It doesn’t matter whether you’re a bakery, local law firm, or a portrait photographer: a well-built internet presence boosts your business’s visibility and attracts new clients and customers. Don’t fret about creating a complex website with all the bells and whistles, because a small business’s website can be simple, offering only a few pages of information. What should your business’s website offer? Depending on the scope and necessity of your particular business, it should offer at least a few of the following:
A splash page: this is especially useful for businesses that sell products or offer services. For example, a photographer can place a slideshow of their best work on the front page to hook potential clients, while a clothing store can post current fashion lines or information about in-store deals.
An “About Us” page: give website browsers a face to put to the business. This adds personality to an otherwise impersonal website and may be the one thing that turns browsers into customers.
A “Contact” page: with paper phone books becoming doorstops in today’s Internet-ready world, a business needs to have its contact information available on the web. Add a simple listing of the business phone number, e-mail address, and mailing address.
A portfolio or page of samples: artists, photographers, writers, musicians – this is where you entice prospective clients. Show your best work with a portfolio to reel them in. For images, use one of the portfolio widgets from SmugMug, Flickr, or SimpleViewer. Music and video samples can be uploaded to YouTube and embedded into your website.
A map: add a map page with driving directions if your business has a physical location. Both Yahoo! and Google have map widgets that allow you to easily add a map to your website. Also post location hours on this page, if applicable.
A mobile version: with Android- and iOS-based smartphones quickly becoming necessities for tech-savvy audiences, a mobile version of your website is useful convenience. A mobile version of a website will have streamlined graphics to cut down on data transfer costs and a smaller screen resolution more suitable for mobile devices. To make it easier, blog platforms such as WordPress and Blogger have plug-ins or dashboard settings that allow you to automatically create and design a mobile version of your website.
A blog: a regularly updated blog will keep visitors coming back. Post information on sales, deals, or other promotions, or post simple updates or news about your business to create lively interaction between you and the customer. A business that interacts with its customers—be it through Facebook, Twitter, or a blog—will be seen as more approachable and personable.