Although every business needs to have a unique website, there are certain expectations that they have to conform to, to meet the needs of their visitors and customers. An important part of this is having a standard set of web pages and ensuring that the content on these pages is what most searchers would expect to find. Here, we’ll look at the 6 key pages business websites need and show you what information each one needs to provide.
1. The homepage
If you think of your website as a kind of virtual premises, then your homepage is the entrance lobby or reception. As soon as visitors land on the homepage, your branding should make it immediately obvious that they have arrived at the right place.
Like all lobbies, first impressions have an impact, so it is important that everything is laid out and presented in a way that reflects the professionalism of your brand and depicts the identity you want to project. This includes not only the look and style of the page but also the value proposition which should be a feature of the content. With these in place, visitors will feel welcome and be encouraged to move forward into the website.
Of course, no-one hangs around in the lobby for long. Its main purpose is to provide information about what else is on offer and how to find it – and this is exactly what a homepage should do. So, if you have different service pages or product categories you want visitors to go and look at, make sure they are mentioned here and that they are linked to. It’s also a great place to promote featured products or services. As the navigational hub of the website, ensure the search bars and menus are easy to find.
If you are a registered company you need to show your registered name, trading name, address and registration number on the website. Most businesses include these in the footer, so it appears on every page, including the homepage. You could also put your VAT number here too.
2. The ‘About Us’ page
Some businesses don’t see the need for an ‘About Us’ page, however, it is one of the most important branding elements on the website and can have a significant impact on readers. Essentially, ‘About Us’ pages are where the company publishes its modus operandi. As such is should state the company’s values and goals: ‘This is who we are, this is what we believe and this is what we want to achieve.’
What makes this page a game changer is that your brand story enables you to connect with those who share your values and support your ambitions. If you can make this connection, they too will like who you are and will become loyal customers. They will buy your t-shirts because you won’t use sweatshop labour, they will drink your coffee because you pay producers a fair price and they will use your bath products because they are organic.
3. The contact page
From a trust perspective, there is always something suspicious about a website that doesn’t provide a contact page. Who would want to buy products or services from a company that makes it difficult for customers to get in touch? It gives the impression that if problems arise after the sale, they wouldn’t want to know.
Even if you have contact details at various locations around your website, having a contact page creates a central place to find all the contact information and, as a page, it can be searched for and linked to.
The content you should put on your contact page is actually quite minimal. You need:
- registered business name
- trading name if different
- physical address
- telephone number – preferably landline
- email address
In addition, there are other things you may include, such as a contact form, online chat and a map.
4. Product pages
Product pages are essential content for eCommerce stores. The layout, design and content sections for these pages are created by the software you use and this makes it easy to provide the right kinds of information for your customers.
That said, you need to avoid providing the bare minimum and consider the actual needs of your buyers. While you will have to provide pricing details, short product descriptions and, if applicable, product options, some choose not to include anything else.
Today, however, shoppers have far higher expectations. They will expect to see product reviews, specifications, and long descriptions. If your eCommerce software enables it, you should offer product comparisons, too. Doing these things will help your site stay competitive.
5. Service pages
A service page is a landing page aimed at generating leads for a service you offer. Its aim is to get visitors to follow a call to action to enquire about or book a service.
These pages should be headed by a value proposition which explains why customers should use your service, and be followed by text which explains how your service can solve their problems better than your competitors and what benefits they will receive from using you.
Finally, place your call to action at the bottom of the page and, if required, add incentives to make them want to click.
6. Policy pages
All websites need a number of policy pages for compliance purposes and for their own legal protection. Links to these should be placed in the menu and/or in the footer. The pages needed are:
- Terms and conditions
- EU Cookie Law Policy
Hopefully, the information here will show you the main pages you need on your website and the content they need on them. Providing these ensures your website meets user expectations and helps it to perform its role far more effectively.
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