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The Digital Storefront: 5 Must-Haves for Every Business Website




A website is the digital storefront of any business. As consumers increasingly go online to find, learn about and engage with local businesses, websites can help move customers closer, or further away from making a purchase. Despite this, a recent study found that 29% of small businesses still don’t even have a website!

Whether you’re building a new website or updating your current one, there are critical elements your website needs in order to have the best chance of winning new customers. Here are five “must-haves” for any business website:

  1. Updated contact info. Old, incorrect contact info is the top reason consumers lose trust with your business. If you have a physical storefront, one way to resolve this problem is by including a map of your location somewhere on your website. Be sure to include your business name, phone number, address, directions and email address on your website as well, preferably on the front page or the contact page.
  2. Good imagery. You don’t have to use a professional camera for professional-quality photos. Most cell phone cameras are sophisticated enough now to take your business photos. When choosing photos for your website, consider what you want your customers to see: photos of your products, your storefront, your team, you, your customers, etc. All of this works, but consider what works best for your business.
  3. Mobile-friendly. 77% of Americans now own a smartphone. The smartphone has officially surpassed the desktop as the device most used to conduct online searches. For these reasons and more, your website now must be mobile-friendly. If it isn’t, people will abandon your website. If you are unsure if your website is currently mobile-friendly, you can use Google’s free tool to check.
  4. Clean design. If your website is too cluttered or difficult to follow, people will overlook it. You must carefully select the colors, fonts and other design elements that best represent your company. And don’t forget about whitespace! Whitespace is your friend: don’t be afraid to use it. Here are a few more design elements to consider when building your website.
  5. Customer reviews or testimonials. Word-of-mouth is one of the most trusted forms of advertising. Collect reviews you’ve received online and feature them prominently on your website. You can pull reviews from your Yelp page, your Facebook page and wherever else you collect them. Featuring reviews right on your website will help build trust between your business and potential customers.

Obviously, a strong website includes more than just the elements listed above. Some other things to consider include: load time and page speed, formatting, branding, social media integration, etc. In addition, it is important to explore search engine optimization (SEO) tactics in order to help your website show up when customers conduct related searches on search engines.

What other elements do you think are critical in a strong website? Tell us in the comments below!

For more insight and advice for building an effective business website, download our free report, How to Make a Great Website.

Becky Harris

Contributed By: Becky Harris

Becky Harris is a content marketing specialist at the Local Search Association.

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