When it comes to building your website – whether you are DIYing or working with a web designer- there are definitely a few core pages you should consider including in your website content arsenal. Some pages are a given – such as the Home Page, About, Services and Contact.
But as I’ve dabbled and played around the interwebs over the past few years, I am noticing more and more that there are additional pages on websites that are really doing an excellent job of leveraging the value that you can bring to your customers. So today – let’s go a little deeper and talk about some additional “must-have” pages that you can consider adding to your website as needed and also talk about how to optimize those pages so that your website audience can fully experience your brand.
Feel free to click on the specific page you’re interested in and it will take you straight there. These are the 10 page styles we’ll be covering today:
- Work With Me/Hire Me
- Contact Page
- Products or Services
- 404 Page
- Tools & Resources Page
1. Your Home Page
When it comes to your Home Page, I recommend one of 3 different styles – depending on your industry.
a.The Blogger Style Home Page
If you are a blogger, you may want your home page to be your blog page so when people come to your site they can see your most recent content or best content front and center. If you choose this route, keep it clean, keep it simple and make the navigation glaring obvious and user-friendly.
My favorite example of this: Regina from byRegina.com #seriousbrandcrush
This is something I’m seeing a lot of nowadays for companies, sales pages, entrepreneurs building their personal brand and non-profits. This particular home page style follows what I like to call the “7 Second Rule” ( say what?)
Upon “landing” on this site, you’ll be greeted with a wide banner image, some (hopefully) captivating language that and some type of Call To Action. In other words, in 7 seconds or less you should be able to answer these 3 questions:
- What do they want me to know?
- How do they make me feel?
- What do they want me to do?
Great example of this: Win The Diet War With Dr Nina
c. The Simple Style
I see this very frequently with small local businesses and some smaller non-profit organizations. The home page is fairly simple with some pictures and a brief overview of what the company does, with an invitation to find out more.
Best place to put your home page link: Main Navigation, Site Footer
2. About Page
Again another no-brainer, but this is the page where you really have an opportunity to give some value to your audience. When you check your Google Analytics, you’ll find that your About Page is one of the most frequently visited pages on your website. Why?
Because we’re nosy creatures. We want to know who is the person is or the people are behind the website to see if we can relate to them and their story. We want to know if this person is credible and can help us to solve our problems. Or at least point us in the right direction to get the information that we are seeking.
Check out the About Page Formula for more in-depth information on How To Write An About Page That Resonates With Your Audience.
Hint: Your About page is a sales page in disguise that is not about you, it’s about your customer and reader.
Best place/suggestions on where to put your About page link: Main Navigation, Sidebar and Footer.
3. Work With Me/Hire Me Page
Back in the old stuffy days, this page used to be called Services. I am all about breathing life and personality into your online presence, so I love the idea of using words that provoke an invitation.
If you are a service-based business, you NEED to have this page and it NEEDS to be glaringly obvious to your visitors. Don’t try and be cute or secretive and hide it somewhere that’s hard to find – you do want people to hire you, don’t you?
Suggestions for your Work With Me Page:
- Keep it simple, clean and uncluttered
- Clearly state who you work with ( your ideal customer)
- StateWhat services you have to offer and include your prices. Be transparent.
- Include social proof such as testimonials or portfolio
If you have a digital asset such as products, a membership site or an online course, include them on this page. These are also ways of working with you.
Best place/suggestions on where to put your Work With Me page link – primary navigation menu, footer, linked in your About Page.
4. Contact Page
I know – yet another obvious one – but I am surprised at the amount of websites I visit that don’t have this most basic piece of information available on their site. Or I have to spend 5 minutes looking for it. Take down the corporate veil and make it easy for your customers and followers to connect with you.
Suggestions for Your Contact Page:
- If you are concerned about privacy – you don’t have to give the farm away, just some basic contact information like an email address is a great start. If you’re a local small business owner, definitely include your phone number and business address. List all locations if you have multiple locations.
- Concerned about spammers? – Me to! If you are a WordPress user, download a plugin called Contact Form 7 and Better WordPress reCAPTCHA. What this does is setup a simple contact form on your website that can re-routed straight to your email address. The reCAPTCHA plugin goes one step further and validates the user ( usually will have you enter some numbers or letters) to make sure you are a human and not a spambot.
- Give more information – Sometimes people go to your contact page because they are looking for some information and can’t find it. Your contact page is a great place to list information that might be useful to your visitors such as FAQs, helpful blog post articles and ways to Work With You.
Suggested places on where to put your contact page link: Primary navigation and footer of website.
5. Blog Page
Gone are the days of static websites that were updated once every 3-5 years. Blogs are not just for bloggers anymore. Nowadays business owners that are thriving and prospering are using their blogs to stay connected with their audience and adding a more personal touch to the way their are conducting businesses.
Five reasons your small business should be blogging:
- To keep your website content fresh and updated.
- To stay connected with your audience
- To establish yourself as an authority and expertise in your field
- To promote your business to both new and existing audiences
- To give continued value to your audience
Not sure what to blog about or need some inspiration? Check out these resources to help trigger some ideas:
Content Idea Generator – I love this because it asks some questions to make you think about your customer’s problems and how you can solve them.
51 Types of Blog Post Ideas – Great list about the different types of blog posts that you can create for your audience – tutorials, case studies, how to, inspirational – well check out the list for yourself :).
Side Hustle Nation
Suggestions on where you put your Blog Page link: Primary Navigation, Sidebar, Footer
I lumped Portfolio and Testimonials together because they compliment each other. This particular page is a definitely recommended if you are a service- based business, such as a freelancer, consultant, web designer or business coach.
The Portfolio piece is important so that potential clients can a) see your previous work as reference and b) it adds to your credibility.
The Testimonials section adds social proof. We can brag about ourselves all we want, and we’ll just come across as arrogant. But when other people are talking about you it ups your credibility factor and quite frankly gives you some sex appeal. Yes I said it, and you know it’s true.
Think of this section of your website like the reviews on Amazon. We’re going to ( or we should) look at the amount of reviews and rating a product does or does not have before we consider buying it. Potential clients are looking at your reviews to see if they want the experience everyone else is bragging about.
Suggestions on where you put your Portfolio/Testimonial Page link: On Your Home Page, linked in your about page and work with me page, individual testimonials sprinkled throughout your website, a separate tab on your primary navigation.
Example: My good friend and designer Carrie Green over at CarrieCGreen.com
7. Products/Shop Page
This may be the most relevant to Etsy shop owners who sell physical products or business owners who have a brick and mortar business. However, it can absolutely work for entrepreneurs that have digital products too!
If you have something to offer that would be beneficial to your audience, such as ebooks, guides courses or have a membership program – list it all under one page so your customers can easily see the variety of options you have to offer.
Suggestions on where you put your Products/Shop Page link: If your main business is e-Commerce, it should be prominently displayed on your home page. Other places – main navigation menu, sidebar, included in the About page, the Work With Me page as an alternative and the footer.
Natalie Lussier’s Product Page.
She’s consolidated her products, membership site, freebies and even her annual conference all in one easy-to-access and easy-to-navigate.
8. 404 Error Page
What is a 404 Page? – it’s the page you come across when you click a link and…nothing shows up. You get an error message saying something like “The page no longer exists, has been moved or deleted.”
If you are a WordPress user, this page should be coded into your theme files and has already been created for you. So why do I list it here?
Simple: Another opportunity to give value to your audience, show off some of your personality and re-engage them. A 404 page is a great way to point your audience and potential customers in the right direction or lead them to take some kind of call to action, especially since they did not find what they are looking for.
5 Things you can do to optimize your 404 Page:
- Have a list of popular or recent blog posts
- Have a search bar embedded
- Have a link to a Tools & Resources page
- Have an email opt-in box
- Have an awesome video clip like the one from Nosh
Extra Goodies for You:
Check out this TED Talk about the importance of optimizing your 404 page.
Not sure how to DIY customizing your 404 page without hiring a developer? Install and activate the 404 plugin on your WordPress website and you are good to go.
9.Tools & Resources Page
The #1 reason why I recommend a Tools & Resources Page: Value. ( Do you see the recurring theme here ?)
The internet is such a busy and noisy world nowadays and people are suffering from information overload. If you can create a page that has a list of resources that you personally use or recommend, is catered specifically to your audience, and will potentially save your audience hours of time, research and possibly money – that’s a win win in my book.
If you’re a blogger or a service-based entrepreneur, the Tools & Resources page makes for a fantastic value-added component.
It does takes some time and research to put this kind of page together , but in the end it’s always worth it. Now you have an all-in-one reference point on your website that you can send your customers too if they have questions.
Another benefit of having a Tools & Resources page – affiliate income. If you partner with other companies to promote their products, this page is an excellent place to list all of the products you use and explain how it can benefit your audience.
Suggestions on where to put your Tools & Resources page – primary navigation, footer, sidebar, 404 error page, and contact page.
Examples: Taking an opportunity to toot my own horn here:
*** Just throwing this up here and keeping it real. I am not an attorney and am not giving any legal advice. If you have questions about this, I definitely recommend seeking legal counsel for your situation. ***
Last, but by no means least, disclosures. If you are an online business owner or do any kind of digital marketing, you should have 3 types of disclosures available on your website:
- Terms & Conditions – This covers telling your visitors how they should be using the information on your website.
- Disclaimers – Affiliate Disclaimers, Product disclaimers and other disclaimers as relevant.
Having these policies in place on your website helps to protect your online business and let’s people know how to interact with the information on your website. If you’re not sure how to go about creating these disclosures for your website, here are some suggestions:
- Check out the .com Disclosure Guide from the FTC
- Consider legal counsel. Talk to my friend and attorney for creative entrepreneurs, Nakia Gray.
- Look into Small Business Body Guard – an immense arsenal of legal templates that have been reviewed and dissected by intellectual property attorneys for creative entrepreneurs.
Could you look online and dig up some free templates? Yes you could, but I don’t recommend it. When it comes to legally protecting your business and your brand, it’s worth it to pay some extra money, because your situation and your business is unique from everyone else’s.
So that’s it! Whew! A bit long, but I hope it’s helpful to you as your putting together content for your website. I would love to know in the comments what are your ‘Must Have” Pages on your website? Did I miss anything?
Do you need specific help with curating the content of your website pages? Book A Session with me so we can do some brainstorming together.