DIGITAL MARKETING, Web Design

11 Element Musts for Local Websites

By Brittany Hall

Make sure to have these elements on your website

Every business today needs a website, and there are a number of things your local website needs to have to provide visitors with a good experience. Websites are no longer simply a digital brochure for your business. Websites must be optimized for search engines so potential customers can find you, and they are now a crucial part of building trust. Once potential customers have found you and trust you, you need to inform them on how you can solve their problems.

Part of a website’s job is to convert. A conversion can be many things, from subscribing to a newsletter to calling you to making a purchase on your website or visiting your business. Since today’s customers begin their journey through online research of products and services, your goal is to get potential customers to your website. People often come to a conclusion on their own as to whether or not they are interested in buying from you far before you even realize they’re checking you out. Making sure you have these crucial elements for local sites is of the utmost importance in converting potential clients into trusting customers.

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1. NAP [Contact Information]

A sleek website with a pleasing design and effortless usability will mean nothing if your customers aren’t able to figure out how they can contact you. You need to have clear contact information about your business that visitors can easily find on your site, which means on your HOME page. Essential business information in your contact section should include:

• Business Name
• Phone Number
• Email
• Hours of Operation
• Address/Directions

You’d be surprised how many websites actually lack the essential information people are looking for. For example, as a restaurant, you want people to visit your brick and mortar location. How will they get there if they don’t know where you’re located, and how will they know when to visit if your hours aren’t listed? If you have seasonal hours or a change in location, be sure to update your website ASAP.

2. Social Icons

Make sure visitors to your website can share your content across various social platforms. This can be great for promoting sales, events, news, and other information about your business. Having social media icons displayed on your website can help users share your web pages and may result in customers following your social media accounts. Social icons include those for sharing content, such as blog posts, and icons that take visitors to your social accounts.

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3. A Simple URL

This may seem obvious, but there are tons of websites floating around out there with ridiculously long website URLs, and some may not even work. This is a basic, yet important, component for your website. Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be. A simple URL will make things all around easier for customers to find you, and they will be able to easily type in your website address if they need to.

4. Reviews

Do you have reviews, accolades, awards, etc. you want visitors on your site to see? Make them easy to find by displaying them on your homepage. Other people’s opinions have a significant amount of influence on other people’s decisions, and customer reviews have become possibly the most influential type of word-of-mouth marketing. Use this to your advantage by sharing positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers on your website.

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5. User-Friendly Design

Your website should be effortless to navigate and have minimal load time. If your site takes too long to load or is difficult to navigate and find information, visitors will leave your site. Make sure your content is organized and your site is responsive. You want it to be visually appealing and easy to read across both desktop and mobile devices. The navigation menu should include pages such as About Us, Services/Products/Menu, Contact Us, and Blog [if you have one].

Having an easy-to-use website that loads quickly and is clear and efficient is necessary for customer engagement. Not only is it important to have an inviting landing page, but also to include business information in a way that a customer can easily look through to find exactly what it is they are looking for.

6. CTA [Call-to-Action]

A call to action [CTA] is an image or text that prompts visitors to take a specific action.  CTAs help to guide people through the customer journey and lead them to the next step. Your call to action can be to call your business, subscribe to an email list, download a document, or request information. Make sure your CTA is relevant and useful to visitors of your site.

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7. Images

You know the age-old saying: a picture is worth a thousand words. It may be cliche, but it’s true.

Customers want to see what they’re going to get before they walk in your doors. You should showcase your business by having high-quality photos on your site.

Pictures are part of your story and overall brand persona, so be sure to have clear and enticing images that will make customers want to come visit you. We also know that customers can be quite impatient, so having images load quickly is helpful as well.

8. Consistent Theme

The layout of your website will of course vary from page to page. After all, you want your homepage to be eye-catching and more unique. However, it’s important to have a consistent theme across all of your pages.

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9. Clean Footer

The footer of your site should be clean and easy to read.  Common information found in footers includes business contact information or a contact form for potential customers, terms of service, and privacy policies.

10. Core Services

Create boxes that feature your core products or services and include a short blurb about each one. Since these are your core services, you’ll likely have full pages or sections of your site related to each, but by placing them on your homepage accompanied by descriptive content, you’ll also get some additional SEO value.

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11. Your Business Story

When someone comes across your site, they may not immediately know what you offer. Many potential customers may stumble upon your site while doing research on Google or other sites, which is why it’s necessary to offer a description of who you are and what you do.

You can also have a separate “About Us” page that tells visitors more about the history of your business, your team, and other business information. Creating a story about your brand helps to paint a picture in customers’ minds and shows them how you’re unique.

webSMART Is Here to Help!

Is all of this sounding a bit overwhelming to you? Fortunately, webSMART can help you make sure your website has all of the necessary elements. We specialize in SMART needs…

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webSMART is a Holy Grail of online marketing services. We offer everything a small business owner needs to optimize and maintain online visibility in a competitive environment, no matter if you want a full service agency or to embark on a DIY route such as customized data, checklists, web statistics and trends, and how-to guides. 

Drop us a line today to find out which package is the right one for your small business.

Drop us a line today to find out which package is the right one for your small business.