Do you have a website in the works, but aren’t sure where to start when it comes to the content? You’re not alone. A lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs face this problem — after all, there aren’t enough hours in the day to handle the tasks that are within your wheelhouse. Add web content development to your list of tasks, and you might find yourself staring at a blank screen, blinking cursor demanding words you can’t seem to find.
With this helpful guide, we’ll cover the basics you need for a five-page website, ensuring your fingers will be singing across the keys of your computer in no time.
The basics of content development
Before we can dive into the nitty-gritty of what to include on every page, there are a few pieces of basic information you’ll need to nail down immediately:
Needless to say, your domain name should align with your business. If you don’t already have one, go grab one now:
If you’re not sure how to pick a domain name, here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Keep it short.
- Keep it simple.
- Make it memorable.
- Incorporate keywords.
- Don’t shy away from new extensions.
When designing your site, you’ll want to factor in elements that align with your business. Consider the following:
- What is the objective of your website?
- Who is your target audience?
- How would you want them to describe your site (e.g., professional, edgy, fun)?
- Do you have a business logo?
It’s important to understand that the content you create should be tailored to the answers to these questions. From the color scheme (which should match your logo while speaking to your brand’s overall identity) to your target audience (you wouldn’t create dry, long-form text while trying to target kids under the age of 12, right?), every factor matters.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive in to content development for your website!
5 pages to include for web content development
You don’t need an English degree or years of experience as a freelance writer to tell your business’s story. Just include these five pages for web content development, and you’ll be well on your way to a bonafide site.
Products and services.
Ready to start typing? Good. First, take a look at each of these pages in depth so you can learn what to include, and then be prepared to break out the next great American novel — I mean, website.
On your home page, you want to include the top things visitors need to know in order to decide to do business with you. Who are you? What do you do/sell? Why should I trust you? How do I contact you?
Start by doing the following:
- Describe your business in one short sentence (tagline).
- Describe your business and what’s great about it in just a few sentences.
This information will come in handy as you start to lay out your home page.
Once you’ve got that jotted down, it’s time to talk calls-to-action (CTAs). What is the one most important thing you want your visitors to do before they leave your site? Be clear, concise and tell them what you want them to do.
Here are some examples to get the ideas flowing:
- Call for a quote
- Scheduled an appointment online
- Watch our demo
- Sign up for a class
- Donate now
- Email us for a free quote
No matter your business, you should have a CTA on your home page to encourage your visitors to act in one way or another.
Primary contact information
Include one primary way for customers to contact your business on the home page; typically, this is your phone number. Your “Contact Us” page can include all of the various ways to contact your business.
Products and services section
Include a short bulleted list or a few photos of your products and services on the home page, and then add a link to the full product/services page to view all. List general categories of products or services.
List services like:
- Specializing in residential glass services
- Dual pane glass replacement
- Custom showers and mirrors
- Glass shelves and tabletops
- and more …
You don’t have to give a full-blown explanation of each here — just a quick snapshot into what you offer so visitors know they’ve come to the right place.
What information do you need to collect (i.e., email, name, phone, etc.)? The less information you require, the more signups you’ll get.
Don’t forget to think about how you will encourage visitors to hand over their information.
Very briefly describe why your visitors should sign up and include this information with your signup form. Example: “Sign up for exclusive deals and VIP access to special events.” And remember, with all the recent changes to boost consumers’ privacy online (we’re talking about GDPR here), don’t forget to make sure your signup forms are compliant.
Include one customer quote or review on the home page and link to the testimonial pages for visitors to read them all.
2. About us
The About us page is your chance to shine. You’ll want to dig deep and tell your business’s story — How did you start it and why? What do you do differently than other businesses? Get personal, get passionate. Consumers are interested in the face behind the business, and a lot of potential customers are willing to go out of their way to make purchases at a shop they connect with.
Consider incorporating features like:
- Photos of yourself or your staff.
- A biography on your expertise.
- Company or product awards.
- Testimonials or specific quotes from your customers.
Remember, the goal is to connect with your customers. Be genuine and authentic.
3. Products and services
Your products and/or services are likely why you started an online store in the first place. After all, your business needs to sell stuff to thrive, right? Right.
This webpage is relatively self-explanatory — list the general categories of products/services you offer, and then describe them in more detail. For example, the name of your product might be “Hot stone massage,” and the accompanying description could be “Provides a deeply relaxing experience for the body, mind and spirit.”
Create a detailed list of all your offerings, and make sure you’re highlighting how each product solves for a pain point or offers a solution to your prospective buyer. To further encourage consumers to purchase, consider incorporating the following (depending on your industry):
- Product images.
- Pricing payment options.
- Return policy, warranties or guarantees.
- Shipping options and time frames.
Pro tip: Include high-resolution, quality images with different product angles to keep visitors from abandoning your site.
Like your Products page, the Testimonials page is pretty straightforward. Increase visitor confidence and trust by adding recommendations, quotes and testimonials from your customers. Ask top customers to write a few sentences about your products and/or services.
Take advantage of ratings and review sites — join (it’s free to list your business) and encourage customers to rate your business.
Do a little research to find which ones are relevant to your business.
5. Contact us
A well-designed, easy-to-find Contact page is a must. After all, it’s basically your best salesperson. At anytime, a visitor can navigate to your Contact page and find key information about your business — hours of operation, location, contact details — so it’s important to make it shine.
When planning your contact page, you’ll want to include the following:
- Phone number.
- Hours of operation.
- Physical address, direction, map.
- Email (make sure it’s a professional one that matches your domain).
Depending on your business, you may want to add contact “categories.” For example:
Product Returns — send to P.O. Box
Billing Issues — email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Customer Support — call (800) 555-1212
Pro tip: Choose the most important way for customers to contact you and put it on every page of your website. Most importantly, add it prominently to your home page.
If you break down web content development into these five key pages — Home, About us, Products and services, Testimonials and Contact us — you can see that wordsmithing isn’t all that scary. Just remember to keep your customers at the forefront of your mind, and you’ll be well on your way to creating engaging content!