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The small business website checklist

A website is one of the most cost effective marketing tools for a small business. Here are eleven points to consider when you design your website:

A web address

This is the digital address for your business. Unless you are a school or an organization, then a .com would be an appropriate address for your business. If you are based in South Africa and would like to only appeal to the local market, then you could get a .co.za.  It is important to include the name of your business in the address. Try not to abbreviate it or use unique spelling or confusing special symbols. You want your consumer to be able to easily remember and type in your web address.

Paid hosting

To ensure credibility and trust, it is a good idea to pay for your hosting. By paying for hosting, you will not be followed by the free hosting sites name like “wordpress.org”, “wix.com” or “weebly.com”. By paying for your hosting you will also ensure that your hosting is fast because you will not be hosted with 100 000 other websites. You can pay between R30 – R450 per month to have your website hosted online.

Page loading

How fast does your page load? It is important for it to be fast because people who use the internet are impatient. If your site takes too long they will click the X and move on to your competitor’s site. You can test your page speed by going to Google Page Speed Insights.

Mobile responsiveness

Your website needs to be mobile responsive. This means that you should be able to view the website well on a phone, a tablet or a desktop. According to a recent study, only 30% of websites are mobile responsive. There are many small businesses losing income because their website is not mobile responsive. Being responsive also applies to using a good font which is readable to everyone in your audience whether they are young or old.

A logo

You need to have a logo on your website. The logo should be positioned in the middle or to the left of the header. Furthermore, your logo should link to your home page as this is standard practice and people will click on your logo to get to the home page and if it doesn’t take them there they will assume the link is broken.

Consistent design

Your pages should have a similar look through out your website. If it changes constantly then people will not trust your website.

A contact us button

You must ensure that the contact us page is easily accessible. You should be able to see it on all the pages which you can navigate to on your website. On your contact us page, you should have your business address with a google map, your contact number and an email address. People who are on your site will want to get hold of you so this information is crucial. It will also help to legitimize your website.

Easy navigation

You should have a menu at the top of your website with the main pages of your site. In addition, you can include a search block on the right side of your header for your visitors to be able navigate easily through your site.

Great copy

People who visit your site are looking for information, therefore it is important that you supply them with great copy. It is important that you write for your audience and not for you. Your copy should be believable and easily understood by your audience.

A blog

A blog is important as it gives your visitors a reason to spend time on your website. By having a blog, you can also work on your credibility as a business. People will come to appreciate your opinion and spread the information through their network of friends, family and colleagues.

An opt-in form

This form is important to get a customer’s emails which you can use for email marketing. Remember to always offer something of value to your customer for their email in return. People will be very disappointed if they opt-in and the product they receive is not worth your access to their email.

By focusing on these points you will be well on your way to developing a lead-converting website.

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