So, you know you need a website, but do you know what you need to include on that website? Many clients are faced with this dilemma. There’s a lot of elements that make up a single web page and sometimes it’s not that easy to find a quick reference guide to what you might want or need to include.
When planning your new website you really need to think about what you want your site visitors to see, learn and feel about your business. Your homepage is the make or break. If it’s not to your visitors’ liking, they won’t hang around.
Breaking it Down
Let’s start by breaking down the general anatomy of a website and take a closer look at each of the building blocks and elements.
The Header sits at the very top of all of your pages and normally consists of one or more of the following: an admin bar, your logo, a navigational menu or a search bar.
The admin bar is a thin strip that usually runs along the very top of a website. It’s usually used to contain your phone number, social media icons, shopping cart functionality or search bar.
It is great to have, but not always necessary and many websites choose not to have it.
The rest of your header should include a professional logo (or your business name) and most importantly a simple effective menu that will ensure your site visitors can easily find what they’re looking for.
HERO IMAGE AND A CALL TO ACTION
Use a professional image, or simple background, that relates to your business. You should also include here a simple Headline that explains exactly what it is that your business does.
You Headline should always include the “keywords” you would expect your prospective customers to be searching in their preferred search engine.
A ‘Call To Action’ is usually in the form of a simple button. This is a button you would hope that your customers will be enticed to use, immediately taking them further into your website page. For example: ‘Our Services’, ‘Contact us now’.
H1 and H2 TITLES
Your homepage (and every other page on your site) should include no more than one H1 title, as the page title. This title should include your keywords for that page. The copy on each page should also include at least 300 words (for Google to consider your page as ‘relevant’) and the same keywords you you included in your title.
You can have as many H2 Titles on your pages as you like. Google sees the H2 title as a subtitle.
The use of H1 and H2 titles help Google to better understand the structure on your page. You can also continue this structure by using the remaining H3 to H6 if you really need to, but you don’t need to use them all!
You’ll have a lot better chance of improving your SEO (search engine optimisation) if you have a good amount of well structured copy on your homepage, so don’t skip this step!
THE ABOUT SECTION
The about section on the homepage is just a snippet for your reader to learn a bit about you or your business. Try to make it a little more personal by telling your story. You can talk about why you started your business and how your business can help the reader.
Include another Call to Action button that will take your visitor to the next logical next step (ie: it could link to full About page or perhaps an Appointment Bookings page).
YOUR MAIN SERVICES SECTIONS
Before you start your services section, sit down and list all of the services your business performs. From this list you can take the key main services you want to promote to create a condensed services list on your homepage. Your services heading should also include your keywords.
Include a small piece of benefit driven copy under each service heading. Try not to talk about what it is that you do, instead try spinning the language to talk about your customers and how it benefits them.
TESTIMONIALS & REVIEWS
Testimonials or reviews add trust and credibility to your brand. You don’t need to include this section if you’re just starting out, but this is something you may want to come back to in the future.
PARTNER LOGOS & EXTERNAL LINKS
If you have partner logos, big clients you work with, or if you’ve been featured somewhere else, add the logos here for added trust and credibility. Make sure to include a link to your partner websites – Google loves external links!
A few other sections that you might want to consider could be:
– A latest Blog Posts section if you’re looking to also maintain a blog
– Links to your most recent projects or projects you want to showcase
– A newsletter sign up form, link (to another page) or lightbox (pop-up)
And finally we make it to the bottom of the page… the footer.
The footer will usually include your contact details, address, operating hours and/or a quick contact form. However, you may also like to include another page menu here. Allowing the visitor to quickly move to another page without having to scroll back to the top can help keep them on your site a little longer.
Remember, the footer will appear on every page, so it should only contain content that you want repeated.