Website Checklist for New Business Owners

8 critical elements your new website needs to rank in search, acquire new customers, and build sales for your small business.

By Brian Lindamood, Manta Content Director

When new customers seek out your new business, more often than not they will start with a web search. A Forbes survey found that 82% of consumers conduct research online before making a purchase, even if they make the purchase in a store.

It is critical to have an effective website to reach those customers. A website introduces your company to prospects, answers product questions, and makes it easy to find your store or make a purchase. And by using search engine optimization (SEO) to rank higher in Google results, a website is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy.

These are the eight elements that your website needs to launch a successful online presence.

1. Name, Address, Phone Number

In many ways your website is your new company’s digital calling card. New and existing customers will search for your site when trying reach you, so your contact info should be clear and easy to find.

It’s important for the name, address, and phone number (NAP) on your website to match your social media accounts and online directory listings. When search engines like Google crawl the web for business info, they look for consistency. If your NAP info is the same across all channels, will help earn Google’s trust. This well help your website rank higher in search results.

2. Business Hours & Location

Your operating hours must also be consistent on your website, social media pages, and online directory listings. Google and many other apps display business hours within search results. They even sometimes note whether a business is currently open.

If you have a storefront or retail location, your website should include a map to your location. This will help searchers (especially smartphone users) find your shop when they are on the go. If you have more than one location, create a separate web page for each, using neighborhood or city names in the page titles. This will boost each location’s visibility in search engine results and help local customers find the closest shop.

3. Mobile Friendly Design

More than 53% of all web searches are mobile—meaning that more than half of your potential customers will be using phones or tablets to visit your website. You need to make sure your site looks and functions as well on mobile devices as it does on laptops and desktop computers.

Responsive design allows webpages to automatically adapt to any size screen. This capability is included in most website software. In addition, you should create your site with small smartphone screens in mind. Fonts should be easy to read and graphics should be clear and bright. Navigation must also be easy and obvious. Menus should be clickable as there is no “hover” option on a phone or tablet.  Also, try to avoid Flash or other multimedia elements. These functions do not always load on tablets or phones.

4. Click-to-Call-Option

Of course, there is a huge advantage for website visitors who want to call your business—they’re already holding their phones. Google found that 70% of mobile searchers use click-to-call to phone businesses directly from search results. Because of this, you should make it easy for people to call you by adding click-to-call on your mobile-friendly website.

5. About Page & FAQ Page

The main purpose of your new business website is to answer customers’ questions and help them make purchase decisions. For instance, the “about” page is your chance to make a great first impression by sharing your company’s history or values and building trust.

Also, an FAQ page can offer answers to customers’ frequently asked questions. You can ease their concerns and hasten decision-making by explaining your prices, shipping or return policies, and terms of service.

6. Product or Service Pages

You should create a separate webpage for each of the major products or services your business offers. This is a chance to answer questions with detailed information, explain the benefits of working with you, and share photos and videos that help close the sale.

This is also an important SEO tactic. The name of each product or service should be included in the titles of these webpages, and the content you write should be unique and contain related keywords. This will help Google see (and rank) your website as relevant—which will get the attention of customers who are searching for your products or services.

7. Social Media Links

Social media is an important component of your company’s online identity, and a powerful marketing tool. Nearly 80% of adults are on Facebook, so your business should be too. People use social media to find local businesses, share recommendations with friends, and post comments and reviews to company pages. You want to make it easy for web visitors to find your social media pages by linking between your website and all active social accounts.

8. Contact Form

Finally, if your new website succeeds in attracting customers, make it easy for them to reach you. Include a contact form on your website that people can use to ask questions. Also, make sure too capture their email addresses or phone numbers. You can integrate this with a CRM and add the leads directly to your sales process. If you own a service business, you can also include a calendar tool that customers can use to request or schedule appointments.

Manta helps customers find your business. We guarantee accurate and protected business information on sites like Google, Facebook, Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps and 70 more online directories. Get started for FREE.

Also make sure to check out Incorporate.com Pro, which helps you create your website easily!