8 essentials every website needs to be successful.
A customer or potential customer is searching online for a specific item. They maybe doing a local search to find a local retailer who has an item they are looking for prior to going to the store to purchase it. Not all potential customers who search online for items are looking to purchase them online. So, while you might not offer e-commerce on your website, there are still key items you need to have available for any customer to find. Below, I will list key items that you should have on your website, even if it is just a standard brochure type site with no online shopping capabilities.
1. Contact Information. Clearly, state the best way for a customer to reach you. Always have a physical address, phone number, social media links and an email address. Make this easy to find and provide a simple "Contact Us" form. If a customer has to dig to find a way to reach you to inquire about your product they will likely move on to the next retailer quickly,
2. Product Listings. Even if you do not offer online shopping, it is important to let customers know what you offer. A clear list of brands and products is essential to draw a larger customer base. How will a potential new customer find you if they have no idea you sell what they are looking for? If you are a small local boutique that carries a popular high-end designer, how will the local fashionista know about you?
3. Services Listing. Just as you would list your brands or products it is key to list services you offer. If you are not a retailer, but a service provider, be clear about the services you offer, provide testimonials when available and/or a portfolio.
4. Hours. As a courtesy to customers who are interested in coming into your establishment to do business have your hours clearly stated. No one wants a customer to waste a trip only to find a "Closed" sign on the door.
5. Pricing. Unless you offer the only custom built items, have pricing available for customers to comparison shop as well as saving your staff time from fielding phone call inquiries for pricing. An even better solution is an inventory management solution to also show if you have a product in stock.
6. About Us/Company Information. Customers like to know who they are doing business with. Sometimes having staff photos and/or bios can increase the odds someone chooses to do business with you. They may feel more like they know you and make you seem more trustworthy.
7. Pictures/Images. Potential customers love to see photos of establishments. They like to get a feel of a store, restaurant, hotel or office prior to visiting. They would like to see in advance if it is a place they will find appealing.
8. Map and directions. After a potential customers poke around your website and then decided they want to stop in and do business with you, make it easy for them. Provide a map and simple directions to your office or store.
These are just some basic essentials your website should have. If your website is outdated and doesn't have these items it's time for an upgrade. Invest in a content management system (CMS) so that you as the business owner can maintain and change this information whenever necessary. If you are still fighting e-commerce and do not want to sell products online, in today's day and age you at minimum need to tell customers what brands you offer, etc. It is well past the time to stop avoiding the web and embrace it to boost your business.