Essential Website Content
So you have decided that your small business really needs a website, or perhaps you want to upgrade your existing website. There are many steps involved in creating a website. Before you think about the design and all of the technical aspects, the most important task is to determine what content should be on your website. What do you want your potential customers to know about your business? Without the content, there can be no website. If you begin here, the rest of the process will be so much smoother.
Almost all websites contain the same basic pieces of information. People have come to expect this information and if you follow these guidelines, your visitors will be able to get the information they want when they visit your website.Home Page
Did you know that the home page is the most important page on any website? This is where the majority of visitors enter a website, so you will want to make sure that you greet your visitors with a warm welcome. You want them to stay and look around. Focus on what your business does to help your customers and how you can solve their problems!
Essential information you want to consider putting on your website includes:
- information about your company, services, and products
- your client list and testimonials
- your contact information and a contact form
- a portfolio of your work, products, or services
- links to your social media accounts
- links to valuable information
- a blog
- an online store
Group your content logically. A separate web page can be used for each subject, or you can group similar subjects together on a single web page. Provide your visitors with as much information about your business as you think they will need. They will appreciate it.About Us
You want to share your background, credentials, and photos of you and your staff. Your goal is to gain the trust of your potential customers. You want to create a personal connection and show that your business has real people.Services and Products
Describing the various services and/or products provided by your business is essential. Do you have what your visitors are looking for? It is helpful to show examples of why they should buy your services or products. For example, if you sell kitchen gadgets, show the gadget being used and describe how it speeds up a tedious task.Client List
If it makes sense to do so, list some of your clients. Seeing who you work with can help visitors determine if your business can help them also.Testimonials
Are your customers happy? Testimonials from your customers help others to see the value in your services and products. See if some of your customers are willing to write a couple of sentences about their positive experience with your business to include on your new website.Portfolio
While you might think that portfolios are only useful for creative people like artists, designers, and photographers, other industries may also benefit from having a portfolio. You can showcase various products or services, projects that you are proud of, and customer experiences. You want to tell a story about your business. Your portfolio will be more effective if you can relate the images to your customers’ needs.Contact Information
Make it easy for your visitors to contact you. Include your address, phone number, and email address. If your business has more than one location, remember to include that information as well. Because people like visuals, you might also want to display a map of your location.
It is also a good idea to include a contact form. If it not a convenient time for your potential customers to call you and they are using a public computer or a device without an email program, they will not be able to email you. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you. Providing multiple ways to contact you is in your best interest.Social Media
If you use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, don’t forget to include links to your profiles. Social media is another way for your potential customers to learn about your business and communicate with you.Links
You want to provide as much value as possible to your visitors. Are there some related businesses that you could share with your visitors? Perhaps you are a wedding caterer. You could share links to other business websites such as florists, bridal shops, and photographers that you have worked with in the past. These businesses can list your website on their site as well. This in turn may bring you more traffic.Blog
Should you have a blog? Blog articles have the potential to reach more people and bring them to your website, but you should have something valuable to say and you should be consistent about writing new articles. If your visitors see that you have a blog that is very out of date, they may think that the rest of your site is out of date as well and move on. If you think that you might want to write a blog in the future, it is a good idea to plan your website with this in mind.e-Commerce
Does it make sense to sell your products online? If so, then maybe it is time to consider creating an online store. Since this type of website is generally time consuming to set up, think about first creating a website with your basic information now, and launching your new online store at a later date. Make sure to plan for this when designing your new website.
Don’t forget that images, both photographs and illustrations, are also content. You can learn more about choosing images in one of my earlier blog articles. You want to be concise, but also provide enough information about your business to your potential customers.
Knowing what content you want on your website is a good place to start. Depending on the type of website you want and your skillset, you may be able to create a simple website on your own. However it might be a good idea to hire a web designer, and perhaps a copywriter to help polish your written content. A web designer can create a professional website to showcase your business. Remember that a website is an investment in your business!
Author: Annette M. Lange, website and graphic designer at Lange Art & Design