We have reached a point in 2021 where web design has become so essential and sophisticated to business owners that it is often discussed in terms of artistic edge and UX standards. We obsess over cross-platform mobile compatibility and search engine optimization to the point that the basics are taken for granted.
That makes sense, particularly given the level of competition that is out there on the web. However, we are sometimes reminded that the fundamentals still matter. In fact, there are millions of websites out there that lack the basics. And unfortunately, the business owners behind them are losing a lot of money as a result.
What sorts of basics are we referring to? There are a lot of directions we could go, of course, but for the moment we are going to focus on the kinds of things that make the difference between someone stopping by your retail business or visiting a competitor.
In today’s post, we want to highlight four things that a potential customer absolutely needs to find on your business website…
#1 Your Location
Commercial realtors like to say location is everything. That’s true, although in the digital age you can rely on internet traffic just as easily as you can drive-through guests. However, if your business has any kind of face-to-face interaction, then customers need to be able to find you. That means including maps, driving directions, and other geographic details on your website.
This will help increase visits to your store or office, of course, but it can also help with local SEO.
#2 Your Hours of Operation
Few things are as frustrating as arriving to your favorite shop just in time to make a purchase… only to discover that the owners have closed early or changed their hours. Customers will forgive this sort of thing once in a while, but it’s much better if they can go online and see when you are open or closed.
Naturally, this has been a bigger than usual concern in the past year. If you are opening up or scaling back, be sure the change in your hours is reflected on your business website.
#3 The Best Way to Contact Your Business
It’s amazing how many companies have outdated or nonexistent contact details listed on their pages. Some of the people who are thinking of buying from you are going to have questions they will want answered before they make a purchase, regardless of whether they are stopping by online or in person.
Worried that buyers will waste your time by calling or emailing with simple questions? Create a few online videos or FAQs that address their concerns before they pick up the phone.
#4 Online Reviews
We know that including online reviews might surprise some business owners, but the fact of the matter is that buyers want to know what other customers think before they spend their money with you. Nothing eases their fears more than seeing that others are happy with your products or services.
Some studies suggest that more than 90% of all consumers read reviews before making a purchase with a new company or vendor, so ignoring your online reputation isn’t a viable strategy.
Before we end this article, it’s worth pointing out that these items don’t just need to be on your website. They also need to be accurate, updated, and in a place that’s easy for buyers to find without having to hunt around for them. In fact, we would argue that it’s just as important (and maybe even more important) that each of these details appear on social media sites, Google business listings, Yelp pages, and so on.
Are these incredibly basic tips? They are. But if they have been overlooked on your business website – just as they have on millions of others – then some percentage of your potential business is going to go elsewhere.