Building a Website may appear to be very complex, but it's really an easy process. The best way to start is by developing a map of the pages and content that you want to include. This depends upon the type of business you have, and how informative you want your Website to be. Below is a list of sample pages for you to review while you plan out your site.
As a bare minimum, your business Website should include the following pages:
- Home Page — the design of your home page.
- About Us and, if appropriate, About Our President/Principal
- Our Services — This is a listing of the different services or products you provide, along with a short description of each. If your products or services require more in-depth descriptions, link to separate pages for more information.
- Contact Us — This can range from a simple listing of your contact information to a more complex "intake form", with a range of questions on your prospect's needs.
Create a different name for these Website sections if you'd like to add more personality to your site! For example, your About Us page can be titled, "Who We Are," or "About Us."
Service- vs. Product-based businesses
In addition to these basic pages, you may wish to include other pages. Services- and product-based businesses require different types of pages. If your company performs services for others, your business is a service-based business, and your site should include these pages:
- Clients — Your clients can be presented in terms of specific client names or a more general industry listing.
- Testimonials — These can be on their own page, listed on the client page, or distributed throughout the site.
- Request a Quote or How to get Started with your service
In service-based businesses, it's important to ground your claims and add to your credibility with a demonstration of your capabilities or skills. You can do so with these types of pages:
- References — These are more formal and longer than standard testimonials.
- Portfolio — This is appropriate for artists, designers, writers, and other creative professions.
- Sound Clips—This is appropriate for entertainers, bands, DJs, and speakers.
- Samples of our work — These are for other professions, as appropriate.
If your company sells products, your business is a product-based business. To provide your customers with quick and easy access to your products, your site should include:
- Product Description(s) — Include photos, details, pricing, and "Add to Cart" capabilities.
- View your Shopping Cart
- Check Out
Once you have these basic pages, the next step is to add credibility and information to your site. PR, news, and information pages can do this for you, providing visitors an incentive to return time and time again.
- News — Include current as well as past articles on your company.
- Pressroom — This is for press releases produced by your company.
- Newsletters and/or Articles— These are written by your firm or principals and help provide you with "expert" status, as opposed to articles written by outside sources.
- Media or Press Kit — This area would contain a company backgrounder, logos, photos, and tools that others may use when writing articles about your company.
- Audio clips— These would be sound clips of you talking about your business makes your Website more personable. You could also provide audio testimonials for more punch.
- Video Clips— According to Web trend forecasters, a video testimonial is quickly becoming the next hot item for building credibility.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), or Ask the Expert
Additional business pages may also be appropriate, depending upon the type and size of your business:
- Company Mission
- Company Vision
- Case Studies
- Why Choose Us?
- Bios of your Team Members
- Jobs or Opportunities
- Map and/or Directions
- Events/Classes/Workshops — This page would include details about, as well as the schedule of and sign-up for various company events open to the public.
- Downloads — These are PDFs, brochures, presentations, and software demos or programs.
- Statistics Research or Studies — Either conducted by your firm, or related to your firm, clients or industry
- Pricing — If you sell products, your pricing should be listed in your shopping cart. For service-based businesses, whether or not you list your pricing depends upon the standards in your industry; you don't want to price your services on your site if you don't have to.
Additional Information Pages
- Recommended Books — Linking these to a reseller account through Amazon.com can generate extra revenue for your business.
- Resources — Other services that are compatible with yours, or links to places online where you can learn more.
- Links — Exchanging quality links with other sites can be a good way to increase your search engine rankings.
We hope that this list is helpful in your website planning process!
About the Author
Erin Ferree is a brand identity and marketing design strategist who creates big visibility for small businesses. Through her customized marketing and brand identity packages, Erin helps her clients discover their brand differentiators, then designs logos, business cards, and other marketing materials and websites to reflect that differentiation, as well as to increase credibility and memorability. As the owner of elf design, Erin is passionate about helping small business owners stand out in front of their competition and attract more clients. Hundreds of small business owners across the US and Canada have relied on Erin to create content and visuals that support their brands.