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5 Website Must-Haves for your Small Business

5 Website Must-Haves for your Small Business

When creating a website for your small business, you may get caught up in the overall look and feel of what you want the site to be and not including what customers and search engines need. Customers need easy to skim content, comprehensible text, and fast load times. Search engines need to know how to decipher your site, what keywords you’re focusing on, and if your site is high-quality.

Ask yourself: “When was the last time I looked at my site with fresh eyes?”

If you haven’t created a website just yet, or are going through a review of your current one, be sure to incorporate the 5 Website must-haves below to have a healthier site.

1. A Clear Homepage

The Homepage is the heart of your website and what visitors will most likely land on first. What is the first thing they will see? Is there a focus of what you’re trying to convey? Are there too many distractions? And depending on your customer base, are there too many “fancy” words that only people in your industry will understand?

When creating or reviewing your homepage, look at it with fresh visitor eyes. If you can’t be that objective, enlist the help of a friend or family member unfamiliar with your industry. This is a chance for free focus testing, so ask them the following to help you better understand:

1. Can you describe what this website is for?
2. Which area draws your attention the most?
3. Are there any confusing text?
4. After closing the site, what are 3 things you remember most?
5. Did you feel that the amounts of text to images are balanced?

Since people are visual creatures, be sure to have imagery to help you tell your business’ story. If you’re using a specific art style of imagery (i.e. modern, corporate, classic etc), use the same style through the rest of the site as well. You want your site to be a cohesive piece, not just a book with a fancy cover.

2. Unique Title Tags/Header 1s/Meta Description

Each page of your website can either be a treasure trove or a confusing mess to a search engine. Treat every single page as an important piece to your website and craft unique title tags, H1s, and meta descriptions to help increase in rank.

Unique Title Tag: This is a very important on-page SEO element and is the main text that describes what your page is. The code sample looks like this <title>Title Example</title> and the title appears in 3 areas: Browser, in Search Results, and External Websites (when others link to you, it’ll pull the title tag first)

The Google limit displays 70 characters in the results, so be sure to write everything you want to say within that range, otherwise it’ll get cut off with a … (ellipsis)

The best format is to have your Primary and Secondary Keywords in the front and then include your Brand Name. Having your brand name will contribute to it being unique.

For Example: Ecommerce System and Merchant Services Provider – Lucrazon Ecommerce

H1s/Header 1: Headers help shape the search engine’s perception of your page’s content. Typically the header tags (H1 to H6) represent the start of a new section, which is why H1 is considered the most important header. There is no character text limit, but as always less is more. Be concise and clear, and search engines will pick it up easier.

In a website builder, the H1 will match the Category or Service name you provide for the page.

Meta Description: This is the 150-160 character description that shows up underneath your search result title tag. Each page should have a different description and should reuse the primary and secondary keywords found in that page’s title to strengthen the authority.

3. SEO-Friendly URLs

This may be a no-brainer, but I still see websites with page URLs along the lines of www.example.com/3827dx87-2jads

What do the string of numbers and letters mean? If you can’t understand it, search engines won’t either.

People are also more likely to share and/or click on the URL when they have a notion of what it will be regarding. Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable clicking on www.lucrazon.com/ecommerce-technology/5-website-must-haves-for-small-businesses than a random jumble?

4. Easy Navigation and SiteMap

A sitemap is like a roadmap for search engines, it’ll lay out the groundwork of where it needs to go and where to index. You can view the Lucrazon Site Map here.

If you have a dynamic website builder, such as the Lucrazon Ecommerce System, it will automatically build it for you so that each new category, or child category you create, will be auto-updated on the site map. In addition, the site map is always accessible via the Footer of the site.

If you don’t have a dynamic website builder, and your website has less than 500 pages, you can go to XML-Sitemaps to generate one so that you can submit it to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines webmaster tools to help them crawl your site better.

5. Fresh Content

Search engines tend to favor sites that get updated often, as signals to them that your site isn’t “dead.” For Ecommerce sites, your product pages may not change very often and sometimes you’ll increase inventory which isn’t considered “frequent.” For Service sites, the content on the majority of your pages will most likely stay static as its “information” based.

An easy way to introduce fresh content to your website is to create a blog. There, you can choose to update 1 to 2 times a week or even daily if you’re feeling ambitious. If you have an Ecommerce site, you can possibly write tips or ways to better use your products. If you have a Service site, you can share expertise in your field that helps your customers keep you top of mind. Whatever topics you pursue for your blog, make sure it’s relevant to your audience and the customers you’re wishing to drive to your site.

Wondering where to start or how to revamp your site if you need to adjust to incorporate the website must-haves? Consider using an Ecommerce system like Lucrazon to help you start or transfer your existing content. Whether you have an Ecommerce website or are Service-based, our system can easily integrate all of the must-haves discussed without needing you to touch any code but is still under your control. In addition, the system provides you with your own Merchant Account and credit card processing so you can start accepting payment quickly. Try the free 14-day trial to see if the system is right for you and how you can build your online store in minutes.

We hope you found this article useful, and as always feel free to share your thoughts below!

Cheers!

+Alice Ly
Social Media Manager
Lucrazon Ecommerce

photo credit: zophonias via photopin cc



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