The 4 Mandatory:
Web Pages Every Website Needs
"5 Reasons Why You Need a Website" I listed the reasons why all businesses need a website in today’s environment. However, I didn’t delve into what constitutes a website.
In the most basic of terms a website is merely a collection of web pages. A web page can consist of articles, videos, audio, maps, or any combination thereof. In fact this paragraph you are reading is part of a web page.
Why 4 pages?
Eventhough you could have just 1 web page listing everything about your company, (contact info, types of jobs you do, your story on how you started the business, etc...), it would make the page very long and tedious to find what you want.
The advantage of the internet and web pages as a whole is that you can create hyper links that jump to the page or paragraph where the information is found. No different then a table of contents in a book except all you have to do is click on the chapter you want and you are there.
I wrote this article as companion to "5 Reasons Why You Need a Website". It's purpose is to address the question "Now that I have a website what do I put on it?"
Since a website consists of web pages, how many web pages do you need?
For those who are involve any type of service or trades industry:
There are only 4 pages your website must have:
Your home page is basically your website. This is the first page a visitor will see upon typing in your business / internet name. Take for example BizSenze.com, Apple.com, Microsoft.com, Amazon.com.
FYI: There is a difference between your business name and your domain name / internet name.
See article Domain name vs business name.
The primary purpose of your website is introduce the world to your business.
Hello and Welcome to my business.
Credibility & Legitimacy
For some the mere existence of a website serves to develop crediblity and legitimacy.
Word of mouth
Those of you whose primary source of business are referrals, your website serves to reassure those people who believe they must first research everything and everyone online before they commit. Thus by merely having a home page you accomplish this task.
Digital First Impression
Your Homepage is your front door. If you had a storefront this is the first thing people would see when they walked through your business door. This is your chance to catch their attention and invite them to learn more about your business.
Regardless of how a visitor finds your website whether it be an advertisement, search result, or dumb luck your home page serves as your digital first impression.
- 1Am I at the right place?
- 2What does your company do?
Q1: Am I at the right place?
Immediately when a visitor to your home page arrives your home page should answer the most basic question “Am I at the right website?” Maybe they typed in the wrong web address and your homepage is not who or what they were seeking.
Ex. SalemElectric.com vs SalemElectrician.com.
One is an electric company while the latter would be an electrician.
Q2: What does your company do?
Knowing what your website is about helps to answer the first question. Especially, for those who found your site through a search. Maybe they want an electrician in the Salem area.
Take into consideration that those who refer you as well as those referred to you may not remember your web address correctly.
- Ex. I think it is “HandymanSteve.com”, but it might be “SteveTheHandyman.net”
It should be crystal clear from the title or by the first headline WHAT YOU DO!! Are you a plumber, handyman, contractor, electrician, painter, WHAT. “Providing the best service at the lowest rates” tells me NOTHING. Nor do I want to sift through a paragraph of text in order to figure out that you build homes.
Tell me up front. IN BIG BOLD LETTERS!
Make it clear what you do in the opening headlines of your home page.
- Ex. "Hi, I am Steve the most reliable Handyman in Savannah".
From the text no one would be mistaken that this web page is for a handyman named Steve who works in Savannah. This clarifies to the visitor if this is the website they are seeking?
Your Home page is the first page a visitor sees. It is the page referenced by your web address.
The menu bar located in the header section of your website will guide visitors to the appropriate pages for more information about you and your company.
Visitors to your About page are seeking further information about you and your company.
They are not just seeking information about a job and price. These visitors are more personable. They want to know more about the person and company doing the job.
If you have a mission statement this would be the place to have it.
These visitors may become fans, customers who want to see you succeed and refer you to friends and family. Consequently, don’t be afraid to discuss your family, hobbies and causes you belong to.
It will be your most egocentric of pages. However, even though it is about you and your company, don’t forget it is also FOR your visitor.
The About page is the equivalent of shaking the customer’s hand and looking them in the eye. People identify with faces. And the About page puts your face to your company.
Needless to say you should have a prominent picture of yourself on this page.
The goal of the About page is to build empathy and trust. To make a visitor feel comfortable doing business with you. You do this by showing your humanity. Do this by telling a story.
Your About page is your story. Why you do what you do. How you got started. How much experience you have. Your education if it applies.
Whatever your story is - tell it.
- “The rags to riches story”
- “The local boy following his dreams”
- “Pursuing the dream of his father”
People like a story, and they can be part of your story by being a customer of yours.
Give them a reason to be part of your story.
- 1Who are you?
- 2What can you do for me?
- 3how are you different from the competition?
Q1: Who are you?
You want to localize yourself. People want to identify with local businesses. Here is your chance to explain how you came to be in this town / city.
Q2: What can you do for me?
This is the experience question. Phrased another way the question is really “How do I know you can do the job?”. This is where you discuss your talents, experience, education, etc.
- Grew up working with my father roofing.
- Spent 10 years working for a large company in the big city.
- Won awards for my custom woodworking skills.
- Having graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from University.
Q3: How are you different from the competition?
Visitors to the About page are not seeking a quote. The answer to this question is not price but value.
This is your value proposition.
There are many ways to address these questions.
Think in terms of overall differentiation.
Studied at the Sorbonne and use a nail less approach to building decks.
All fence gates are customized with your home address.
Only organic materials are used.
Using less chemicals makes it safer for your family.
Answer all calls within 1 hour
Cover a greater area
Work weekends and late night
Do jobs others will not
Warehouse full of supplies
XYZ machine that makes digging trenches 5X faster
Greater selection of templates to choose from
Better quality of materials used
The About page is about you. It can be long or short. Visitors to this page want to know more you an your company. Definitely be as personable as possible. You want visitors coming away from this page liking you.
For further information on the value of the About Page read Why Your About Page Matters
This is probably the easiest page to create. It is a page with all of your contact information.
The purpose of this page is to make it as easy as possible for a visitor to contact you.
- 1How to make contact?
- 2where are you located?
- 3Days and hours of operation?
- 4how can I make it easier for customers to make contact?
Q1: How to make contact?
On this page you want to prominately display all of your contact information. Phone number, email address, and physical address should stand out and be easy to read. Consider making your font size a little larger and increase the spacing between numbers and letters.
(123) 456-7890 use (123) 456-7890
Steve@bizsenze.com use Steve@bizsenze.com
Q2: Where are you located?
If you have a storefront or office and want to display your physical address use this page to list your address and put in a small geo map showing what part of town you are in.
Q3: Days and hours of operation?
The Contacts page is the perfect spot to place your hours of operation and days that you work. Don't forget to include holidays as either open or close.
Q4: How can I make it easier to customers to make contact with me?
You want to make it as easy for potential customers to make contact with you. Ask yourself if there is any way to encourage communication.
Consider a contact form that will be sent directly to your email once a customer has filled out.
Require only a name and email address. Encourage visitors to send you any questions they may have regardless if your services are needed. Maybe DIY request.
Make it clear you will get back with them ASAP. Then FOLLOW UP.
It will serve three purposes:
- Informs you if anyone has a need of your services and to get back with them ASAP.
- Builds report with visitors who may become customers.
- Allows you to build a database of emails for future promotions.
Make your Contacts page as simple as possible. Your website will have various pages and each of them should have your contact info in the Header and Footer sections. However, having a page dedicated to contact information where that information is front and centered on the page and is in larger print, makes it easier for visitors to reach you.
The Services page details the work you do. Although it is a single page it can actually be a master page that links out to many pages showcasing the projects you do or services you provide.
This is the first of your sales pages. You want to highlight the service(s) you provide detailing the quality and efficiency you bring to the job. Include a myriad of photos so visitors don’t have to read what you do, but can see what you do.
Ideally, customers will come away from this page saying “I didn’t know you did that as well”.
The Services page has two purposes.
- Detail the process you go through in accomplishing your primary task.
- List all other services you do.
- 1How do you do what you do?
- 2what other services do you provide?
Q1: How do you do what you do?
Your Services page is where you can get into the details of “How” you do what you do.
This page can be as long or as short as you desire. Maybe you explain your process from start to finish. You can wax eloquent on the quality of materials you use. Delve into anything that differentiates your methods and techniques from your competitors.
Focus on quality and / or speed.
Use a lot of pictures. Include “before and after” photos as much as possible.
If any part of the job requires intricate detail work make sure to take close up shots from many angles to highlight the quality.
Q2: What other services do you provide?
When a visitor clicks on your Service page link you want to expose them to all of the other projects and services you provide.
Example 1: A person referred to your website looking to have their fence repaired notices that you also have a plumber’s license and can fix plumbing issues.
Example 2: A person visiting your site regarding winterization services notices that you also do seasonal holiday lighting setup and take down.
Having a list of the various jobs you do, serves to inform visitors of the depth and breadth of your company. Even if the visitor has no additional needs from you, they may know someone who does.
Your Services page can be simple or complex. If there are many other types of services you provide you may want to consider a catalog listing of your services linking to separate pages showing the multitude of projects you've completed with "before and after" photos.
You could also have this page as a continual scrolling role of the various projects you've completed.
The Home, About, Contacts, and Services pages are the bare minimum all business website should have. In summary you need to introduce your business to the world, tell us about yourself, let us know what you do, and finally ensure we know how to contact you.