4 Things Every Business Needs on Their Website
In the middle of June, in the middle of downtown, across from a parking lot, and without much fanfare, a new restaurant opened.
Although the owners could cook, and they'd proven themselves in the kitchen, they struggled with one of the key components of starting a business in the internet age.
They didn't have a website.
Want to listen? There's an audio version below
“I can't believe they opened without having their menu on a website!”
…one of my friends, Tony, said. Tony is a fellow business owner here in town, and although he's in his 60s, he understands the value of a great website.
“Well, it looks like they posted a picture of their menu on their Facebook page, but when I zoom in to read it, it's too blurry.”
…Tony said a few minutes later.
It's basically impossible to be in business in 2018 without a website. Even if you don't sell any digital products, even if you don't want to “blog,” even if you're “just a small, mom and pop store…” you need a website.
If you don't have a website, you don't have a business.
So, to help you, and to not leave you hanging while wondering what to do, I've got four things you need to have on your website. Without them, you're hurting your business and damaging your brand.
If you need a website, I highly recommend you check out this service which can build you an amazing website in less than two weeks. It's a little pricey, but worth it to get great work done right.
4 Things Every Business Needs on Their Website
1: Information About Your Products and Services
Don't make the mistake the restaurant I mentioned above made. We live in a time when people want to see what they're going to get before they buy. They want to know what type of food you have, how much it costs, and if anything sounds good.
Attorneys, talk about the type of law you practice. Doctors, share your specialties so people know if they're about to call the right person. Insurance agents, list the types of coverage you offer and who might benefit from working with you.
You don't have to list your prices (though it's often helpful to do so but can also send another type of message), but you should at least tell people what types of products and services you sell.
Every business needs to have a page on its website that provides information about your products and services.
2: Contact Information
If someone wanted to come to your store to talk to you or shop or eat, where do they go?
If someone wanted to call you and ask if you have XYZ product in stock, where would they find your phone number?
If a potential business partner or high-value client needed to email you documents, how would they find your email address?
Don’t make it hard for people to contact you. Don't force them to go to Facebook and hope they find the right page. Don't make people jump through hoops to contact you.
Last night, my wife had to call a hotel to get a reservation changed. She found the phone number on the company's website, placed the call, and got her problem solved in less than 10 minutes. After she was done, all she could say was “Wow, that was so easy!”
I suspect we'll be using that company again.
Every business needs to have a contact page on their website that shows all of the ways you want people to contact you.
3: Your Story
Are you one of those people who likes reading the story on the back of the menu about how the business got started?
Ya, me too.
If you're in business, you have a story. Whether you scraped and bootstrapped your business like me, or if you took out a loan and opened up your retail location, you've faced some major obstacles. And, your customers would love to hear about it.
Even if your journey was smooth sailing, like if you took over the business your grandparents started, you've still got something to say about the legacy of the business and how it has withstood the test of time. Every business has a story; tell it!
Every business needs to tell their story on their website. Share your journey, from your startup roots up to the present day.
4: Email Capture / Lead Magnet
Before the restaurant I mentioned above opened for business, I emailed my subscribers (click here to subscribe) about some of the things the owners were doing wrong.
One of the mistakes they'd been making was not collecting email addresses.
Without collecting email addresses, how would the owners tell people when they were going to open for business?
OPTION 1: Post it on Facebook to the 50 people who like their page and hope they see it?
OPTION 2: Upload a story to Instagram and cross their fingers that the algorithm was in their favor that day or that they've used the right hashtags?
Email marketing is NOT about spamming people; it's about keeping your community informed.
If you're looking for an email marketing service you can grow with, I use and recommend these guys.
Every business needs to have a page on their website that works for them to capture leads and that provides a way for people to subscribe to a newsletter, to get on an email list, or to download something of value.
Related: 3 Reasons to Email Your List
BONUS – 5 (More) Things You Should Probably Have on Your Website
Every business should have a blog. Don't agree? Here are three reasons why.
Links to Your Social Accounts
Ya, I know email is still the best way to communicate with your audience, but you can't ignore social media. Link to where people can stay connected with you.
Employment / Hiring Information, and Affiliate Details
If you have employees, people might want to work for you. Link to your application, etc. If you make money through affiliate marketing, you need to disclose it. If you have an affiliate program for your products, advertise it! Here's a link to my affiliate program =)
Location & Hours
Ever wound your way through traffic and made it across town only to find that the place you were headed was closed?
What else do you look for on websites? What would you add to this list?