far? How many projects have you completed? How many subscribers have subscribed to your newsletter? You can answer each of these questions by providing a specific number that is worth displaying on the website. The numbers may be accompanied by icons that match what they refer to. It is worth to adapt this section to the specifics of your industry. In the case of an accounting office, for example, you can mention the number of invoices issued or settlements prepared, in the case of a photographer - the number of photo sessions carried out, and in the case of a personal trainer - the number of pieces of training carried out.
Discounts on your website
Understandably, you do not want to lower your prices, but it is worth arranging the offer so that you can give your customers a discount. Why? Because they often ask for a discount, and you can lose their interest by refusing them a discount. The solution may be a slight increase in product prices so that customers can negotiate them. A customer who negotiates at least a few percent lower price feels satisfied and will be happy to come back to you.
The use of coupons
Coupons effectively encourage people who do not know you yet to take advantage of your offer. Always limit the time the coupon is valid - it will motivate customers to visit you and use a coupon that they download immediately, if they don't, they will probably feel that they have lost the opportunity. You can also introduce additional restrictions, e.g. such that one person can only use one coupon. Think about what you will give a discount for. It can be, for example, one of the more expensive services, their whole package or a new service.
When you set up a website in BOWWE, you'll be able to add discount coupons on it. All you have to do is log in to Honaro, a platform integrated with BOWWE, add photos to appear on the coupons, enter the amount of discount you grant and until when the coupon is valid. Such a created coupon is easily published on your website in BOWWE by inserting the Coupons application on it.
Suggest to your customers that your offer will be an excellent form of a gift. Offer them the opportunity to buy gift vouchers of varying value, e.g. USD 50, USD 100 or USD 150. Be sure to include this information on your website - you can, for example, create an additional tab where you present gift cards and justify why such a voucher is a great gift idea. Remind about this possibility in the newsletter and prepare leaflets and posters in the place where you provide services. You can also ask employees to inform customers about this option.
What to give a discount to gain?
Think carefully about what you can give a discount. You don't want to be lossy. A discount can be a smart way to sell more, such as giving a discount for an additional service. You can also give a discount on items whose warranty date ends or after-season. A good option may also be to offer a discount for subscribing to your company newsletter.
Examples of discounts that companies from various industries can give:
- Pension: Lower prices of accommodation in the dead season
- Language school: Additional holiday activities at a lower price for school students
- Dentist: Dental package: scaling with polishing and fluoridation
- Optician: Discount on contact lenses for people who order them regularly at an optician
- Drugstore: 10% discount for purchases over 100 USD
- Wholesale: Discount for subsequent purchases, when, for example, within half a year, the company spends a certain amount of money in the warehouse
- Clothing store: discount on clothes that have not sold
- Restaurant: 10% discount for publishing a photo of the ordered meal on a private profile on Instagram or Facebook and marking the photo with a hashtag invented by the restaurant
Don't forget to include rebate information on your website.It's best to do it in a visible place that stands out graphically. You can also create an additional subpage on which you will publish information about bargains and discounts, as well as a subpage with information about vouchers.
You can also create a loyalty program that allows you to collect points for purchases made with you. Use such a converter of points to PLN, so that you are certainly not lossy. It is worth building long-term relationships with clients so that they do not go away to the competition, and the loyalty program will make your recipients more attached to you.
What if you don't ensure the effectiveness of your website?
Whether your website will contain elements that increase your credibility, build trust among recipients and convince you to use your offer may influence your success or failure. Don't lose your chance to increase the number of customers and increase sales.
Do not settle for the average site that will not benefit you and make sure it is built to maximize your profits. Otherwise, you will incur costs for creating the website and they will not pay you back. And worst of all, you will lose customers even those "on recommendation" and a lot of time to assure customers that you really know what you are doing and will have to lower your rates.
Does your website contain the elements listed in the article? Follow the advice and increase its effectiveness! Do you need help creating a website? Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org