Whether it is your first website and you merely want an 'online brochure', to a more complex e-commerce website, you need to establish what you want your website to do. If it is to get visitors to contact you, then any call to action buttons or contact numbers should be easy to see / click on. If you are wanting visitors to buy online, then the process of finding items and purchasing them should be easy and straight-forward.
However, regardless of your overall objective, you still need to consider the content on your pages on order to reassure and convince an online visitor to make that call / purchase.
1. Home Page: Who are you and what are you offering?
I have seen some websites where the images have taken over, and it is not immediately clear what the company or individual actually offers. It is a common issue. Your website only has a few seconds to make a great impression to an online visitor - good quality images, a clear title or short message about the service or products you provide, and then some links to content on your site that they might find interesting or relevant.
2. About Page: Make a connection
Your About Page makes your site personal, more human. If relevant, you should include your qualifications and experience, a good quality image of you, and your reason and motivation to do what you do.
You can also connect your business-related social media accounts to your website (and vice versa) if you want visitors to stay connected or find out more about your background, etc.
3. Services: What problem are you solving?
This section can be the most difficult for a small business owner to write. You may want to highlight all of the great things your product or service provides, but does it tell your online visitors how it helps them?
Think about your existing customers. Why have they come to you? Do you take the stress out of accounting at the end of the financial year? Do you offer a same day delivery service for last minute gifts?
You can go into more details about the different services and products you offer by building your content around the problems you solve for your customers.
4. Portfolio: Examples of your work
Where possible, have some visual representations of your work. People are visual, especially online, and these images also showcase your expertise. Any images on your website must be well-lit, colourful (unless you specialise in black and white photography!), clear and high resolution so that they are not blurry when viewed on different devices.
From completed house projects, to garden designs and home-made jams, think of your online portfolio as your shop front. A well-presented portfolio will entice visitors in to learn more about what you do, and what you can do for them.
5. Testimonials: Prove your worth
You have to have testimonials on your website. They can be displayed on one page and / or scattered throughout your site. These are your referrals, and as Amazon, TripAdvisor and other ratings sites know, independent reviews and testimonials can sway online purchases.
Asking for a testimonial can be hard, but ask politely after each project and you will find that most people are willing to give you great feedback if you've done a really good job.
6. Contact: I like what you do, so how do I get in touch?
You will be surprised at how many websites have their contact pages hidden in links at the bottom of their site, or not even have one at all! What does this tell you? If they are making it hard for you to get in contact with them to start with, what will they be like if there's a problem?
Contact details can be displayed at the top or bottom of each page, or you can have a dedicated contact page with a contact form, location map of your store, and any additional details (different people for different departments, etc.).
What about a blog?
More and more business websites are including blogs on their websites. Here is an opportunity to provide more information about the company, demonstrate your expertise, offer helpful tips and guidance related to your industry. A regular blog also helps with your Google search rankings as the latest algorithm looks for fresh content.
I hope you found the above helpful, and if you would like to chat about your current (or new!) website, feel free to get in touch.