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5 pages every website should have
Have you ever tried making applesauce without apples? It’s not happening. Websites also have some necessary ingredients. Let’s take a look at the five pages you need to make your website delicious. (Or at least palatable.)
Although you can name it whatever you want, your home page should be a welcoming page in every sense of the word. For scanability, make sure you have 200 or less words, and that you have a bulleted list of some sort. A shortened version of products or services, benefits to working with you over the competition, or problems you can solve.
Whatever you have on your welcome page, use it to draw your customers into the rest of the website. And make sure they know what you do as well. If you don’t mention what industry you’re in right there on the home page, people may get confused.
Even though you gave a quick overview on your welcome page, by the time website visitors reach this page, they’re interested in knowing more. This page should give an overview about your company, including some (or all) of your staff.
If you’re the owner, be sure to include a brief owner bio. I know, I know. You think people won’t be interested. Based on over a decade of experience in building websites, I can tell you definitely that you’re wrong. Many people will be interested in reading a brief bio on you to feel more comfortable doing business with you.
Products (and/or services)
Don’t forget to let people know what you’re selling! Whether you display prices or not, website visitors need to know what you have that they can buy. Yes, I know you put a list on your welcome page. This is the place to expand on that list.
Remember, people with genuine interest are who ends up reading this page. So they will want more information and explanation than that short, bulleted list you put on your welcome page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just like the title says, this is a page that answers questions you’re asked fairly frequently. It can be in a traditional question and answer format if you like, with the question in bold text, then the answer directly underneath. Or you can present it in a more narrative format, writing the page out in paragraph form.
If your business is new, it’s okay if you initially populate this with the questions you think will be frequently asked. If your website is easy to update (ie written in a CMS or a program like Dreamweaver or Expression Studio, you can easily add and modify questions as you go.
I’ve covered how your contact page can make you more approachable in the past, so I won’t beat that dead horse here. But you should definitely have a contact page with basic contact information, even if your contact info is also on every page of your site. Some people look for a contact page in your menu before they scan for contact information on the page they’re on, so don’t disappoint those individuals.
This one is definitely more of a section than just a page. But a blog can do so much for your business (and for you!) It creates approachability and establishes expertise. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that search engines love blogs! If you don’t have a blog, or you aren’t blogging weekly, you need to start!
Does your website have the blog and all five pages? If not, get to work adding them!
May 12th, 2011
Tim Priebe is a public speaker, the author of the book Webifiable and the upcoming book Blogify Your Business and the owner of T&S Web Design. You can reach him on Twitter and Facebook with the username timjpriebe.