One of the most comment questions that I get from new web development clients is about what kind of information to include on their brand-new website. Specifically, they want to know what pages and information their visitors will expect to be able to find. Here’s the top 5 pages or information areas that I recommend to new clients:
- Contact info: Your web site should include an easily accessible, comprehensive contact page with a real address and phone number, not just an email address. If you operate your business out of your home and don’t want to give out a home address, obtain a PO box from your local post office, or other places that offer these types of services, such as the UPS Store. Similarly, there are many services where you can obtain a secondary or alternate phone number for your business without the traditional expense of installing a second line in your home of office. (Stay tuned for a post about these services next week.)
- An ‘about us’ page: You hope that your index page does a good job of explaining your site, but sometimes consumers want to know what ELSE you do. An about us page gives you a chance to let your visitors know about you and your company, as well as an opportunity to show off additional services and products that may not be relevant to the website if the site is directed to a very targeted audience.
- FAQ: Do you find that your visitors and potential clients ask you the same questions over and over? To save your time, and offer better customer service, you should have a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) page on your site. Does it have to be called “FAQ”? Well, that’s debatable. If you can address the primary questions, for instance, on your home page, and then link to a page called “Customer Support” or “More Information,” you can win the same customer service points without the sometimes ill-fitting title of FAQ. Don’t forget to update your FAQ (or whatever you call it) if you find you are getting repeated questions from potential customers that aren’t already addressed in this area.
- Site map: In a perfect world, visitors would have no trouble navigating your site, and will always know exactly which page contains the information they want, and how to click their way there. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. A Site map is a page which lists all of the pages of your site with direct links to access them. Additionally, a well-done, XML-based site map can be submitted to Google for optimal indexing, which can help increase your search engine results. (Look for more information about this in an upcoming post.