must have pages you need to launch your website
A website is your online resume of what you have to offer. A place where your customers or audience is going to make that purchase or connect with you. That said, your goal for your website is always to want your audience to keep coming back. You almost want them to hang out for a while.
There are many websites out there, and they all serve different purposes. Some are personal blogs, online stores or individually owned businesses. Whatever the purpose your website must be appealing, easy to navigate and have desired web pages for them to scroll through. I have created a list to help you check your website that you have these pages and why they are a must.
A home page is an entrance to your virtual online business; like they were stepping into your storefront or business building. Your homepage is where they are going to get to know you and where your audience receives a very to the point description of what you do. They pick this up verbally and visually.
There are many ways you can design your website homepage these days. The user experience being your site goal creates the idea of your design. How do you want to capture their attention and what are you going to share with them about who you are or what you do within 30 seconds of them arriving? Knowing how to design your website comes down to the basic 30-second statement, “This is how I serve you" (services), or "This is what we are selling and what we do (product).” This statement usually goes at the top of the homepage. Some use their mission statement here.
There are two typical website layouts for a home page. A one-page scroll down or a one image static page. Whichever web design layout you choose, your homepage design should always have the 30-second statement in it and a call to action (CTA). The call to action guides your audience to take the next step, e.g., read the blog, shop now, or sign up. Whatever you decide know that your audience only stays on your homepage for a short period.
The trend of homepage design is constantly changing. Make sure you are keeping up with these trends, be aware of what other companies are doing. You will soon see a synchronicity of what is happening in the online world. Being on top of the trends is necessary for helping you drive your audience to make sales. You can also gain an understanding of what your audience is mostly clicking on and how the viewer is using the site. Reports from the back end of your website ( your dashboard) will give you this information.
The About page is the page where you introduce yourself. It can be an 'about the company' page or a 'personal about' page; about you and your team.
Many businesses write these differently. Personally, I enjoy it when the company (if a company about page) shares the story of how they got to where they are. This story helps the audience relate to your product and or service. It encourages them to want to be part of your story.
If you are a 'personal about' page, do the same thing and share the story of how you got to where you are and why. It is also fun to add some fun facts here too. Not too much though because we do not want to reveal too much.
The other interesting fact to put on your about page is to share what your goal is as a company or freelancer. Where do you see your business going?
Shop or Services page
This web page section is pretty straightforward. This page is called a product page where you feature your products you are selling. Most websites allow you to break your product page up into different categories or have a “shop all” page, sometimes both.
The services page is where you write out all of your services for your business. Now, for this, there are many different opinions. Some say don’t share too much because you want to encourage them to contact you for more information and some say give much information. The amount of information you give is entirely up to you and what you want to share. There are different strokes for different folks. I also believe it depends on what you offer that will determine what you share.
These pages are an excellent introduction to what you do and what you provide for your audience. I enjoy going onto a website and reading what they offer or seeing what they sell; this helps me discern what I am looking for and wanting. It also gives me a taste of what they are passionate about and the skills they offer. The shop or services page can change and evolve.
Oh my, this is a love/hate relationship for many. This page is one of my favorites - but only recently because I have realized this is what helps grow your brand.
A blog is a place for more in-depth and detailed information. A blog can be about anything. It depends on your company and what you want to share. There is no right or wrong way on what to blog. I do encourage rich content! A blog is something that will grow if you stick with it and are consistent. There are many ways you can blog. I invite you to think outside of the box. Here are a few examples:
How to’s / Tutorials
These work both for services-based or product-based websites. Share what you know your audience will want to hear. ALWAYS think about how you can EDUCATE your audience, no matter what it is you do.
The contact page is the page you want to make that connection with your audience. This page is where you give your information or have a form for them to fill out.
The contact page is one that needs to be a “no fuss” page. The easier it is to communicate with you the better. Please don’t make your forms too long; this gets very annoying for your clients/customers.
The simplest way to layout a form:
That is it! Your client/customer will tell you or ask you all that they need to if they want to. Once they email you, then that is where you can create the relationship or ask them more questions or get in touch with them more personally.
This page is a “set up for success” page. The FAQ page will help your workflow and give you time to concentrate on those things you want to get done. Those hundred emails you get a day repeating the same questions, Yup! The FAQ page will help with those repeating emails.
You should have an idea of what questions your client/customers are curious about already. Add those to you FAQs list. This list of answers to the already asked questions is a great way to help your audience beforehand. We know how frustrating it can be for them to go to the website and not find what they are looking for and then they call you sounding frustrated.
Let me fill you in on a little secret; this will not completely take away all emails. Some clients/customers still call or email and ask the FAQs. I have seen it a lot over social media with my clients, and when you have a FAQ page on your website, it is an excellent way to drive them to your site. I do not want you to take this as a way to get them off your hands. Make your reply on social media personable and link them to the FAQ page. Maybe even say to them, “"If that does not answer your question, please email us here.” Let them know that you genuinely want to help. Even though this page is still for FAQ, you are still building relationships.
A testimonials page is a page that gives you credit. Credit from those that you have worked. This page is for any independent business owners; graphic designers, freelancers, and gym owners as well as small businesses that are growing. Reach out to those you have worked with and have them write you something, then place this on your website. I would suggest making this look attractive. It can get a little annoying just reading more words. Get creative. Look at other websites for inspiration or even Pinterest; that is a good one for ideas.
If you are a product based website, this would be a reviews page for you. You can have this for each product or what I have done for previous clients is put a few reviews on the homepage towards the bottom. When they scroll down, they immediately get an idea of what others are saying about your product and business. Encourage your customers to write reviews about your product; this will help with the value of your company.
When you find anything about your product/service in the press, make sure that news piece gets put onto to your website. You can place a few media hits on the home page (just like the product reviews) or create a new press page for all your press.
These pages are to show your audience the credit you have gained within the industry and influence you have attained. If you do not have any press that’s okay. Not everyone does, and not everyone cares to put it on the website.
Terms and conditions
What is your return policy? Do you carry any kind of product warranties? Who is responsible for paying shipping charges on a defective product? The terms and conditions page is where your customer will go to get all this information. You will want to mention anything they may need to know about your services, the "fine print" so to speak.
I hope all this information has not overwhelmed you. I know it can be scary at first, but when you design one page at a time, it is not that bad. If you have any questions about any of these pages, please email me. I would love to connect with you.