If you have the time, the resources, and the comfort level, writing your own website content can provide your company with a valuable asset. It’s a great idea if your company has a dynamic culture and you want to extend it out to your site. Your unique way of communicating can help visitors to your site (potential customers) get a better understanding of who you are and why they should do business with you. Our writers at Sage are stellar at writing website content, but we can’t capture the vibe of a corporate culture the same as someone on the inside.
We have had clients fully committed to writing their own content, then they come back to us with an important question: What do we need to include?
Like every company is different, every website is different. The purpose of your site may be to inform, to persuade, to generate business, or a combination of all three. (Generating business often comes from good information and persuasion.) Pages on your site need to match up with your own specific purpose, but there are some that should be present on every site regardless.
1. Home Page
Yes, every site has a home page. It’s what’s on the home page that makes a visitor decide to see what you have to offer or immediately bounce off the site. Give your visitors a reason to stay!
Think of your home page as the sales person making the cold call. Your target – your site visitor, who likely followed the breadcrumbs of a Google search – probably knows little to nothing about you. It’s the job of your home page to make him or her want to learn more. How your site looks is important (and also fodder for another post), but what you say is important, too. Include:
- Any top-level brand messaging you have in place (unique selling proposition, elevator pitch, etc.)
- Who you are (with a link to your about page)
- What you do: highlights of your top product or service offerings with internal links to learn more
- Calls to action: Learn more! Take a look! See our Products! See our Portfolio!
2. About Us Page
Tell your visitors about your company and your team. People can be shy and don’t want to boast on their accomplishments, but the About page is one of the most frequently visited pages on a site. Since your site visitors can’t see your store or talk with you in person, they need some kind of validation to let them know you’re good to do business with.
Think of your About page as your company’s dating profile. Talk about your products, your services, and your team to make others excited to want to work with you. Actual photos of your team members at work – no stock photography, please – will help potential customers make connections with people they might be working with.
3. Contact Us Page
The contact page serves several purposes, so even if you have contact information in your footer (you should – read our post on What Should Really Live in Your Footer), you still need a contact page. The contact page houses more detailed contact information than what’s in the footer. Include your mailing address, phone number, and fax number (if you use fax for communication). A simple email form tends to work better than an email link and is less likely to attract automated web spam, especially if you use a captcha for human validation.
While it’s tempting to include many fields in your email form so you can learn as much as you can about your visitors, a long form can be daunting and send people away. Three fields – name, email address, and question or comment – typically work the best. Use your CRM software or a spreadsheet to track your contact with each visitor, filling out fields of information as you build your relationship.
And A Bonus Fourth: Landing Pages
If you do online advertising, you’ll need landing pages for each ad topic to help connect the dots between your message on your ads and the message on your website. If you promote a special offer in an ad but a click takes the viewer to your home page with no mention of the offer, you’ll likely lose that visitor. But more on landing pages in another post.
We Can Help, Too
Writing your own website content doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition, either. Our writers can provide help wherever you want it, so you end up with a website you’re completely happy with. If you want to learn more about what we can do for you, just give us a shout!