Making a good living online can be a daunting task but certainly not impossible. To accomplish this goal you need a strong foundation, which in this case would be a well-structured, productive website. A website should be designed to suit your business purpose and to draw in and capture your target market. There are many elements to consider when planning your website.
One favorable factor in building websites is that you can change any part of your website for greater effectiveness. As websites evolve and change, you can easily adapt your website to those changes.
Below is a list of some of the most important pages your website should include for maximum results and prosperity:
1. Home – Your homepage, also called the landing page, is most often where your potential customer will land when coming to your website. You have just seconds to grab and retain that person before he or she decides to leave. Your homepage needs an attention grabbing headline and compelling copy. You want to pull-in and lead your visitor through the rest of your site. Be clear, concise and simple. Explain what you can do for the customer and why they should buy from you. Be sure to include benefits. The brain retains visual images more than text so use images and/or a video. Make sure the customer knows exactly what to do next and show them a clear path through the buying process. Navigation is key to reduce your bounce rate. Never load up your homepage with banners, flash ads, and other distracting features.
2. About – The about page is where your customer will learn all about you and your business. This is how your potential clients will get to know you. Consumers want to buy from people they know. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Let people know the person behind the website. Adding a picture of yourself will go a long way in making people feel they can trust you. Share your experience and expertise. Explain what they can expect from and how they can benefit from your business. What makes your company better than the rest? What will the experience be like when doing business with you? Add a link to your mailing list so they can get to know you and your business even better. Some people will say that the customer only wants to know about your business and how it can solve their problems but in my experience they also want to know the person behind the business.
3. FAQ – A frequently asked question or FAQ page is important to your website because it can give people the information they are seeking to do business with you. A well-written FAQ page can be an effective marketing tool. Most people do not want to take the time to e-mail and then wait for the answers. Providing the answers now is much more effective. Place most commonly asked questions on top and keep them flowing. Organizing and grouping questions by category works very well. Adding images or screenshots can add value and usability to your page. Be sure to answer the questions from the consumer’s point of view. Do not try to impress people with technical or difficult to understand words.
4. Product/Services – Highlighting your products and/or services is important. When designing your product page keep in mind that there are certain things the customer wants to know.
• What do you do or sell?
• How is your product/service better than anyone else’s?
• What can this product/service do for me?
• How do I know for sure?
Be sure your page answers these questions. Describe your product/service and explain the benefits. Let them know why they should use your service or buy your product. People need to know the benefits of purchasing from you. Use testimonial snippets to help show and prove that you do what you say.
5. Privacy – In today’s world privacy is more important than ever. People need to be reassured that you will not share their information and want to know how you handle privacy issues. Explain exactly what is done with their information. Make it clear and easy to understand. Put their fears to rest so they are comfortable doing business with you. Many times just seeing the page will comfort people but you still need to provide detailed information on how their privacy is respected and protected to the fullest.
6. Testimonials/Reviews – How many of us read the reviews on Amazon or Wal-Mart pages before purchasing the product? I know I do and probably most of us as well. This is why you need a testimonial/review page on your website. People will listen to what others say about you and your products or services. But do not limit your testimonials to this one page. Use snippets and tidbits sprinkled throughout your site for maximum effectiveness. But many people will be interested in seeing them grouped and easily accessible.
7. Content – “Content is King.” We have all heard this many times. Adding relevant, fresh content to your site on a regular basis will raise your rankings substantially. Adding a blog to your site for posting quality content will keep people coming back for more info. It also begins the bonding process to build trust with the reader, that, in turn will form that all-important relationship needed between buyer and seller.
8. Contact – How can you trust someone who hides his or her contact information? Not letting people know how they can contact you is a sure way to get them to leave. Make sure you give them full and complete contact information and let them know you are available to assist them in any way you can.
9. Portfolio/Accomplishments – This is an opportunity to show off your work and accomplishments. Do not be afraid to toot your own horn. People need to see that you know your stuff and can do what you promise to do.
10. Squeeze – Capturing potential customers’ e-mail is the primary reason for a squeeze page. Another phrase we have all heard many times is, “The Money is in the List.” A good squeeze page can build you a mailing list that will be the lifeline of your sales. Offer a quality incentive for people to sign-up for your list. A free eBook, report, trial service, etc., are all things can help increase your conversions. Once you have captured that email the possibilities are unlimited. Make the opt-in process as simple as possible for the reader. People do not want to give their life story just to be on your mailing list. Explain exactly what you are offering. By offering quality information and making the process simple, your conversions could increase substantially.
There are many more factors involved when building a productive website but the ideas presented above should help make your website more successful!