What Do Local Business Websites Need to Succeed?

A website is often the only official online presence a local business has — so it needs to be engaging, informative and pleasing on the eye. Unfortunately, too many small- and medium-sized businesses still fail to develop a site that builds a brand, grows sales and generates sufficient leads.

There are several expert tips to consider when designing and constructing a local business website. If you can implement them all, you can give your website the best chance possible of success.

Make Contact Information Easy to Find

The primary goal of any local business website is to generate leads. Visitors to your site should be able to find contact details very quickly; if they can’t, they’re likely to move on to one of your competitors.

Don’t hide away your “Contact Us” details in a tiny section of your website’s footer. For the best results, display your email address and telephone number clearly in the header — making it one of the first things your visitors see.

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Hours and phone number clearly displayed

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Attractive Home Page graphic that describes what the business does.

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A list and brief description of the core products and services.

Use Videos to Inform and Engage

The last thing most visitors to a website want to do is trawl through thousands of words to get the information they’re looking for. Nothing grabs the attention of consumers like engaging, high-quality web video, so use it sparingly on the main landing pages of your website.

However, make sure it plays automatically on mute, as a lot of web users become irritated with unexpected audio. Instead, narrate your videos with lots of text and annotations.

Optimize Your Website for SEO

To get your website found, you should create content that features the keywords your customers use when searching for your services or products. Use Google AdWords to find the most common words and phrases people use when performing internet searches in your industry.

Use these keywords sparingly and in context as part of informative, well-written content, and you can increase the chances of your site featuring in the upper echelons of search engine results pages.

Integrate Social Media Channels

If you haven’t already, it’s imperative to setup you social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  These pages often get into search engines faster  and rank higher than your standard home page, especially if you’re domain is new and in a competitive market.

To further the idea of engagement and community, integrate your social media channels into your website.

As well as adding “Like” and “Share” buttons, you can use simple pieces of code to display your social media feeds on specific pages of your site. This should earn you more followers and encourage users to contribute their own thoughts and ideas to discussions.

Create a User-Friendly Interface

If visitors find your website unattractive or difficult to navigate, the chances are they’ll give up very quickly and move onto the next option. Make navigation clear, smooth and logical.

This includes using a combination of text, videos and images, as well as choosing the right color combinations and fonts.

Create a Sense of Community

Your business website should be somewhere people can come for advice, conversation and specialized information. You can communicate with your visitors and prospective customers, and they can communicate with each other.

By creating a community using live chat, contact forms, comments and forums, you can make your website a place where people come to exchange ideas — and that’s a great way of generating leads.

Ensure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly

More and more people are using a mobile device as their primary method of browsing the internet. Your website has to look great and be easy to navigate on tablets and smartphones, otherwise visitors will move onto the next option very quickly.

Making your site look great on smaller screens needs to be carefully considered and implemented.

To ensure your website is productive, start by implementing these basic measures. Track the results of each change, and tweak as necessary. There is no right and wrong approach here. Find out what works for your business, and stick to it.