What makes for a great small business website? Can we judge it purely on aesthetics? On visits? How it works on mobile? How many people comment on the blog? Or is it the number of pages on the website that is important? These are important questions. In this blog we’ll review the anatomy of a quality website.
When building a website for your business, you’re faced with hundreds of choices that impact the effectiveness of your site. With so many options, what is important to include? What can you leave off? Does it matter?
In this short blog article I provide an outline for the optimal website for an independent retailer. This is not the only criteria available. However, this short outline should help you hone in on some of the most important components of your business website.
Websites are technical. Which some developers can use to their advantage to sell you a bad product. Or sell you things you do not actually need. But sometimes it is hard to know what you need in a small business website. We’ll cover the key technical specifics you need in your website. When it comes time to build a website or choose a platform you will already know what you’re looking for.
The technical website requirements for retailers:Responsive Design – Responsive design means that your website lay out works on all different types of devices. From Smart TVs to small smartphones – your website looks great.
It doesn’t take 10 seconds for your site to load when someone visits your website url. Make sure that your website is optimized to load as quickly as possible.
Don’t let your website say, “Not Secure”. That is bad news for you and bad news for consumers. Make sure your web developer installs a secure certificate.
Title & Description Tags (in CMS)
Title tags are really important for SEO. Description tags are important for people clicking on your website link in search results. Be sure that you can easily edit and update these fields.
Product Catalog Capable
What is the point of your retail business? … To Sell Your Products!!! Why would you build a website that did not have products on it? Make sure you are using a platform that allows you to build out a product catalog.
Ease of Landing Page Creation
Your website will need a lot of different pages. An about page, a meet the team page, a services page a contact us page. Your website platform should allow you to easily deploy landing pages for all these purposes.
Your website should be capturing customer’s email addresses. Don’t let visitors leave your website without connecting with you.
How will you ever improve your website if you don’t know what is happening? Make sure that you have analytics set up on your store website.
Anatomy of a Quality Website for your store – Video Transcript
Hi everyone and thank you for joining me. We’re just going to do a quick review of what the anatomy is of a quality website. So, there’s a lot of different things you can decide from when you’re choosing a website platform, getting started building a website for a retail store, but what’s actually important and what do you need on your website? So, I’m here on the website of a customer of New Media retailer and they built this website in a way that’s great for representing a retail store and I’m going to show you why.
So first off you want to make sure that the website loads quickly when a customer visits it. So people visit on their smartphone, on their laptop, if it takes forever to load, so that means when I go to the website for the first time and all the information loads here, I want to make sure it loads quickly. So there’s a test you can use, it’s called the Page Speed Insights Test and you can see Carthage Farm here, when I test it they get a 97 in terms of their speed score, which is considered very fast. So that’s the first thing.
Second thing is you want to have a secure certificate. So you can see here it’s got this little lock and it’s got the https in front of it, that is its secured certificate. It means that consumers are going have a secure experience when they’re on this website. Next is title and description tags. So these are really important for search results. So if I go to a product here and I’d actually need to inspect it, so the title tag is actually in the code. So I’m just going to look at the code here and every single page on a website has title and the best websites or the people managing them are putting in quality titles for each page. Instead of just saying the name of the store on every page, you can see this page is about the fine cut shavings and it says “fine cut shavings” here and then it says the name of the store. So that’s the title and then there’s a description right underneath and that’s going to be really important that you can make sure those are all accurate, represent each page of your website correctly.
Next is make sure that there’s a product catalog. In retail you’re selling products, you want to represent your products on your website where we know that people are researching online and then going in to buy in the store. So you want to make sure that whatever platform you’re using is product catalog enabled. So you can see, they’ve just got a small kind of featured product set here, but it’s important that you have products on your website because that’s where people are researching, making decisions about which stores to go to based on the products that they see.
The other thing I wanted to point out too is the landing pages. When it comes to your business there are different services, so you can see all different services in each one of these, including things like even boat registration, boat registration and key making… They have different pages on their website to represent all the different aspects of their business. So it’s really important that your website platform will allow you to do this and deploy landing pages that are specific to the different areas of your business that you want to highlight for your customers.
Next is lead capture. What that means is a lot of visitors who come to your website for the first time may never come back again or at least not come back again for a really long time. So if you want to engage them and have them buy from your site or come into the store it’s really important to capture information from them so you can continue the conversation. So I visit this store and you can see it’s calling me right here, calling me out to sign up. So I click “Sign up” and I can sign up and save 15% by entering my email. So that’s capturing me from a visitor to a lead. Now they’ve got me on their email list, they’ve sent me a coupon, they can continue to market to me. That’s really important to have on your retail website.
Lastly is analytics. So most common solution is going to be Google Analytics, but installing that on your site allows you to track what’s going on in your website, ensure that you can make changes and improvements, continue to grow the number of people who are finding your business and ultimately learning about your business and your products and your services in ways that promote and help them drive them into the store. So that becomes really crucial as well, make sure that you have analytics on there.
So those are the basics. Just to recap, it’s making sure that you have a fast loading website, secure certificate, you have the ability to edit your title tags and description tags and you do, you have a product catalog enabled platform so you can your products to the site and you can easily deploy landing pages that represent the other aspects of your business like your services and your departments, you’re capturing leads because visitors often won’t be back to your website, so you’re capturing their information so you can market to them, and you have analytics to help you understand.
So those are the basics. There’s a lot more you can do obviously with the website, but as your thinking about getting the build done, make sure that the platform or your company you’re working with can accomplish all these things for you in the process. Thanks very much for joining me.