Your website is your virtual office or storefront, so you want it to make a great impression. It must tell a compelling story of who you are, what you offer, and how people can contact you. It also needs to be easy to find in Google search.
What are the best pages for your website to do all that?
Whether you provide professional services or sell products, you’ll want to make sure your website has at least these pages. With the following pages included, your website is sure to cover what your visitors want to know, as well as draw the attention of search engines.
Your Home Page is easily the most important page on your website. It should tell everyone who you are and what you offer, in easy to understand text. It should also provide a summary of what the visitor is likely to find on subsequent pages. Remember that you have only a few seconds to capture your viewers’ attention and convince them to stay around awhile.
Many great websites start with an eye-catching banner at the top, followed by a succinct message about what the business offers. Together, they tell the visitor, “I’m in the right place.” Then, further down the page, they include a short summary of each major service or product category, with an invitation to learn more. To build credibility, they add logos of clients they’ve worked with, as well as a stellar testimonial or two. By following this format for your home page, you can’t go wrong!
Your About Page provides a unique opportunity to connect with your viewers. It should answer the question of, “What makes you or your products stand out?” It should tell the story of your business and, most importantly, why you do what you do. It’s also important to add your education and any recognition and awards that will lend credibility to your business and encourage the viewer to take the next step.
If you have a small company, such as a sole proprietorship, a single About page, focusing mainly on your background, may suffice. If you have a larger business, however, it’s a good idea to have a company overview page and then a separate bio page for yourself and each of your primary staff members, such as VP’s and Directors. By incorporating SEO tags and text into these bio pages, your website will more likely come up when people search online for you or your staff members by name.
If you are a business that provides professional services, such as a therapist, chiropractor, architect or financial advisor, your services pages are where you can really explain what you do and what sets you apart. By incorporating SEO tags and text into each page, your website will more likely come up when people go online to find the services you provide. In fact, from a search perspective, these can be the most important pages on your website.
One of the biggest mistakes I see companies make is putting all of their services on one web page, with a single paragraph for each service. That format is confusing to both people and search engines. It’s the rare individual who will read through an entire website page, top to bottom, to find out if you offer what they need.
Instead, I recommend having a different page, with SEO tags and text, for each of the primary services you offer. For example, if you are a therapist, you may want separate pages for couples counseling, adolescent therapy, anxiety therapy and EMDR, since individuals look online for those distinct services. If you are a financial advisor, you may want separate pages for investment management, financial planning, and retirement planning. If you are a family law attorney, you may want separate pages for divorce lawyer, divorce mediator and prenuptial agreements.
If you are a service provider who can show off your work through images, such as an architect, web developer, or landscaping company, here’s where you can shine. When creating your portfolio pages, think about including the work that you want to do more of, rather than every job you’ve ever done. Then, build a page for each. For example, if you are an architect who designed an accessory dwelling unit, you’ll want an ADU page with a paragraph or two of text and descriptive photos.
By incorporating SEO tags and text into each portfolio page, your website will more likely come up when people go online to find the services you provide. From a search perspective, these can be the most important pages on your website, when someone is looking for the services you offer.
If you offer products for sale, you’ll want to divide them categories, so that it is easier for someone to find what they want. For example, if you offer boutique women’s clothing, you may have one category for women blouses, a second for women’s jackets, and a third for dresses. A product like Shopify makes it easy to categorize products and add SEO tags for Google search. Don’t forget to add SEO tags to your images as well, so your products can be found in Google image search.
Testimonials provide first hand credibility for what you offer. Some businesses like to sprinkle testimonials throughout their website, including their home page. I think that’s a great strategy. I recommend also having a separate testimonials page, which makes it easier for readers to see what people have said about you in one place.
For your testimonials page, choose five or six of your favorites that show the breadth and depth of what you offer. You can copy testimonials from Google My Business or Yelp. Be sure to include the writer’s city and state, along with their name, which will help draw search engines to your website, when people are looking in your area for what you provide.
Why does your website need a blog? A blog is a great way to share your knowledge with current clients or customers, as well as reach a wider audience. A blog helps bring more visitors to your website. Having a blog also signals to Google that you are paying attention to your website, which helps it come up in search results.
How often should you blog? I think it’s a good idea to blog at least once a month, if possible. If you’ve let your blog lapse for more than a year, you may be sending a signal to your viewers that you aren’t paying attention to your website, or to your business.
A mistake I often see business owners make is not putting a distinct contact page on their website. Instead, they rely on their readers finding their contact information at the bottom of the home page. The problem with that strategy is that on a smart phone, your bottom-of-page contact information may be difficult to find.
Instead, make it easy for people to get in touch with you by having a distinct contact page with your business name, address and phone number. Include a map as well, and perhaps another testimonial. Your contact page is a great way to help someone find you online when they are looking for your services in your area. If you have more than one location, you can have a page for each location, with SEO tags to draw search engines to those pages.
Free website consultation
If you are thinking about updating your website or creating a website for the first time and are wondering what the best pages will be to include and what they should cover, I would love to talk with you. I offer a free 30-minute consultation. Please get in touch at: (415) 250-1347 or [email protected].
Carolyn Kohler is an SEO writer who specializes in helping businesses get found online. Her company is Website Wordsmith, and she is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.