Top 5 Must-Haves for Your Small Business Website

Every website is selling something. Whether it’s physical merchandise, digital downloads, a service, or even just information or your opinions, your website has something to sell.

In fact, think of your website as the silent salesperson for your business. In fact, your website is probably your company’s best salesperson! This is the salesperson that’s on the clock 24/7, never calls in sick or takes a vacation, and can tell every potential buyer all they need to know about your product.

Doesn’t it make sense to equip your top salesperson with the best advancements and tools so that he becomes even more effective?

The Top 5 must-haves for your small business website and how you can make more sales

A Clearly Written Home Page

Your home page is likely visited by every customer who lands on your website. Even readers who click through to your site from a blog post will often look at your home page to see what your company is all about.

Start by identifying your target audience; this is the group of people who are most likely to buy what you’re selling. Carefully craft the content to appeal to this demographic instead of using broad terms. This demonstrates to those savvy readers that you are a subject matter authority and builds reader trust.

Be sure to clearly state your purpose in a helpful and clear voice. There’s no room for confusion!

Make sure the reader understands the following:

  • who you are,
  • what you’re selling,
  • why you’re selling it,
  • and how it benefits them.

Without reassuring the visitor that they can trust you to solve a problem, you will likely lose the sale.

A Purposeful Call to Action (CTA)

A Call to Action (CTA) is where you separate your casual visitors from those who have a genuine interest in your product. Take the time to create a CTA that engages your visitor and turns him from a casual reader into a viable prospect or customer.

Skip generic CTA terms and use language that makes your visitor want to further engage. The following are a few examples of actionable language to try:

Instead of “subscribe,” try “get free weekly tips.”

Replace “register” with “create a free account.”

Replace “Click for Info” with “Schedule Your Free Estimate”

Do you see the difference?

Using this more powerful language encourages the reader to take action. Those who do take these actions helps fill your sales funnel with customers who clearly are interested enough in your website to take those steps.

Easy Navigation

Make your navigation tools easy enough for every visitor to your website! Remember that some visitors might not be as technically gifted as others. If a user can’t easily navigate, he will likely try to find a website that is easier for him to use.

Evaluate your website to check for the following:

  • Location: Are the navigation tools, such as the main menu and sidebar, located in a consistent place on the entire website? If not, they should be! This makes your navigation intuitive and easy to use.
  • Labels: Does your website display clear, easy to understand labels? Users expect to see terminology such as “About Us,” “Contact Us,” “Buy Now.” Avoid clever terms as they can be confusing or unclear to visitors.
  • Links: Do you have easy to find link to your Call to Action? Make it easy for customers to purchase your product!

Engaging Online Forms

Online forms are the “deal-closer” for your website.

Some websites skip inserting online forms…a huge mistake! They skip this important element because they’re afraid users won’t embrace them or will be annoyed by them. The fact is that users are accustomed to completing forms and they don’t mind it, as long as the forms are short, clear, and collecting valid information.

They are important to you because they collect leads and close sales for you. Including sign-up forms, newsletter or blog subscription forms, inquiry forms, and check-out forms are all necessary elements for a thriving website that sells for you!

When used correctly, forms will help you identify those top prospects, close sales, and provide a list for email marketing and repeat sales!

A Great Check-Out Experience

Do you know why shopping carts are abandoned at check-out?

It usually happens for one of two reasons. One, the buyer (no longer a prospect, but one who wishes to purchase your product) is unclear about how to proceed to complete the check-out process. Two, the buyer feels like your check-out form is too long or is irrelevant.

Solving problem number one is quite simple.  Use a check-out form that gently guides the buyer through the entire check-out process. Make sure that you do the following:

  • Write copy in clear language.
  • Guide the buyer through the process in an intuitive, step-by-step process.
  • Create a confirmation page to thank them and let them know they’ve completed check-out successfully.

Solving problem number two can sometimes be a little bit trickier. Collecting too much information can cause buyers to mistrust how you will be using their information. However, you often need this information for completing their order.

The answer is to continue to guide the buyer and build trust. This buyer may be a little fearful about how you’ll use and share his information. He understandably doesn’t want his information shared with other sources or want spammy e-mails.

Here are a few ways to reassure this buyer so he won’t abandon his shopping cart:

  • Clearly state that how his information will be shared (or if it won’t). A statement such as “Don’t worry, we hate spam, too!” will often satisfy this buyer.
  • Keep forms short and to the point.
  • Make mandatory only the information that you need to deliver his product or service to him. If you’re selling a digital download, for example, only make the “email” field mandatory and let him fill in his phone number if he’s comfortable with that.


In summary, treat your website as your personal silent salesperson. That’s what it is! Make it capable of working around the clock to drive leads and sales and watch your business flourish.

Author Bio: Deborah Tayloe is a freelance web content writer. She’s a consulting writer with EmailMeForm and loves learning about technology.  She’s a native of Erie, Pennsylvania and now lives in Bertie County, NC with her husband and an energetic toy fox terrier.

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