So you’ve decided to hire a web developer to build you a brand spanking new website. You’re all excited at the theme you’ve chosen and picture thousands of people visiting your site and inquiring with you leading to more sales and incredible growth in your business.
Ok, perhaps you aren’t that dillusional but it is completely possible that you have commissioned a new website to be built but haven’t exactly thought about what content you are going to populate it with. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. In this 4 part series we will outline how you can write the different pages of your website yourself without needing to incur additional costs for copy-writing.
We’ll start with the Home Page and move through the different areas of a typical business website that need content written.
Your home page is like your store front or more accurately it is a summary of your business. It should provide an overview of your different services on offer, any specific specials or promotions at the moment and links to different parts of the site. The main menu of your website usually remains the same throughout the website to provide consistency and ease of navigation. So what do you put below that?
Modern websites most often feature some type of slideshow below the main menu. This is usually 3-6 images that scroll through automatically with details of your services on offer, current specials or anything else you feel is important to showcase.
Ideally you want to choose high quality images for your slider – meaning at least 1200 pixels wide without being stretched. If you have good images of your actual work or products, then those will work well. If not, good quality pictures of the area you work in, stock images representing your service or product or specially designed graphics or cartoons all look great in the slider! Just make sure that the image isn’t stretched or distorted in any way as this can leave a bad impression.
Service / Product Categories
Below the slider it is recommended to have a few columns with details on the different services you provide. If you offer many services then perhaps the 3 or 4 major categories. If you sell products then you might choose the major categories of products you sell – bicycles, cycling clothing and accessories for example.
If a visitor is visiting your site from Social Media or an interaction you have directly had with them they’ll most likely start at your home page. You’re going to want this section to be as clearly written as possible so you don’t scare them off and they can quickly understand what it is you do or sell. This is not the section to demonstrate all your technical know-how! Keep all descriptions to the point and avoid any technical jargon or anything complicated.
Company Values / Promise
A lot of companies use the homepage as an opportunity to directly address their audience with an important message about the company or its leader. If you would also like to do this, include a short paragraph highlighting your company’s core values and focus – “we focus on high quality service with a smile etc. etc.” for example.
Perhaps your company is built on a long line of family tradition or has a very specific purpose that sparked the start of the company. Anything important that you feel your customers should know about you right away would be good to include on the home page. This section can of course link through to your about page or another important page elaborating on what you write about.
Testimonials / Customer Showcases
Another very popular section of the home page is the customer showcase / portfolio intro section. If your company relies on credibility to win new customers then you definitely want to include information on high profile customers you have worked with in the past. You can simply do this in the form of logos of the companies you have worked with, which adds another great visual element to your home page. Or you can also highlight specific customer testimonials or introductions to customer case studies you have written.
Overall, your home page can be as short or as long as you want it to be. It should ideally be the hub that your entire site is built on and when people arrive at this page, they should get a good snapshot of your business and know where to go next.
The About page of your site is your opportunity to tell the story of your business. Someone who lands here is genuinely interested in your business so why not tell them as much as you can about it! Of course you don’t want to drone on for 2,000 words but anything between 300 and 800 words should be fine. Some things to include are:
- How and why the business started – was it an old family member that you then took over from? Did you see an opportunity in the market or did your hobby become your business? What is the story of the business?
- Who are the key people in your business – are you a one man show or are there others with you? Who is the management team and why were they chosen? Who is the core of your business?
- Do you have a particular vision for the company? The about page doesn’t just need to be historical information. You can also include details on where you see the company heading and any big plans you have for it. What is the future of the business?
- In one or two sentences, what does the business do? Do you sell or manufacture a specific type of product? What kind of service do you provide? You don’t want to elaborate too much here because you have an entire section dedicated to your services / products.
As you can quickly tell by the questions above, your about page is where you answer all the major questions about your business. Essentially if you can think of an overarching question that someone might ask, it should be answered on this page.