So, you’re just about ready to establish a website for your small business, nonprofit, or campaign. But the idea of web design, web hosting and blogging on the daily is already beginning to feel overwhelming.
Delaying the launch of your website can be detrimental to your business momentum and mission. Time is of the essence when it comes to reaching the right customers so consider leveraging free and easy platforms for launching a professional site. And while you needn’t hire a pricey web designer to create a fancy or high-tech website, it’s important to design a page for fast and intuitive navigation. This is where mapping out the most relevant information–and how to distribute that content across the main pages of your website–becomes key.
Here’s a simple roadmap that will best serve you and your customers:
Think of the homepage as the welcome desk lobby of your business. While it must be warm and inviting to customers, it must also be helpful and reliable with the ability to guide the visitor to the next step of the journey, be it a product page or the contact information.
But what should the text say? What should the feature image be on your homepage?
In addition to your company name and logo, there should be a few sentences about what your company mainly does and what makes it special. If your company relies on its brick-and-mortar presence, i.e. a drug store or a mechanic, you could list your location and contact information somewhere on the bottom of the homepage or more prominently at the top of a side panel.
As for imagery and design, it’s super important to strive for a clean and professional aesthetic, especially if you’re not relying on a professional web designer. While it’s tempting to jam-pack the homepage with images and descriptions about everything your company can do, save it for the other sections. Instead strive for a clean and professional look where the color schemes match or complement the logo. Ideas for feature images include your storefront or a single flagship product or service.
2.) Products or Services:
While featuring your main product or value proposition on your homepage is a great idea, having a separate and dedicated products or services page is an absolute must and essential for SEO. Think of this page as the shelves and aisles of your store; it’s where the action and purchasing decisions happen. Here is where you can list the full menu of what you offer, as well as detailed pricing and descriptions for each item or service.
If you’re selling products, make sure to add clear and high-resolution images of each item. If you are running an e-commerce site, make sure to add clear information about return and delivery options, and make sure it’s a seamless online transaction.
This is also a great place to feature positive customer reviews about individual products or services.
3.) About Us Page:
Think of the About section as the heart and soul of your business website. The Homepage and Products page are about sales, but the About Us page can help you make a human connection with visitors (and thus potential loyal customers).
The About Us (sometimes called Our Vision, Our History, or Meet The Team) page allows the business owner to share what led the entrepreneur to start this business, what motivates them to run the operation everyday, and what makes them experts in the field or the best at what they do.
Imagine walking into a local gift shop that has been in your neighborhood for years, and finally meeting the owners of the establishment. They tell you all about what inspired them to open the store and how they are on a mission to support local makers and artisans. Upon learning more about the shopkeepers, you suddenly view this store in a brand new light and feel more compelled to promote and shop from them. This highlights the power of the About Us page. It gives the customer the opportunity to fall in love with your story and your business.
4.) Blog Page.
Speaking of showcasing your expertise, think of the Blog page as a living and breathing sales associate, walking the aisles of your store ready to engage and connect with customers before and after the transaction.
Picture walking into a gardening store with plans to just buy a spade and trowel. A knowledgeable staffer is not only there to hand you the best garden tools in the house, but also ready to dole out advice on gardening techniques, soil ratios and plant care. This will surely build trust and loyalty with customers, and keep then returning for all future garden-related needs. Blogging about your expertise, industry and tips is just the start. When appropriate, you can blog on a more human level, like rehashing an industry-related article, or even an unforgettable trip that inspires you as a business owner. Get creative! And be consistent. If you commit to blogging, try to publish at least once a month, at minimum.
5.) Contact Page.
Think of this as the Customer Service counter in a store: a reliable place where you can contact a helpful representative should you need essential information.
The Contact section should clearly list your phone number, address, operating hours, store policies, etc. This is also an ideal place to list any social media handles. Make it easy for customers to find you and engage with you every step of the way.