10 Website Items All Local Small Business’s Need
As a new local small business owner, it is critical that you have a website. Your future customers and clients need to be able to find you and more importantly, they need to have the ability to learn more about you and your business.
Over on the Local Small Business Coach Podcast, I actually did an episode talking about why you need to have a website for your local small business.
No money? No problem. Even a free website from WordPress.com is better than nothing. I’ll be doing more resources on this in the future, but for now, make sure this is on your research and game plan for opening your small business.
As your business grows, you can get a fancy one, but for now, you must commit to at least a basic one. But basic doesn’t mean that you skip the important items that your potential customers or clients would like to see. So today, I thought we would go over 10 items that you will want to make sure that your local business’s website has on it.
Remember, folks want to shop local for your services, so a key component is making sure you convey you are the local guy or gal. You do this by ensuring several key items are on the website. But, there are other items that will give you that extra leg up on the others as well.
Let’s dive in and take a look at the 10 things you want to ensure on your local small business’s website
Your Company Name and If Needed What You Do
Now, that might sound funny but some of you have a cute or clever name, but it doesn’t convey what it is that your company does. So, you will want to make sure that you are very clear on what the name is and what your specialty is. Is it roofing, ice cream, dog grooming? What is the core category that you specialize in? Make sure it is prominent the minute they open your website. One of the first things they notice.
Have Your Core Services or Products on the Website
Tied to this is, you need to either dedicate a page or a part they will scroll down to, that goes into a little bit more of what services or products you have or provide. For example, let’s pick on the Bob’s plumbing that I’m always referring to. Obviously, Bob does plumbing, but what might be some of the services that Bob provides? It can be simple or fancy, but the key is for Bob to let folks know he can do basic plumbing work like valve replacements, to toilet repair or replacement, garbage disposals and water heaters. Maybe Bob does sprinklers or commercial work. Whatever Bob wants to highlight, needs to be on the website.
Hours of Operations
Ok, let’s get into a few of the absolute must haves. Now, these might seem like no brainers, but you would be shocked that they get missed. So yes, you must put your hours of operations. People need to know when you are open and when you close. Are you a 24/7 business? Or just 9am to 6pm? Granted, you might work before or after those hours, but what are the hours they can expect to reach out to you or expect their services to be completed or when they can come to your shop.
Directions & Location of Your Business
If you are a brick and mortar business, you will want to make sure that your location is clear on your website. Don’t forget to name any major landmarks or businesses you might be near. For example, you would say in the Walmart shopping center or across from the Fletcher’s Auto. Or maybe even, near the red barn if you are in a smaller town. Also, provide direction from any major intersection if that makes sense. Even mobile businesses might have a headquarters people can find you. Another option for those of you without a physical location is to shout out that you are located in “your town”. For example, you might say something like Your Springfield Plumber. Right in Your Backyard. Or something that conveys you are the home town business.
You Need an About Us Page
People connect to other people. So, you will want to share your “story”. Who are you and why did you start your business. Maybe our guy Bob has been a plumber for the past 35 years and after years of working for other companies, he decided to focus his time and energy on his local community. He and his wife raised their 3 children there and he loves his little town. Figure out what connects you to your town and city and tell your story. Believe it or not, this can make a big difference for some potential customers.
A Contact Page with Email & Phone Numbers
You have this awesome website, you get them hooked and wanting your services, yet, you forgot to tell them how to reach you! Make sure you have your email and phone number on the website. By the way, please make sure they work! Way too often, people assume the email will automatically come to you. Check it when you set it up and then at least once a month. You don’t want to lose business due to a poor link. I just went through this with one of the roofers I was trying to contact. Even better, make sure you put on there, how long they can expect a return call or email. For example, you might say that all calls and emails are returned within 24 hours if not sooner. Make sure they know when they can expect to hear back.
Pricing or Estimates
Now, this one might look different for each of you. Obviously, if you have set prices, you would want to put these on there. If you run a special that you advertise everywhere, you will want this as well. If, however, you must do estimates or bidding, then you can either give rough estimates or ranges or set up a contact for them to reach out with what they are looking for. Just don’t skip this part. Even if you don’t put the prices, then don’t forget to at least address the question and let them know how to find out.
Testimonials from Past Customers / Clients
Don’t underestimate that power of testimonials. Your best referral is one that comes from past customers or clients. Reach out and let some folks know you were hoping they might help you out. If they felt you gave them 5-star service, would they mind writing a quick review that you can use on your website? You can also cut and paste from Yelp, Google+ or any other sites you have reviews. For example, on my real estate website, I have all my Zillow ratings on there. Let these folks convince potential customers to use you and your services.
Now our next two aren’t must haves but rather nice to have. They will take you one step above your competitors.
FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions
I am going to bet there are 5 to 10 questions, if not more, that you answer on a regular basis. Having a section on your website that goes over these questions will not only answer these questions before they call you, but are a great way to refer people to when they email you the same questions. It could be something like, how long does it take to get an estimate, to the type of products you use. If you are a brick and mortar, it might be how often do you get more inventory? Keep a piece of paper in your pocket or great a note in your phone. Keep logging them as they come up. Remember, you can always add as you go as well.
Before and After Pictures
If you have a visual type of business, before and after pictures are a great way to show the quality of the work you do. Roofers can show a jacked-up roof missing tiles to a brand new one afterward. Dog Groomers can show pups before and after the wash and cut. What a home looks like before the deck is added and afterward. You can pretty much take anything you do and create a nice visual. People want to see the type of work you do and some examples of what they will get. Another great thing that pictures can do, gives your customers or clients some ideas of what is possible. Help them see the possibilities.
Wrap Up – You Need These 10 Items for Your Website
As you can see, each of these 10 items serves a purpose for your potential customers or clients. In today’s day and age, a website presence is a must. But hopefully, you can see that you don’t have to be fancy. And for the vast majority of you, you can add these items to your website yourself without the help of some techie.
I challenge you to set aside time in the next 2 weeks to work on your website and ensure you can check off at least the first 8 items and then see how you can incorporate the FAQs and Pictures as well.
And if you still do not have a website for your local small business, what the heck are you waiting for!? Even if you have no money, you can set up a free website over at wordpress.com. Is it the best option? No, but it is better than nothing. Websites can be upgraded as you grow and set aside the funds.
Under no circumstances should you have no website at all!
This is a must in today’s world. People will search the internet for you and your business. You have to have a presence and a place for your potential customers or clients to learn all about you and your business. Don’ lose out. An afternoon addressing these items will be worth it.
Make sure you have these 10 must have items on your local small business’s website!
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