This article is a follow up to 5 Website Must-Haves: Starter Kit. I'm assuming you have followed my recommendations from the starter kit, and won't be listing them here even if they're relevant to your small business.
So, you've got a WordPress website for your small business? Congratulations! By using WordPress you now have access to thousands of features that can help you improve your visitor's experience. When you're a business, your visitors are your (potential) clients and you want to make it a smooth process for them. So, let's jump to some of the features that will help you accomplish just this.
Disclaimer: some of these links are affiliate links, meaning, I may receive a commission of you purchase it through my link. But I honestly would not be an affiliate to them, if I wouldn't have tried out their product beforehand and sincerely recommend it.
1. Easy Contact Information
Whether you provide a service or a product, customers will want to find an easy way to contact you. You may already provide a general contact form, but be sure to have it somewhere visible. Many people decide to include their contact information (email, phone, or both) on the top bar or on the footer of their website. Also, if your business is small enough that it doesn't have its own phone number, get one anyways. Depending on where you live, you can use Google Voice for free to receive a separate phone number you can use for your business.
2. Quick Contact Method
We are in the era of quick solutions for everything. And of phone-fobia. So, you want to provide a quick, easy way for customers to reach out if they have a question! Chat boxes are a great way to deal with this. Find something that connects to your current setup, display it somewhere visible, and voilà. I use WP Chatbot, connected to my businesses' Facebook page. It is located in the right-bottom corner of my website at all times, people can click on it and shoot a quick message. Unlike contact forms, this works great for information questions, comments, etc.
When you start noticing that a lot of people are asking similar questions, it's time to set up a Frequently Asked Questions page. You want to place it somewhere visible and accesible, have it be searchable, and have the answers very simple and straightforward. You can choose if you want to just simply list them on a normal page, but as you gather more questions, you may want to create something easy to navigate.
There are several plugins you can use for this, like Accordion FAQ that will list all your questions and people can click on the question to see the answer. I personally use the Accordion feature in Beaver Builder to achieve this, but for that, you need the premium version of Beaver Builder.
If you provide calls or in-person meetings to your customers, a scheduler will be of SO MUCH help. You don't want to have to go back and forth with a customer trying to find the time that works best for both of you. Instead, set up a scheduler where you put your available times, and your customer can choose what works for them.
There is different software for this that comes recommended by other businesses, like Calendly or Accuity, I personally used 10to8 for years, and it worked very well to schedule phone calls with clients and coffee chats with fellow small business owners. They set up a page for you to have your clients schedule, or you can embed it in your own website. The only reason I don't use it anymore, is because my client management software, Dubsado, now has its own scheduling system-which is what I use now!
5. Email List
Lastly, collect your visitor's emails. This is very important for small businesses! You may have followers on social media, but if that social media would shut down for some reason, or if your account gets hacked and you lose it, what would happen with all those followers? You want to make sure you keep their information somewhere. Note that you can't just take their emails and put them in your list, there are laws against that! But invite them to sign up for your newsletter, or let them know clearly that by contacting you through certain methods, their information will be stored in your list.
There are a lot of good email automation providers that can help you with this, but the one I use and recommend is Active Campaign. Active Campaign works for me great because I can have multiple lists (for different aspects of my business), segment my lists to my needs, and has very reasonable pricing tiers. Regardless of what you use, make sure to be straight forward to your followers when you invite them to join your list, you can even offer some kind of freebie or exclusive content (an opt-in) that they receive once they've signed up.
So, good luck getting that small business website running! Remember that even though it's your website, you have to create it for your clients and keep them in mind with any changes you implement.
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