A few weeks ago, I re-designed the website for the bakery I own with my sister. In addition to refreshing the look and feel of our website, I also added in a few targeted improvements to help drive more signups for our newsletter and make it easier for customers to figure out how to get in touch with us. Since re-launching our website, we’ve been getting 5-10 new e-mail signups per week (we previously would get maybe 1 per month)! This may sound like small potatoes, but it's a HUGE improvement to where we were at previously. We’ve also been getting more inquiries + feedback directly through our website, which is awesome as well!
I wanted to spend a little time talking about four things we added or started using in our new design that I think all small business owners should implement on their own websites.
- Aren’t sure what information to put on your business website
- Feel like your website is just sorta “blah” and aren’t sure what you want people to be doing on your site
- Just generally feel stuck about where to start improving your website
...then this post is for you!
Adding these components to your business website will boost your marketing efforts and help drive more sales (on auto-pilot), so you can focus more time on making your customers happy, and less time rooting around on the Internets.
Ready to dive in?
# 1 - A way to contact you
If you’re a brick and mortar store, put your address, phone number, and email address in these three places on your website:
- Your footer
- Your homepage
- A special “location” or “find us” or “contact us” page
One of the number one reasons people will visit a brick and mortar’s website is to find their location or find a way to contact them, so don’t make people dig for this info. (You should also have a Google for Business page if you’re a B&M shop, but I’ll leave that for a different post.)
If you’re doing business ONLY online, make sure there is some easy way for folks to contact you. Whether this is a contact form on your website or just a simple generic e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc) … have some way that’s readily apparent to people where they can contact you. Again...don’t make people dig for this information!
# 2 - Email list signup
It’s important for you to be capturing customer contact information so you can communicate with + market to customers who are interested in your business or shop. Don’t forget to include an opt-in form in at least one place on your website, if not a few different places. (Here’s a video that shows you how to do this in Squarespace.)
If you’re running a business online, it’s even more critical to have e-mail opt-ins on your website, since you’ll primarily (if not exclusively) be selling online. Marketing to your e-mail list is a key component of your sales strategy...so make sure it’s crystal clear to your customers how they should opt-in!
If you don't have an email list already -- what are you waiting for?! I use ConvertKit and Mailchimp for my businesses and usually advise my clients to start with one of those tools. I need to put together a post with more info about these tools! But briefly: If you are NOT at all tech savvy and don't want to learn a new tool, I would go with ConvertKit (they have a free trial you can sign up for if you want to try before you buy). If you are willing to put in the time to learn something a little more complex, and price is more important to you, then start with Mailchimp!
Extra Credit: If you sell on a site like Etsy or another ecommerce platform, don’t forget to import your customer contact information to your e-mail marketing system as well! You can use programs like Zapier or IFTTT to have these move over automagically :-)
# 3 - How to hire you / how to buy from you
The whole point of your website is to help you market to your customers so you can make more sales. Be sure to include something on your website that explicitly states how people can hire you or buy from you. This can be in the form of:
- “Hire Me” or “Work With Me” page
- “Online Orders” or “Shop” page (basically an e-commerce page)
- “Visit Us” or “Find Us” page if you don’t sell online, and they have to visit your shop to make a purchase
Do customers understand how they can hire you or buy from you right away when they visit for your website? Go check and make sure it's crystal clear!
# 4 - Announcement Bar
See the gold bar across the top of the page in the screenshot below? That's an announcement bar.
This is a great way to communicate news or drive your website visitors to take some really important action. You should use an announcement bar on your website to draw customers’ attention towards whatever is most important to your business right now.
Some ideas for what you can put in your announcement bar are:
- Special hours for brick & mortar stores
- Sales or specials you're running
- Events that are going on related to your biz
- Cool opt-ins or freebies you’ve created that you want visitors to sign up for
- A message encouraging people to get on your e-mail list
- New products you’re selling in your shop
It’s really easy to set up an announcement bar in Squarespace under the design tab (also ... these are clickable in Squarespace, so when visitors to your website click on the announcement bar you can take them to a different page. Smart!).
If you’re on Wordpress, there are also some great plugins for setting up notification & announcement bars, too. Just Google "Wordpress Notification Bar" and you'll find some options you can install!