By Mark Etinger
Small businesses websites come in all shapes and sizes. This is dependent upon not only web design but also the types of products and services offered. The website for a self storage company, for example, is going to be very different from that of an online clothing boutique.
Of course, certain aspects of website design and management transcend all boundaries. Let's take a look at five must-have pages for small business websites:
1. Home Page
This one might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many small business websites come up short when it comes to creating a proper home page. This is because your homepage is more than just the index.html or index.php file that appears when visitors arrive at your site -- it's your first impression, and you have to get it right.
Your home page should include the standard Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ingredients in its website design: a custom meta description, optimized title and header tags, and several keyword-rich paragraphs of on page text. Use this space to welcome users to your site and provide a brief summary of your business.
2. Site Map
This one goes out to all the search engines in the audience. If you have a website, chances are you're interested in getting it listed on Google and other services, and incorporating a site map into your website design is a great way to get started. It will also help those living, breathing visitors of yours find their way around.
A thorough site map will help Google make sure it's listing all of your pages -- and under the correct headings. It can also facilitate better page rankings due to your own internal linking.
3. About Us
Who the heck are you? Your customers want to know. Tell them your business philosophy, your primary offerings, and how many years you've been in business. Do you have a guarantee? Spell it out! This might seem like simple stuff, but it can really help your potential customers understand your company's human side.
4. Contact Us
Similar to an About Us page, a Contact Us page is a great way to reach out to potential customers. Include all the obvious information -- phone and fax numbers, street address, customer service email, etc. -- but don't stop there: You can enhance the web design of your Contact page by adding a shot of your storefront via Google Maps, for example. You could also include a traditional photograph of your storefront, or perhaps a photo of your entire staff.
5. Company Blog
Most small business websites have blogs nowadays. Does yours? Blogging is a great way to create fresh, unique content for your domain -- the kind of stuff that search engines love. It can also further show customers your human side, and alert the same about your upcoming special offers.
Worried about incorporating your blog into your web design? It's easy, especially if you design your site using WordPress website design. Small business websites built on WordPress look like regular websites, except that the backend interface is extremely easy to use, and adding a blog is easier than ever!