Your Business Website Should Be More Than an Online Business Card
As you begin setting up your business website, whether you are designing the website on your own or hiring a professional to handle the task, one of the decisions you need to make is what web pages to include on your site. You also need to think about the content that will go on those pages. These steps are among the most important parts of setting up your website.
What are the Most Commonly Used Web Page Categories on a Business Website?What are the Most Commonly Used Web Page Categories on a Business Website? Click To Tweet
Obviously, every website is going to have a homepage. This is where visitors will go when they first type in the URL of your website. This is the online “front door” of your business. First impressions go a long way, especially with a business website. You should make an effort to ensure your homepage represents your business. As soon as a visitor arrives on your homepage, they should have a good sense of what products or services you are offering.
Most websites will have more than just a homepage; though, there is a growing trend of building business websites that use a single page. This is often called an online business card. While this may provide an easy way to quickly throw a website together, it lacks the ability to include good search engine optimization. The size of your website is one of the factors used by search engines when determining search rankings.
Basically, you need more than just a homepage. Visitors will not want to have to scroll through an endless amount of content, in order to find what they are looking for. Here are some of the webpages that you will commonly find on business websites:
- Contact page
- Services page
- About page
- Gallery or portfolio page
That is just a quick overview of some of the webpages that you may include on your website, but it is not necessarily your exact guideline. Before deciding on your final layout and website structure, you should brainstorm a list, which starts with a look at your competition.
Start by Looking at Your Primary Competition and Examine Their Webpages
Before you start creating webpages using WordPress or build a list to pass on to a website developer, you should take a look at your competition. Find three of your competitor’s websites. Explore their webpages and see what pages and functionality they use. See how their website is setup and the type of content that they prominently display. You should never to try imitate or copy your competition, but it is a good place to start – to gain a better understanding of the type of webpages and content to display.
Begin Building Your List of Webpages for Your Business Website
After examining your competition, start building your list of webpages. You will need a homepage, a contact page, and probably an about page, but the rest of the layout is up to you. As mentioned, your homepage is the first thing that most visitors will see.
The contact and about pages are also standard for most business websites. Even if you display your contact information along your header or footer, you should still include a contact page. In fact, many search engines lower the ranking of a website if the contact information of a business is not within one or two clicks of the landing page. Your contact page may include a contact form, so that visitors can easily send you message, along with the rest of your contact information.
The about page provides a good spot for giving your visitors a little more information about your business. Explain why you started your business, what your goals are, what you bring to the table that your competition ignores, and any other details that help flesh out your brand.
The homepage, about page, and contact page are part of your core business website; however, you should not stop there. If you are selling a product or service, you should probably build a product or service page – whether or not you are selling your products and services online. Provide an overview of your products and services, offering details and preferably including images of your products or services. You should also try to include a “call to action” after every product or service listing. This could be a “buy now” button, if you are selling online, or a link to a contact form where potential customers can request additional information.
Gallery or portfolio page can also be useful, especially if you have a physical product or want to showcase the benefits of a service. For example, your landscaping business could include a portfolio page which includes pictures of your well-groomed lawns. An interior designer may showcase some of their past projects. Think about how you can use images to represent the benefits of using your product or service.
Another page that you may want to include on your business website is a testimonial page. Customer testimonials show potential customers that you are a bona fide business. Do not have any testimonials? One method of acquiring testimonials is to send customers a questionnaire, after they have made a purchase. This questionnaire could include basic input, including comments about the product or service purchased, as well as a checkbox that customers can mark to give you permission to use their input in a testimonial.
You could also reach out to customers and ask for a quote about why they were happy using your products or services. While these are both good options for gathering testimonials, never harass your customers or demand that they provide you with input that you can use on your website.
Take the Time to Plan Out Your Business Website and Create Your Online StorefrontTake the Time to Plan Out Your Business Website and Create Your Online Storefront Click To Tweet
These are just a few steps that you may want to consider as you build your business website. Remember, your website needs to represent your business. A growing number of people rely on the internet for learning more about a business. Even if you operate a local business with walk-in customers, they may stop to look at your website before walking through your front door. Take the time to carefully plan out your online storefront, to match the brand you are creating for your business.
Building your own business website is not an overly complicated process, when you have the right tools and resources available to you. If at any time you feel overwhelmed with the process of setting up your website, there are many ways to seek help or find additional tips. Browse some of my other blog articles for further insight into managing an online business website or learn more about community webinars – as part of the Web Presence Institute. Receive in-depth training, tips, and suggestions, from an experienced website designer and online marketing expert.