To you, it might seem like we bang on a lot about having a ‘good’ website here at NDM.
Perhaps it’s to do with our obsession with organic marketing? Or a product of our addiction to beautiful web development and design? Or, because we KNOW how important an effective website is for aspiring small business owners?
Whatever the reason, we’ll never apologise for going in hard on websites. In fact, we’re about to double down on the topic and show you what makes a good website, well, good! #sorrynotsorry
Why a good website is vital to business success
Do you want the naked truth? A good, optimised website is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s a must have.
In this new digitalised world, an optimised website is an essential tool for every small business owner. Whatever your size and whatever your industry, a good website is key to remaining competitive in your space.
While this is no news to you if you’re an eCommerce vendor, this might come as a shock if you’re from a traditionally bricks and mortar industry.
Imagine you’re a GP. You may still rely heavily on your existing client base and ongoing foot traffic. But, for new residents to the area, as well as younger patients who’ve grown up in the internet age, an optimised website is a necessity.
If your website is old or non-existent, you won’t stand a chance against a local competitor who accepts online bookings and shares updated clinic information via social media. While this might not bother you right now, it will bother you when your patient pool starts to shrink.
To stay competitive in your market and increase that all important online visibility, you need a good website. It’s that simple.
Website essentials: what makes a good website?
Let’s get one thing clear straight. A good website isn’t always the most beautiful looking website. Design plays an important role – you want a website that’s attractive and that people will want to visit. But, good design isn’t everything.
A fully optimised website not only looks great – it’s also:
- Easy to navigate
- Quick to load
- Simple to use
You might come across the most beautiful website you’ve ever seen but if the pages are slow to load, information is hard to find and navigation is tricky, you won’t want to stick around for long.
A good website should do more than just have good looks. It needs to have the information visitors are looking for, answer their most asked questions and lead them to action. All while delivering a great experience.
Here are the essential pages and elements you need for a good website.
Essential pages for your website
The virtual front door to your business, the home page is the most important page on your site. This is where you greet visitors and show them around. If you want them to stay you need to create a welcoming space that’s easy to navigate and quick to load. But, you only have about 50 milliseconds to show visitors what you’ve got – that’s why great copy and design is essential.
Often overlooked, the About page gives you the chance to show your audience who you are and connect over shared values. This is where you pull the curtain back and reveal the person (or team) behind the business. 52% of respondents in a study said the About page was the first thing they looked for on a website. People buy from people – so make it easy to get to know you.
For service-based businesses, you want a landing page that lists all your services so it’s easy for clients to see how you can help them. Ideally, each service will lead to its own page (hello more keywords!) but, at a minimum, you need a dedicated service page to explain your offerings in a nutshell. Check out these inspired service page ideas to see what might work for you.
If products are your thing, you need a product or category page to showcase your wares. Now, we’re not talking about a page full of thumbnails and minimal text. We’re talking about a dedicated page (or multiple category pages depending on how many items you sell) that showcases how your products benefit your customers. This category page explainer is a great starting point.
The contact page is not just a place for you to share your phone number and address. This is valuable digital real estate that gives you the chance to reiterate your offer, share customer reviews and answer FAQs to break down any remaining barriers and finally get people to take action. Shopify has a great resource with contact page examples to show you how it’s done.
Essential elements of your website
Calls to action (CTAs) are a must-have element on every page of your site. If you want people to take a specific action (subscribe, buy, contact, download, etc.) you need to lead the way. With an estimated 70% of small business B2B sites lacking a CTA, a clear CTA could set you apart from your competitors. Here’s a great resource featuring 8 tactics to use in your CTA.
If you haven’t already started to develop an email list, now’s the time to start. A great email opt-in can supercharge your list-building and keep you connected with warm leads. Think about what you can offer for free or discounted in return for an email address. Checklists, ebooks, freebies, guides, infographics or 10% off their first purchase all make good opt-in content. See this beginner guide for more ideas.
Having a blog on your site is a good idea for a few reasons. First, you can share knowledge and resources on topics related to your business. Second, it helps build your Google-loving EAT factor (Expertise, Authority, Trust). Third, you can rank for more specific keywords to boost your SEO. Don’t feel you have to blog everyday – once a month is enough to make a difference.
Terms and Conditions
Reviews and testimonials add crucial social proof to your site. Social proof describes the psychological process of following the lead of others. If a prospective customer can see that someone like them has benefited from your products or services, they are more likely to take action and try you too. This makes social proof an essential website element for any business.
Bringing it all together
There are other factors that help make a website great – including page speed, keyword optimisation and the user experience. But, we think we’ve shared enough insights for today (don’t you?).
Trust us, if you start with these 10 website essentials, you’ll have the foundations of a truly great website!
Ready to create an amazing website?
Experts in WordPress and Shopify website design and development, the team at Naked Digital is ready to set your business up for success with a beautiful, fast and functional website. Our team of digital strategists, copywriters and web developers/designers are ready to build you an SEO-optimised website that looks great on any device and, more importantly, WORKS.
Stop relying on paid advertising to bring traffic back to your website.
Our handy guide contains actionable tips you can implement so that you don’t have to rely solely on paid advertising. Download the Organic Marketing Essentials Workbook and enjoy!
FREE BLOG CHECKLIST
Kirsty has put together a quick and easy go-to resource that sets out the main types of blog posts and how to write them. Download this resource for free, right now!