What pages to include on a website?
As a web design agency, one of the most common questions we’re asked by our clients is – ‘what pages should I include on my website?’. I couldn’t tell you how many times we’ve been asked this question! This may seem like a relatively straight forward question, but when you dive into it, you uncover so much more than you’d expect.
Before we get into the page necessities, we need to point out, no two businesses are the same. Everyone has a unique brand, product/service and value proposition. This article should be used as a basic guide, not all elements will apply to your business.
The best starting point when designing a new website is to decide what information your website needs. This can be surprisingly difficult to figure out. Before you start brainstorm, the best thing to do is have a look at what similar business are doing. Research what pages they have, the information they have and how it is structure. This can help inspire some ideas for your own website.
Next, right a list of your customers most common questions. Try to think of every question imaginable they would ask about your company, your team, the services you offer, your process etc. Doing this will help you figure out the necessary pages to include on your website, as well as the information to include on those pages.
Common Website Pages
Your home page acts as a summary page for the website. Usually a home page will include a slideshow/banner image at the top of the page, under that will be a brief description of your company as well as the products and services you offer. The next section will usually be a small gallery with some images or testimonials, followed by contact details at the bottom of the page.
About Us Page
Your about us page will include information about your business. This will generally include your companies’ story, your unique selling proposition, and any points of difference. For smaller businesses, information such as your team, mission statement and value statement will be included on this page. For larger companies, this information in usually included on separate pages in a drop-down menu under about us.
The number of services pages you include on your website will be dependent on the number of services you offer to your customers. A big mistake business make, is they assume their customers know the services they offer.
Take a Law firm for example, Lawyers typically specialise in different areas such as family law, criminal law, compensation law and business law. Including a simple summary about your services isn’t enough information for the average user. Most people will want to know if you can help them before they contact you. A person looking for a lawyer to write contracts for their business will usually want to read detailed information about what you can do for them.
If you self a product, it is obvious to most people you will need to include a page of information about the product. Where most people go wrong is not including the right information on these pages. This in turn can lead to a loss in sales. Information you should include of products pages include:
- A description about the product
- Product specifications and details
- Uses and applications for your product
- Whom your product is intended for and the problem it solves
- Benefits the product will provide the consumer
- Photos of your product
- Downloadable products sheets
- Social proof which can include testimonials, studies, statistics and comparisons
- Endorsements; if your product is used by an expert or well known authority in your industry.
In addition, every product page needs a clear call-to-action, this can include an ‘add to cart’ or request a quote button.
Social Proof Page (Our Work/Testimonials/Our Clients/ Case Study’s/Gallery)
It isn’t enough to tell people what you do, you need to show them. Social proof pages are something every website should have. The type of social proof pages you’d include on your website will vary based on the industry you’re in.
- Our Work – these pages are designed to showcase your best work, they are generally structured like a gallery page. These pages are perfect for builders, construction companies, renovation companies, architects, designers etc. They are used as an easy way for people to evaluate the quality of your work.
- Testimonials – Testimonial pages are more applicable to service-based businesses. If you don’t sell a tangible product, people will tend to evaluate your business based on what other people are saying. Testimonials work best when they are specific to the results achieved. For example, a testimonial that reads “Bob helped me save $2,000 year in tax, compared to my last Accountant; due to his diligent research into relevant tax leglisation”, is far better than, “Bob’s a great Accountant, I highly recommend him”.
- Case Studies – Case studies are best used when your business handles larger projects. In a case study it is import to include the clients situation, challenges, solutions to challenges and the results your solution produced.
- Gallery – Gallery pages are self-explanatory, it a single page on the website with photos of your work. Similar to the ‘our work’ page, a gallery page would be more applicable for a restaurant, beauty salons, pubs and bars, gyms and fashion retailers.
Your contact page is one of the most important pages on your website. It needs to be easily accessible from every page. Information your contact page needs to include is, your phone number/s, email/s, fax number and your address. It is also a good idea to include embedded maps and directions to your location.
Contact pages can also include contact forms, this is an easy option that allows people to quickly ask questions without having to send an email directly.
- Terms and conditions: these pages are used to outline the terms and conditions of the products and services you offer.
- Term of Use: this page outlines the rules and regulations visitors must abide by when using your website. This might include copyright, reproduction of content and limitation of liability.