What kind of information should I put on my website?
So you are ready to go with your new site: You have the perfect domain, you have set up hosting, you have found a fabulous designer but you are stumped when it comes to adding the content to your site. So what do you do? Well, every site is different and what works for company A will not necessarily work for company B so that is a difficult question to answer in absolutes but when in doubt, always go back to basics. There are certain types of information that most websites have in common and they are a good start for any site outline:
The home page is the place where everyone lands when they first visit your site so, as with everything else, it is important to make a good first impression. You already have a professional designer on board so the Wow factor is covered, now let’s think about the meat that supports that attractive looking garnish. At a very base level your home page should succinctly explain to visitors what you can do for them. This can be done as simply as with a clever tag line for your logo are be as involved as a paragraph introducing your services. This page should function as a kind of dashboard highlighting the most important aspects of your site whether they be having products front and center, readily available event information or the latest news about your business. You want prospects to find what they need here and allow it to lead them deeper into the site.
The next most important page is one that give details about your products or services. There can be many of these pages but you need to make sure that you at least have one good page that details what you can do for your prospects. And the more specifics you have about why your product/service is THE solution to the ills of potential customers, the better it will be received.
It seems pretty obvious but it is something that every site should have. Everyone wants to know who they are dealing with. This is a great place to tell prospects your company history including awards that have been received and charities that it supports. You want to make the prospect feel that they know you because the more that they feel the know you, the more comfortable they will be with you as a product/service provider.
It is very important that contact information is as easily accessible as possible. Prospects and clients alike want to have the ability to communicate with you if they have questions or problems. An address, phone number and email address are ideal but this is not feasible for companies that have a number of products/services and not as many people available to deal with that type of direct inquiry (especially by phone). In these cases, a contact form will do the trick. A simple form capturing Name, Email and Comments can handle a variety of different issues and allow the business owner to deal with things at their own pace without being inundated with emails and phone calls. A form of this nature can also be expanded to suit any business need and the results can be directed to someone best equipped to handle the inquiry.
With the basics down, you can begin to expand your outline to include news, events, additional product pages, additional forms, e-commerce and more. If you work collaboratively with your designer, they can help you determine the best options to show on your home page and throughout your site.
Think it Through!
No matter what business you are in, fully consider the information you want to provide your site visitors. The idea behind any site is be as sticky as possible so that once visitors arrive, they get stuck in the gooey deliciousness of your content and don’t want to leave. Once you have found the formula that works for your business then it is time to rinse and repeat. Regular updates to your site (especially on the home page) will help ensure that visitors will come back time and again to see what is new.