Part 1: What Should You Include on a Small Business Website?
Building a website can be overwhelming. Even when you work with a professional website designer, you still need to know what content to include. After all, the person that knows your business best is you.
We understand why sitting down to write content for the website can be stressful. We’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be. Once you get in that writing “flow state” a.k.a The Zone, writing content can be exciting. All you need is a plan.
In this short series, we will share with you our best practices to plan and populate your website with content.
Step 1: Brainstorming
Ask yourself these two questions: “What is the purpose of my site?” and “Who is my audience?”
What is the purpose of my site?
Do you offer a single service that you want to encourage customers to buy? Or, do you want to introduce yourself as a brand and encourage customers to browse your range or products and services? The answers to these questions will guide which pages and content you prioritise.
Who is my audience?
Is it your local community? Or do you offer a niche product or service that appeals to a geographically dispersed audience, but one with a defined set of needs? Try to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Rather than focusing on what you offer, ask yourself what your audience needs. The answer to this question will guide how you frame your content. More on that later.
Step 2: Draft a basic content plan
Start by thinking about the pages. Most websites follow a pretty standard structure, often dictated by the business’s industry. Remember the question about your website’s purpose? Here’s is where that question becomes important. The central purpose of your website should be front and centre, but how you do this very much depends on your unique business. As a general rule, most websites have 5 core pages:
Your home page is the most important page. This is the first step in your would-be customer’s journey, so make it count. If you offer a single service or product, your homepage should be dedicated to that one offering.
Call to Action (CTA). A CTA is an image or line of text that guides your visitor to the next step of your website. Remember the question about your audience’s needs? Your CTA on your homepage (and every page) should answer that need and guide them to the next page they (and you) need them to go.
About Us page
This is the place to cover your mission and the story of your brand. Think back to creative writing in school. Answer: “Who, What, When, Why & How?”
Products or Services page
This is usually the core of any business website. The structure and how many pages this section has will be dictated by your business. Keep it clean, simple and light on text.
This is the place to flex your writing skills. We will get into the art of blog writing next time, but as a general rule, pick a few themes that connect to your audience, and publish regularly.
Simple, clean, and functional.
Some quick and dirty tips to keep in mind:
- When it comes to words, less is more. Resist the urge to write an essay on every page. Keep your copy short, to the point and focus on your user’s needs. Keep the writing to your business blog, which we will cover in part 2 of this mini-guide.
- Don’t worry about publishing before all content is ready. Google likes content being added to a website, as do engaged users.
- An organised website is an SEO-friendly website. You may have heard about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It can be a complex topic, but there are a few failsafe rules to making sure Google can find your site and ranks it well. One of those is to keep your site as uncomplicated as possible.
In Part 2, we will cover one of the best ways to keep your audience engaged and ramp up your SEO strategy: blogging.
What about Advantage Agency? Our purpose is clear: we are a community-focused web design service that helps local Central Coast businesses scale up and stand out in a saturated digital landscape. If you want to step up your digital game, but don’t know where to start, get in touch with us to find out how we can help!