What should a business have on their website?
Most business owners understand the importance of having a website but don't necessarily know what to have on it. This post explores some ideas of what to include. Please note, this is not a list of legal requirements, and business owners should always take advice of what is required for their business and/or profession.
Your Business Information
Visitors to a website will want to know information about the business. This normally includes :
- business name
- trading address
- email address
- phone number
The email address and phone number should ideally be easy to find (for instance shown on the top right of each web page).
Sole Traders should supply their own name too if it is different to their business name.
Limited Companies should display the company’s registered name, where in the UK it is registered, the registration number and the address of its registered office.
VAT registered businesses need to display their VAT registration number on the website.
Some trades and professions have additional information to also show (e.g. membership of professional organisations).
Where to show business information on the website
Business information like the above is normally displayed at the bottom of each website (also known as the footer) and is normally in smaller text. Be aware that too small text can potentially be highlighted by search engines as a negative point.
Privacy & Data Protection
If the website collects personal data (e.g. name, address, contact details etc.) then, according to the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) it needs to display a privacy notice. This is usually done on a Privacy page. A template privacy notice and general guidance
about complying with data protection regulations are available from the ICO here.
It is important for any business to have a website that is secure. GDPR requirements include the need for the site to have HTTPS security encryption on it (via using an SSL certificate) and search engines and web browsers also encourage sites to have these installed. Our hosting includes SSL certificates as standard, but some hosting providers charge extra for this.
Accessibility in terms of a website means that it is designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use it. This includes using "alternative text" for images which is read out in place of the actual image. More information of website accessibility principles can be viewed here.
Call To Action
If you can include a compelling call to action, e.g. an offer of information you have that your visitor needs, then they are more likely to stay on the website.
What pages does a website need?
This is the main page of a website and where most visitors to the site will arrive.
It should have a summary of the different aspects of the site, as well as easy ways to access them.
Visitors arriving here should (within 5 seconds ideally) know the answer to the following questions :
- What business/organisation is the website for?
- What can I actually do on this site?
- Where can I find what I need?
- Why should I choose what’s on offer?
Most business websites have a contact page (or this can just be a section on the home page) on their website. The idea behind a contact page is to make it as easy as possible for visitors to contact the business by showing the different ways to contact them. This can include :
- a form visitors can fill in
- phone number(s)
- email address(es)
- the physical trading address
- a map (with directions)
- Social Media links
- Details of message software - Facebook, Zoom, Skype etc.
A business website's About page is where visitors to the site go to find out more about the business itself.
There are 5 questions which About pages should answer :
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- When did you start doing what you’re doing?
- Where are you?
- Why should people choose you?
Services / Products
It's important for visitors to a website to be able to see the types of services and/or products that the business offers.
Also, having an indication of price(s) can help the visitor to make their decision as to whether to engage with the business.
Portfolio / Gallery
Having examples or case studies of previous work, or even photographs in a gallery if applicable, works well to show website visitors more about the business.
Feedback / Testimonials
News / Blog
Having a blog (or latest news page) on your website is a great way for a business website to increase its reach. Here are a few ways having a blog page can help :
- increase traffic to your site - having more content means more information for search engines to find and direct visitors to
- increase credibility - sharing useful information on a regular basis shows your potential customers that you can be trusted and know your subject
- engage with your potential clients - blogs normally have opinions in them which can open up conversations with potential customers.