The home page is the theoretical entry point to the rest of your Web site (search engines may drive visitors to other pages of your site). Unless you only sell one product or service, this page should introduce you or your company to visitors and give a general sense of how you can help them. Other pages will give them specific information. Use this page as a soft-sell opportunity to get visitors acquainted with you before you make your sales pitch.
Elements to Include
- Images—Your home page images should convey the overall personality of your business to visitors. For example, if you run an upscale coffee house, you might include images of upscale customers, brand name equipment or luxurious interior shots.
- Copy—Resist the urge to write about yourself even though this page is an introduction to your business. Start off with a strong, visitor-focused benefit statement, and write about the ways you can fill your visitors’ needs.
- Links to other pages—Your home page needs to have a clear navigation scheme that makes it easy for visitors to reach the information they seek.
Adjust the balance of these three elements to suit your goals.
Before the Internet, most business was conducted face-to-face. Online, your customers do not have the pleasure of meeting you. The About Us page is your chance to allow them to meet you virtually.
Use the About Us page to explain why you or your company is the best choice for customers. Highlight your education, experience, certifications or anything else that makes you the best place for customers to take their business.
This page typically follows a story format that traces the history of the company from its beginning to present day. It is a great place to display the company’s mission statement as well.
If you have an ecommerce Web site, product pages are like the shelves in your store. These pages give you a chance to showcase your products and should include a higher image to text ratio. Limit text to a short introduction and your product specifications. When you are writing about your products, remember to include benefit statements as well as straight descriptions.
The name says it all. The Contact Us page is where you give your contact information:
- Physical address
- Email address
- Phone number
- Fax number
This can be a powerful page for convincing visitors to do business with you. Today, consumers are skeptical of advertisements, but they’re very tuned in to the opinions of their peers.
Ask your satisfied clients if they’d be willing to write a testimonial for your Web site and offer them a link to their site in exchange for the favor.
Customized 404 Error Page
This is the page reached when visitors follow an outdated or broken link to, or on, your Web site. Rather than giving them the standard 404 error message, you can customize it with introductory text and a hyperlinked site map to help them find the page they were interested in.
Publicity, or press coverage is a great way to promote your business without spending much money. The Press page of your Web site gives journalists everything they need to write about you (including graphic logos and head shots of your lead staff).
Include the following things on this page:
- Your story—you can use a condensed version of your About Us page.
- Fact sheet—bulleted list of interesting facts and statistics about your company.
- Press releases—these are basically prewritten news stories.
- Contact information—for the person responsible for speaking to the press.