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No small business is complete without a professional website to serve as their 24/7 store front.

Putting up a few contact details and an About Us page isn’t enough though. A successful small business website has seven elements that can’t be skipped.

These elements are crucial for giving a first good impression to visitors and aiding visitors in finding your site. Ensure all of these are included and you’re well on your way to a great business site.

Easy To Find Contact Details

After visitors find your site, they need a way to contact you. Whether you’re online only or a local business, your contact details should be clearly visible. You have two main options for adding contact information. Many businesses add a Contact Us page that includes a contact form, address, phone number, Google map (for local businesses) and any email addresses for different departments or people.

The second option is adding essential contact details to the footer or sidebar. Some sites even do it both ways, leaving the contact form for the Contact Us page.

Cleanly Laid Out Pages

Cramming everything on a home page might seem like a good idea, but visitors shy away from cluttered pages. It’s hard to view content, understand navigation and find the information they’re looking for. Less is more when it comes to a well laid out page. Use white space to separate elements on the page and use a clear navigation structure.

The site will look more professional and visitors will stay on the site longer. Consider using a layout plugin to play around with the layout until elements are organized perfectly to meet your visitors’ needs.

Optimized Content

Optimizing content involves several different techniques. You don’t have to stuff content with keywords, but using longer content with subheads, utilizing long tail keywords naturally and implementing an SEO plugin with your site will help you rank better. Adding in videos and images where appropriate also helps. Images break up lengthy content and guide the eye towards important areas on your site.

Regularly Updated Blog

Having a small business website with static content isn’t enough to keep visitors coming back. Unless you’re an ecommerce store sending out great deals weekly, you have to have a reason for visitors to return on a regular basis. A regularly updated blog is the answer.

Blogging not only provides your visitors with something useful or entertaining, it also keeps your site fresh in search results. Search engines prefer sites that are regularly updated. Adding high quality, useful content leads to a higher ranking, more visitors and more social shares.

Social Elements

Speaking of social shares, every business site needs social elements. Add all links to all your social channels somewhere on your homepage and within your footer or sidebar so visitors can follow you on the channels they prefer. It’s also important to include social share buttons on all blog posts and even product pages (if applicable).

Clear Calls-To-Action

The single most important thing a small business website needs is a clear call-to-action. Do you want visitors to sign up for an email newsletter or download a free ebook? Let them know. Add a noticeable call-to-action above the fold on the homepage. Some sites even use pop overs to encourage email sign-ups. Test the placement and text for your CTAs to see what your visitors prefer.

Positive Testimonials Or Proof Of Work

If you’re selling products or services, you need to make visitors feel comfortable working with you over the competition. This is where positive testimonials or even proof of your work come into play. Approximately 90% of consumers are influenced in some way by online reviews. Boast about how well customers like your business or show off previous work, such as web design or photography projects, via a portfolio page on your site. Adding in proof of some variety helps build trust with new customers.

Conclusion

Want a small business website that performs well? Start by adding in all of these seven elements. While they’re not the only things your site needs, they’re essentials for getting your site noticed and building a loyal online following. With regular content, a clean layout and visible CTAs and contact details, visitors will keep coming back for more.

Want to test various layouts for these elements? Give the Conductor plugin a try to quickly change layouts without needing to code.

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