Small Business Websites – What Do Visitors Expect?

The expectations people have when visiting a website aren’t really that much different they have from visiting a store/office. They expect…

– To be able to quickly find what they’re looking for.
– To have questions they have be answered.
– To feel that they can trust you.

That’s what people care about. They don’t really care if some design aspect is red or blue, or how great you think a product or service is, or … They want to get in, get what they want, and get out again. Some might need a bit more persuading, and so you should cater for them also, but the main focus should be on expediting the process of giving people what they want.

– To be able to quickly find and/or do something

Navigation – There’s no need to deviate from the standard design layout of having your logo at the top of the page, a top navigation bar and/or sidebar. Link to your best and most important pages directly from your main navigation area, and don’t clutter up that navigation area by directly linking to secondary pages from it.

Pages – Look in Google Analytics, and see which pages people view the most and spend the most time viewing. Those pages are the ones that you should directly link to from your main navigation area. If you include pages there that people don’t view or don’t spend long viewing, then they’re getting in the way and distracting people.

Font – People expect to be able to easily read your site, so play safe when it comes to fonts styles and sizes. People never complain about text that’s Arial or Arial and which is 13px or above. Don’t worry about it being “boring”. You need to impress people with what you say, not how modernly and stylishly you’ve styled what you’re saying.

Call To Action – Don’t hide or confuse people about what you want people to do. If you want people to buy from your website, tell them plainly and clearly “You can buy this – here and now”. If you want people to call you, tell them plainly and clearly “Phone this number and we will answer and help you”. Put this at the top and bottom of every page.

Product/Service Information – If you want to people to buy from you, you have to tell them as much as possible about what it is that you want them to buy. Tell them what exactly you’re offering, what the benefits of buying it are, and why they should buy it from you. Any question anyone has ever asked you about that product or service, answer it on the page where you’re trying to get people to purchase it.

Images – An image can be worth a thousand words, and can show visitors in an instant what would be difficult and/or time consuming to get across in words. Photos of any products you sell are the obvious option, but if you sell services instead of products, then show some photos of you carrying out your service. Photos of you and/or your employees and place of business are helpful too. Don’t restrict yourself to just photos either, graphs and charts that show off benefits are helpful too.

a necessity, but don’t restrict yourself yo

You, premises, products, services in action.
Not stock photos.

Pricing

Don’t hide it.
If you can’t be specific, give a range.
How can people pay?

– To have questions they have be answered.

Contact Details (Address, Phone Number & Email Address) – Some people will find your website and contact you straight away, some people will browse around and then contact you, and some people will never contact you.

On every page.
Make it prominent.
Include a map if expecting people to visit you.
Opening Hours

Contact Form

Keep fields to a minimum.
Tell people when you’ll get back to them.

– To feel that they can trust you.

About Us

Who are you? What makes you different?
Names, dates, places.
Expertise.

Social Proof

Show you’re trustworthy and popular.
Testimonials
Links To Social Profiles

Additional Content

Not just a collection of sales pages.
Keep people on your site longer.
Attract backlinks.
Show expertise.
Stand out from others.