Webeden Blog Softwate Update 10 Essentials for every Business Website

10 Essentials for every Business Website

6 Replies

Softwate Update

Here at WebEden we often get asked to have a look at customer websites and give our feedback on how they’re looking. We usually make comments on images, menus, fonts and layouts.

But often we find that business websites are lacking some of the essentials that every single one needs.

There are some basic questions that every business owner needs to ask themselves when putting their website together. These are questions like:

Why do I need a website?
What information do visitors need to know?
What will website visitors look for?
How can my website make a good impression, and make it easy for people to buy from me?

Here’s our checklist of essentials that we reckon every business website should include.

1. Contact details
The most important essential, but so often overlooked. Website visitors will often try to find your website so they can find your phone number or your physical address.

At a minimum you need address, phone number and email address. Make these details easy to find – think about making the ‘contact us’ page one of the most obvious. Put your phone number big and bold on every page – top right hand corner is most common.

2. Map
Having a map of where you are:
*adds a reassurance to your website visitors that you actually exist.
*makes it easy for them to find you.

Here’s a tutorial on how to add a Google map to your website.

3. A ‘contact us’ lead capture form
Many website visitors want to know more about your products and services, but won’t feel like giving you a call. This might be because it’s out of hours, they’re busy doing something else, or they don’t want direct contact. This means that you need a lead capture form.

Having a lead capture form also allows you to give them more information when it’s convenient for you,

4. Photos of you
This is great way to add reassurance about who your website visitors are dealing with. Having a photo jump-starts a personal relationship between you and your website visitors, and boosts the likelihood that the visitor will want to get in touch.

5. Newsletter Sign up
Many website visitors are in a ‘research’ phase of the buying cycle. They’re not ready to phone you or start buying just yet, but still want more information.

A newsletter allows you to start warming up your relationship before they’re ready to buy. Website visitors get the chance to ‘taste’ your service before they actually commit to buying.

As a consequence, a weekly or monthly newsletter can be the biggest source of new leads for your website.

6. Blog
A blog is a half way house between your website and a newsletter. It lets you add personality to your website, and starts an open conversation with your visitors. You can use it to showcase your knowledge & products.

Another real advantage of a blog is that it lets you add fresh content to your website, something that Google really likes to see.  This can help boost you up the search engine results pages for searches that are relevant to you. For further advice with SEO read our Search Engine Optimisation Guide.

7. Customer reviews and testimonials
One of the most convincing ways to sell your products is by having other customers recommend them. As we’ve mentioned in our Social Media Strategy posts, good customer reviews are an important way to boost sales.

I know that you’re hardly likely to publish reviews and testimonials that show you in a poor light. But if you can get some genuine comments from a real people, and they don’t mind you publishing their contact details, then those comments go a long way to reassure others that it’s a good idea to buy from you.

8. Email to a friend
One of the very first ‘social media’ applications, ’email to a friend’ is now often overlooked

The best way to convince someone to buy from you is by having someone else recommend your products. An ‘email to a friend’ links on your website does just this.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to add the ’email to a friend’ application.

9. Social book marking buttons
A more modern social media service, bookmarking buttons often run on the bottom or side of web pages accompanied with a message like ‘share this’, or ‘add this’.

Social bookmarks are public web pages where you list all the links to all your favourite websites. They are a way of saying ‘I like these websites’ to anyone who is interested. They are a great way for customers to endorse you. Popular social book marking services are called Digg, Stumbleupon, Delicious, and Furl.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to add social bookmarking buttons.

10. Twitter & Twitter feed
Twitter lets you have a public conversation with your customers or website visitors. It helps to add a human element to your website, and gives your website personality. Here’s a video tutorial on how to integrate your WebEden website with Facebook and Twitter.

Summary
Whilst is important to be concerned with design, colours, fonts, menus and layout, when building a website make sure you include these 10 essentials too.

Anything else you think is a ‘essential’ for your website? Leave us a comment below.

  • http://trendsman Darren Chettleburgh

    This seems the only place on this site i can leave a message or find out why the site has gone down and telling me i cannot access my site

    CAN ANYONE HELP

  • admin

    Hi Darren,

    I just sent you an email to try and find out what is wrong. You can always submit a support ticket from the Support page above.

    Thanks,
    Ken

  • http://www.edinburghselfcatering.webeden.co.uk Julie Watt

    This seems to be the only place on this site where I can ask you to change my contact email address to the one from which I am sending this email. The previous address (which is the one you’ve been sending messages to, but which is not the one detailed on my website) is causing too many problems.
    Thank you.
    Julie Watt

  • admin

    Hi Julie,

    To change the email address that is associated to your account:

    1. Log into your account here: http://www.webeden.co.uk/account.htm
    2. Press ‘Billing’.
    3. Under ‘Account Settings’ click ‘edit your details’
    4. Here you can change your first name, last name and site email address.

    Good luck, let me know if you need anything else.

    Ken

  • http://www.roseringrosehandbags.co.uk Rosemary Ringrose

    Do I need to change the email address in my Account Settings in order for my newly set up mail boxes to work?

  • admin

    Hi Rosemary,

    Are you talking about the email address that you signed up to WebEden with? You don’t need to modify that at all

    To set up and manage your mail boxes, log in and then go to the http://www.webeden.co.uk/domain-names.htm page of our website.

    For any advice on email, please take a look at these tutorials: http://www.webeden.co.uk/blog/video-tutorials/website-builder-tutorials-how-to-set-up-your-email/

    Please let me know if you have any problems.

    Ken