Website Basics for Solopreneurs and Family-Owned Businesses
Balance Professionalism and Personality
As ranking in search becomes less critical and direct answers grow in influence, connecting with customers is a first priority for websites. You want your website to provide the answer people search for online. Your passion drove you to start your business, your website can lead new customers to your passion.
Content is great. Images enhance site visitor attention. But, the key is to connect the content and the images with providing a solution. Prioritize customer connection with your unique business personality. All your content will be lost if it’s not easy for a website visitor to find it.
Your customers will do business with people they know, like, and trust. That means they need to get to know you. Your website is the perfect place to introduce yourself as a person. By the time a site visitor becomes a customer, they already have a sense of who you are.
Introducing yourself or your family on the website is critical to put yourself ahead of your competitors. However much education and training and years of experience you have, they are secondary to you as a person. Don’t wait until your customer walks in the door or schedules an appointment. Introduce yourself now.
The Basics You Need for Your Small Business Website
To know about your business, your website visitor needs to know some basics about your business. These basics verify your business not just for future customers but for search engines as well.
Make sure the information you provide on your website is clear and easy to find. Create a simple navigation bar at the top of each page. This navigation tool helps site visitors get to the information they need quickly without scrolling down or searching for the right page with the information. This critical menu optimizes your website, so both site visitors and search engines know where to find information.
Get all the following information created before you add it to your website. These six elements are the critical information you need to supply to a site visitor - your future customer - to set apart your business from your competitors.
Who. The name of your business and who you are as the owner. Be specific and clear. Your business solves your customer’s problem, you are the person who makes that happen. State the first and last name of you and each partner in the business.
What. Describe the nature of your business, focusing on how you help your customers solve a problem.
Where. Your address. Even if you are a service business that meets customers on-site, let them know where you are. Search engines prioritize businesses with this location information before others that hide their address. Your address verifies your authenticity as a business.
When. Be specific about your working hours and the times you are available for contact. Be upfront about your availability. If you say you are open 24/7 and you don’t respond to a customer request, you may lose that customer. If you say you are open from 9-5 Tuesday-Saturday, a customer who makes a contact request won’t expect you to respond on Thursday night at 11 PM or Sunday afternoon.
Why. The benefits your customers receive from working with you.
How. The steps you take to solve the problem.
Write your information in a friendly tone as though you were talking face-to-face with a new customer. Be personable.
Layout: Where To Put Your Information
Now that you have a clear understanding of the essential elements of your business, it’s time to post that information on your website. You want a site visitor to understand who you are, what you do, and how your products or service solves their burning issue.
The home page is the first page of your website. This page is the first page a visitor sees when they go to your site.
Keep it super simple. Don’t try to cram everything onto this page. Present your basic business service or product and introduce how it is what your website visitor needs to solve a problem. Stress the benefits. Use your Why information as the basis of this page. Give the site visitor a touch of the Who and What.
Add the When information at the bottom.
Put the most important information - how you solve a problem - at the top. People avoid scrolling down, so right off the bat tell them how your business helps them.
Once a site visitor discovers your business, they want to know who they will be working with. This is the place to use your Who information. State your full name and talk about the passion that led you to start your business. You are going for emotions that resonate with know (you), like (you), and trust (you).
Include a photo of every member of your team and list them by name.
People buy on emotions, so put your best foot forward. Be personable. Use language you would use if you were talking face-to-face.
The You of your business is a powerful way to sell without “selling.”
Be clear about each element of your service and your list of products. Use headings or even separate pages to list each aspect of your business.
This is the What of your business. Be clear, be concise, and state the benefits for each listing. Refer to your Why to add benefits to each service or product.
You want site visitors to buy from you. Make it easy. Include every way they can get in touch. Use your Where information and be sure to include everything
Even if you have a contact form that sends you an email message on your contact page, include your email address. Some people don’t like forms.
Include another photo of you, the person they are contacting, on this page.
The You of Your Business
When you are a solopreneur, family unit, or partners in a small business, you are a selling point. Let people know who you are. Reassure them that behind the product or service is a real person who is dedicated to solving their problem and resolving their distress.
When you put yourself first into your business, your customers know you are a real person who understands their concerns. Your competitors who just list their service and leave out the human touch will lose out to the human connection of your business.
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash