We do small business website design and there seems to be several things that their websites often have issues with that are all relatively easy fixes.
Number 1 – businesses don’t make their contact information easily accessible – this should really be available throughout the webpage and any number of different areas but it should certainly be available on the bottom of your site. There should also be a way for potential clients/existing clients to contact you with questions, not just a lead form. People should feel comfortable enough to ask questions and not expect a sales pitch.
Number 2 – if you have your email address easily accessible, don’t use an AOL, Comcast or Cox Cable-type address. Those types of email addresses make you look like a fly-by-night business and I have found that even companies selling technology have email addresses that are from the 1990’s. There is nothing wrong with keeping those old email addresses but set up a new one that features the name of your .com. It just looks more professional and is an easy switch to make. You can even make the new email address forward all emails to your old email address. One other thing, email addresses are nearly always free so make more than one of them. Even if you are just a small shop, you can easily have 3 email addresses. One should be called email@example.com, the second should be for leads and be called firstname.lastname@example.org and the final one should be your personal business email address and be called email@example.com. These are simple changes but will always ensure your business looks like it is here for the long haul – not some Nigerian prince run shop.
Number 3 – Have a call to action. Regardless of your business model, a call to action is important. If you are a plumber, you are obviously not asking for payment on your website but you could easily provide a form for your guest to fill out their email address. Why? The value add is that you could send them a white paper with the work you do, quotes from your past customers and an example of the damage to the wallet and to the structure of a building unchecked water leaks can do. You also have their email address going forward for future coupons, sales, etc and your company is on their mobile devices email if they have another leak. A .com site may have a much more classic call to action where a signup leads to an auto reply email with whatever you promised them for signing up. These rewards don’t have to be huge, nor do they have to be discounts. Remember that people are coming to you because you are an expert. A little bit of expert information may just give them the incentive they need to sign up for your email newsletter or put themselves on your mailing list.