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A great SME website is your gateway to success, or it can be a recipe for disaster – and the difference can come down to a few simple design choices. Where do you begin? Articles that highlight “50 Must-Have Features” can make it seem as though you need to pack your site with every tool available, but that’s not quite true. What you really need is simplicity and clarity.

To draw the line between necessary and excessive, you need to determine what catalyzes business and what’s just flare. In this digital era, keep these 4 simple features front and center.

They may seem basic, but these are the details that will connect you with customers.

A Personal Touch

From SMBs to major corporations, customers are expecting a greater level of personalization from websites than ever before, so it’s time to get up close and personal. To accomplish this, you’re going to need to dig deep within your own website.

Build your site around analytics that allow you to assess marketing strategies in real time, boost conversions, and increase engagement. That might mean that your site sends triggered emails or that users see pop-ups allowing them to chat with a representative. It may seem a little Big Brother-like at first, but this level of personal engagement is becoming the norm.

A Review Network

Whether they’re trying to hire a plumber or an SEO company, one of the first steps customers typically take is to look up reviews of your business. Give them a helping hand and post reviews on your site. Though they’ll certainly want to read independent reviews as well, sharing prior customer experiences onsite can help give potential clients a sense of your direction and skills.

If you really want to demonstrate business transparency, make things easy on your clients and link to your Yelp page or other online reviews. Studies show that 78% of consumers read online reviews on Yelp or similar pages. Linking to such sites shows that you have nothing to hide.

A Social Presence

Social media is an integral part of modern business management, yet 25 percent of small businesses don’t use social media at all. This is doing your company a great disservice and it’s also diminishing the power of your website.

How does failing to use social media impact your website? First, you should be linking your business’s social media accounts directly from your website so that people can move seamlessly between your formal page and your social media profiles.

Second, while your business site demands that you maintain a certain level of professionalism in regard to tone, you can present your business more casually on social media. This gives customers a chance to get to know you in a different light.

A Focused Phone

If you want to take your company’s contact page to the next level, look at it from the perspective of a mobile device user. The majority of web browsing is shifting to mobile devices and that means your customers don’t want to jump between your web page and their phone keypad. Design your contact page with click to call capabilities – it’s the kind of simple convenience that produces conversions.

When building your website, focus on function over flare. Yes, you need to produce a professional site, but you don’t need to overload it with extras. Stick to the simple things that help guide your customers toward first contact. Those are the features that serve you both.

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