While this isn’t an absolutely prescriptive list you need to have a very strong reason for not including these 9 individual pages on you business website … they are must have pages because they make you look professional and satisfy the the minimum expectation of your visitors.
If you are missing some or even one of these pages from your website you are certainly missing out on potential business – Failing to impress and or reassure customers and not presenting your information in a logical way is the most common way for a website to fail the business. Getting traffic to your website takes time and effort you don’t want to waste that effort by having a website that fails to convert or inform.
One (sadly) still popular technique for “affordable” small business website design is the single page scrolling homepage “site” with clickable links in the menu bar that jump the visitor further down to the relevant sections of the same single page rather than to new specific pages. You should not have a site like this anymore – build a new one.
If you have an outdated, glitchy, broken or a single page site – get it changed or fixed asap (contact me – I can recommend an excellent web designer). All of these key pages should be individual pages clearly linked to in the navigation and interlinked within the site so that customers get a better experience and search engines can index and show more of your pages more relevantly in the results.
So here are the nine must have pages for your business website …
Every site has one but remember first impressions count and this is the most likely first page people see of your site – they will either bounce away or hopeful use it to navigate further into you website – so it needs to be good.
The top of the homepage needs to be focussed, snappy and informative with easy navigation links to your other pages to get people wanting to learn more about what you offer. Further down the homepage you need to expand into more in depth and detail again including links to your other key pages with clear CTA’s (calls to action) like “read more” or “learn more” etc.
2) About Page
The next most important page is your about me or about us page and it’s often the one that people are most afraid of writing because it’s all about you.
Everyone feels like this to some extent there are really very few people who want to be “insta famous” or go out of their way to be the most gregarious of influencers. So you are not on your own if you want to skate over your about page – but dig deep and put up an honest, interesting and informative about page that is actually about you. People need and want to know who they are working with or buying from … It is your USP otherwise they may as well just go to a faceless online corporate.
3) Contact Page
A contact page seems simple but you need to include as many ways to contact you as possible – DO NOT just put up a contact form and nothing else because some people really hate fiddly contact forms they will just click away to never return. At the very least make sure you put on your email, phone number and address as well as all your social media handles. Unless you are a huge faceless corporate don’t use an automated chatbot – be real. Genuinely personal and effective is better than a gimmicky … Have you got a don’t contact me page ?
4) Products Page / Services Page
Depending on whether you are a service or a product business you should have a main page covering your key services or products. If you have a range or an extensive online shop then add addition pages and categories under this main product / services page.
5) Blog Page / Recent News Page
Search engines love new and fresh content is often a mantra that you will hear in social media and website circles – because it’s true.
That doesn’t mean you need to be blogging, graming and tweeting 24/7 but you really should have a part of your site that effectively works like a blog. Keep it simple just set up a section on your website for adding news / press releases / announcements / marketing / your thoughts etc and ideally call it something more imaginative than “blog” but something like recent news / new work / latest / updates is ok.
6) Privacy Page / T&C’s Page
7) 404 Page not found Page
Having a visitor directed to the “page not found” or 404 page is not good if it’s the result of you having deleted a page and not re-directed to it’s replacement or appropriate page (that is a topic for another post) but it is always a good idea to customise your 404 page to your site and ideally as well as offering a go back to the homepage option you can put in other navigation options.
8) Help / Search / FAQ Page
Helping the visitor could be as simple as putting a search site tool onto your sidebar or main navigation or you might want to address popular questions that you get regularly asked.
9) Testimonials Page
The value of recommendations and testimonials for your business should not be underestimated – people listen to and trust other people. Collect as many positive reviews and testimonials as you can and either use them on a standalone page or use them for specifics within your service / product pages and homepage.
You must build your website on firm foundations
While you might be able to combine some elements and information of some pages into others if that is down cutting corners rather than a genuinely reasoned decision – don’t take the easy way out. If a redesign or an update is what is needed do not shy away from this – A badly designed or dated website with terrible or illogical navigation in 2020 is inexcusable and barely better than no website … If your website sucks – change it.