Australia is a nation of small businesses. Recent statistics suggest that there are more than 1 million sole traders in the country and the number is steadily growing. And if you are one of those million entrepreneurs determined about tasting success, having a website for your business is just the start.
The challenge starts with having a website rank well on a search engine while impressing your target audience. Here are 11 handy features to follow to establish a successful online business.
1. Clear navigation
The navigation in a website is your road map to all the webpages with good information waiting to be read. If the navigation is straightforward and logical, it is highly likely that visitors will have a seamless experience, stay on your page for longer and be inclined to revisit.
Less clutter on the menu, prominent call to action and simple designs all contribute to clear navigation of the website.
2. Quality content
The term ‘quality’ is very subjective, and the definition varies from individual to individual. But ask Google, and they define quality content as content which answers the question, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
“ Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field,” says Google.
3. Crucial Business information
The crucial business information comprises of information like a mission statement, products, services and current offers which are likely to get you visits and translate into more business. Place the business info prominently keeping the text to the minimum. Examples of crucial business information for a restaurant will be menu and locations, for a wedding planner it will be testimonials from recent brides who experienced the service.
4. Mobile friendly version
From early 2017 Google has started laying emphasis on the mobile version of your business website for its search and ranking as it realised that the maximum searches are coming from handheld devices over desktops.
Google says, “Billions of times per day, consumers turn to Google for I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments. And at these times, consumers are increasingly picking up their smartphones for answers. In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.
So if you are serious about your business ranking well on search engines, go mobile now.
Any user knows that FAQs is where they can get specific answers to their questions. If written well and in a logical, your FAQs not only give an overview of your product leading to potential sales but is also an excellent opportunity for Search Engine Optimisation as the content is in the form of questions starting with Why? Who? When? What? And covers a majority of online queries in search engines.
6. Good hosting
Choosing a reliable hosting service is worth the cost and effort. On the other hand having a poor host may slow down the loading speed of the page, annoying the visitors and increasing the bounce rate of the site. Also since many search engines detect the site loading speed as a parameter to rank the site, it makes all the more sense to opt for hosting service which is professional and secure.
7. Maps/ directions
Having maps and directions in your site help in local search engine optimisation and thereby your ranking for local querries. Google is smart enough to know the difference between your street address and your PO Box. List your street address.
8. Personal About Us page
The About Us page of your website is very likely the most visited webpage after your landing page. Knowing these statistics, if you weave in a personal story behind your business objective, there are high chances that it will often resonate with a large audience who will feel emotionally connected with your brand. Some of the questions you may answer could be
1.Who are you?
2. Why should the visitor choose us over someone else (WIIFM – What’s In It For Me)?
3. What do you do?
4. When did you start?
5. How do you do it?
9. Search function
Giving your visitors the ability to find things on your website is key to a user-friendly internet site. Even though you have the most user-friendly navigation on your site, some visitors are looking for a very very particular item or content. This is where search function comes handy.
10. Social Media Integration.
Website and social media together work seamlessly to create a powerful online brand. Social media attracts impressions, interactions and more sales. Best practises suggest that social media be displayed at the top, bottom or along the side of the website’s homepage. Just remember to link only to those social media platforms which are being actively managed.
11. Contact Us
Give your potential and existing customers a channel to reach out to you directly without having to fill forms or using your search box. There are times when visitors are looking for instant answers and clarifications. Having a contact number helps the It is also is a great way of speaking to your customers first hand and understanding their purpose of visiting the site and gathering relevant feedback.