We create a lot of websites for a wide variety of businesses. While each business is different, they often have one thing in common - they struggle to come up with content for their website. They know they want a website, but they don't know what exactly to put on it. So this guide will help you get an idea of what kinds of content your website should have and what you may want to include.
Here is the typical page structure for most small business websites:
- Home (landing page)
- Services or Products
- About Us
- Contact Us
- News or Blog
Your website may have a different structure from above, as it will reflect the needs of your business and what you want the website to have. Your website may only be a one page site with content sections. Your website could have more pages or fewer pages than those listed above. Your website may have photo galleries, staff bios, order forms, FAQ pages, resource pages, and more.
The structure depends on your needs and budget. The list is just the most common pages and is just to give you an idea of what is typical for simple small business websites. Each page serves a particular function as explained below.
The home page (or homepage) is the landing page of the website. It is the page people will see when they type in the domain name for your website. An effective homepage will have a headline and call to action at the top, followed by the most common and more helpful buttons and links to the information people visiting your website will want.
Services or Products
Whatever your business does, it has something to offer - services and/or products. This page should provide enough detail about the offer so prospective customers can make an informed decision on whether or not they want to buy from you.
The About Us or About page gives information about your business and who runs it. It may have a mission statement, business history, staff bios, pictures of the exterior or interior of the business, customer reviews, a list of certifications, or other information. When a prospective customer visits the page and reads the content, they should feel comfortable doing business with you.
The Contact Us or Contact page is where prospective or current customers can easily find out how to get in touch with you to ask questions or receive support. The page may have a contact form, phone number(s), business addresses, a map, business hours, social media links, or other contact information that is relevant to your business. The goal of this page is to make it clear and easy for people to know how to get in touch with you.
News or Blog
The News or Blog is a page that updates automatically with "blog posts". Blog posts are different from pages in that they are intended to be created over time and cover particular topics relevant to your business.
So for example, a lawyer website may have a blog that gives general information about updates regarding a change in laws or on commonly searched topics. A barbershop may have a blog with posts about hair care, hairstyles, the latest trends, or addressing common problems people experience. Such blog posts are designed to inform and educate people, which helps to demonstrate skill, expertise, and knowledge pertaining to the topic at hand.
Some websites don't need a blog but they need a page where they can post their press releases, product launches, or other announcements related to their business - this is where they may need a News page.
Blogs are important because they can help with SEO (search engine optimization) - helping your website appear in search results for particular keywords that people look up. Posts that are written to inform and educate, that provide real value by answering questions and addressing concerns people have, help to demonstrate that the business is an experience and qualified provider of whatever is being offered.
Putting It All Together
You can think of a small business website as a sales message being broadcast 24/7 that is accessible by mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Even when you've closed for the night, your sales page is still up telling people you exist.
Each page of the website contributes to the overall sales message you are making. The content should help prospective customers conclude that doing business with you is a good idea.
Types of Content
There are a lot of different kinds of content that you can put on your website. Here is a list to give you some ideas:
- Interactive (ie. quizzes, tests, page flows)
- Photo galleries or slideshows
- 3D tours
The types of content you choose to use on your website should reflect what your target audience will expect and appreciate.
Put Your Audience First
When writing content for your website, put your target audience first. Think about the following questions:
- What information do prospective customers want to know?
- What questions would they ask prior to making a decision to purchase from you?
- If a customer asked about your experience and skill level, what would you say?
- What benefits and advantages do you offer that your competitors don't?
With all these things in mind, write your website's content. Think of your website like a sales pitch and an opportunity to provide prospective customers the information they need to make an informed decision.
Your website should be easy to navigate so people can find what they are looking for quickly and easily. It should be easy to read and understand, and it must provide value.
Remember, your customers have limited time and short attention spans. They will leave your website if they do not find what they are looking for or feel that whatever you offer is not valuable enough to be worth their time.
Are You Stuck?
If you are staring at a blank or sparse page feeling stuck, spend some time looking at the content on the websites of your competitors. If you know your competition is doing well and getting results from their website, learn from their example and identify the things that may be contributing to their success.
If you are still stuck and you still don't know what to put or what to say, we offer writing and editing services. Our copywriting services rely on marketing principles and strategies to help craft engaging headlines, targeting keywords, and writing easy to read, value-centered content.
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