So you're in the process of creating a new website, great! What to include in your website will differ depending on the purpose for your website, what you are trying to accomplish, and who you are trying to reach. Below are some ideas to get you started.
What type of content should I include in my website?
Your Bio & Picture - this is great for making your website a little more personal and allowing your audience to get to know you better. Your photo and bio should be reflective of your personality and who you are. If your website is meant for something serious like financial work, or something medical, consider having a professional headshot and a very well worded professional bio much like you might add to a cover letter for a job interview. If your website is meant for something more playful like a daycare, or an art studio, consider making your photo colorful and the language more informal.
How? Why? When did you start your business? - In addition to your bio, having a little bit of history or background in the website may help your audience connect to what you're doing.
Who do you serve? Who would benefit from your services? - Ideally your website and branding are already clearly designed for a specific group of people, but it doesn't hurt to spell it out. Perhaps you might say something like "We are dedicated to helping first time moms with the challenges of parenting". Or perhaps your website might say something like "You like to fish? Us too! Sign up for our newsletter for details on our favorite spots for fishing". Whatever you're trying to do with your website, make sure you're clear about WHO you are speaking to.
Frequently Asked Questions - When designing a website, I love including a FAQ section to give the visitors a place they can quickly get the information they need. It's also helpful for avoiding having the SAME conversation over and over again. If you find yourself constantly answering the same questions why not have the answer ready to go?
Detailed Description of Each Service or Product - I find it really annoying when I am looking for a service provider and when I look at the services listing, it is not clear what it is that they do, what it entails, how long it will take, how much it costs, and so on. The more information you can provide about your service or product, the more likely someone is going to buy it or hire you. Of course, this may not work as well in businesses where the services/products differ depending on the client's needs; in these cases, provide as much information as you can, and then add an easy way where the client can reach you for more details.
Consider Adding a Blog - Blogs are fantastic for consistently introducing new content into your website, and therefore boosting your SEO. Blogging is also good for adding value to your website and offering your audience something for free, like tips, ideas, recipes, stories, humor, etc. If you're going to add a blog to your site, I recommend starting off with at least 3 blog posts to hold you over until you're ready to blog again. Blogs that only have a post or two tend to look sad and empty so make sure you launch with some "meat and potatoes" to satisfy your readers. I would also recommend getting in the habit of blogging regularly, at least once a month, but it's even better when you can blog at least once a week. If keeping up with the blog feels like too much and you're completely overwhelmed, then don't stress it. It may be better to have no blog, than a neglected blog.
Include Photos & Videos - Websites are highly visual. Use photos, videos, or both to further emphasize your point or to support the purpose of the website. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that with images you can really set the tone for the personality of your website.
Contact Info - If your website is meant to sell a product or service then you NEED to make your contact available and easy to find. I recommend adding a contact form where people can contact you directly from the website, or adding your phone number and email for people to get in touch with you. If your business is not remote, then make sure you add your address too!
Links to Your Social Media - If you don't already have social media, seriously consider whether you would benefit from being on social media.
Call to Action - Once you finally have visitors in your website, the next step is to get them to DO something. A call to action can be anything like sign up for our newsletter, schedule your appointment, place an order, etc. The point is to instruct people on what to do to seal the deal.
Click here to see examples of websites I've designed.
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