For people running a physical business, dealing with a website can be frustrating because you have actual shit to do — like create relationships, network, help people, oh and make a living. Yeah, almost forgot that one.
You want people to know who you are, but would prefer to see their lovely faces, not have them lurk, stalk, and watch you behind a computer screen without setting foot in your actual business.
Plus, setting up the site takes time, money, patience — all things that we constantly want more of but are loathe to expend.
By now, everybody and their mother has a site, and understands how helpful it is. Having a one page site lets people know you exist, you get to put your best photos up, and show people what you’ve got to offer. I mean, it’s basically like online dating but for your business. People say, “Hey where can I get some handcrafted sausage?”1
But if you’ve got your one page site running, are you fucking it up?
The problem is, when you sit down to do this, you’re automatic thought is, “We do soooo much! How could we possibly tell everyone all the things we do?”
That leads us straight into the trap of trying to tell your entire story and create the perfect site. But here’s the thing: You don’t need the site to be perfect, you need it to be good enough to attract the right people.
Your site doesn’t need to be a tell-all. They’re on your page because they read a review, a friend recommended it, or they saw a picture. They’re already mostly convinced they want to check you out. You just need to answer the three questions they’re asking themselves.
Case in point: I eat out a lot. Mostly because Jason drags me to the newest restaurants because he travels solely to eat all the specialities of each country. That being said, I know my way around restaurant and cafe websites.
But about 90% of these sites insist on telling me everything about their locally sourced food, their amazing menu, and their specially trained chefs, but refuse to tell me where the fuck they’re located, or when they’re open.
How can I eat your delicious food if I can’t find you?2
There are only three things that you really need to tell people to create a site that’s good enough, and it answers the three questions people have when they visit you online.
Just list your address and zip code. If you want to get really fancy, you can even include a Google Maps feature.
If you don’t tell them how to visit you, then congratulations you’ve either lost a customer or put all your faith in Google maps giving people the right address. And if you’re based anywhere in Europe I can already tell you that address is most likely the wrong one.
For the sake of making it easy to read on mobile, because people are probably looking this up on their phone, list the days of the week with the hours next to it like this:
This seems so simple that I don’t know why people fail to put this on the front of their site. How can I come and give you my money if I don’t know when you’ll be there?
Include one phone number and an email address. That’s all you need. If you’re a restaurant and need people to make reservations, just let them know by listing that under your email address.
If people don’t know what to do if they’ve got a question, they might bail entirely and just not show up. Email or phone number lets people know you’re ready to help if they need it.
I swear to you, it’s really that simple. So what happens if you _don’t _do this?
You get a site like this:
That’s actually what the site looks like, go check it out for yourself.
This is a place I’ve visited a few times, and because I know Google tends to lie about where places are located in Barcelona, and shops seem to be closed randomly for no apparent reason, I went directly to their website to make sure I knew where they were and if they were open. Imagine how happy (read: irritated) I was when I tried to figure out where they were… before my first cup of coffee.
Here’s a perfect example of a nice, simple site that lets me know exactly what I need:
Everything is right in front of me, and I can immediately tell if they’re open or not.
The ultimate question you should be asking yourself is this: How can I make it easier for people to find and visit my store?
If any of the content on your one page site doesn’t answer that question, it doesn’t belong there.
Not a sexual reference. Totally serious. I’m looking at you Olympia Provisions, with your tasty little meat treats.↩
Or if you’re closed because it’s a Tuesday in Spain and you decided to sleep in?! I realize that sentence makes no sense. But often, when we walk by a shop that says it’s open every day but Monday, and it’s closed on a Tuesday, Jason and I look at each other and say, “Oh, of course they’re closed. It’s a Tuesday. They are closed because… just because.”↩