Website Content for Small Business Websites
How do you design a web page? If you have never had a website before you may not know what content you should include or how many web pages to place on your site.
The answer to this is as much as possible because if there is nothing there to interest your website visitors then they will soon leave.
Also, the more text content that you have on your site the more likely you are to be found on the search engines.
The requirements of some small businesses are fairly straightforward in this respect.
For example if you are a consultant then you will want to tell your visitors about the services you offer and encourage them to call you or to contact you using email links or enquiry forms.
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WHAT PAGES TO INCLUDE ON YOUR WEBSITE >
If you provide tourist accommodation and you want a hotel website designed you will probably want to use lots of images of your bedrooms and other areas. You will also require an enquiry form and information about your charges. In effect the web pages on your site will reflect the content of your brochure. The following are some of the more common web pages that are used in many websites. You should consider some of these as starting point when thinking about your own website content.
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An "About us" web page is generally used where you want provide your site visitors with information about your background as an individual, a business or a company. This may include history of your business and information about the staff and/or their qualifications.
Other information could include financial information about the business, etc. Essentially this is your opportunity to convince your prospective clients or customers that you are a good company and to give them the confidence to contact you.
The "Contact Details" web page can be used to provide all the information that your prospective clients or customers need to contact you. This is really the most important web page on your website because the whole purpose of your site is to attract clients or customers and to get them to contact you or to buy the product(s) or service(s) that you offer. I often also put contact details at the top or bottom of every page to make it easy for my site visitors to find these.
A LOOK AT MY WEBSITE CONTACT PAGE AS AN EXAMPLE
Better still - call me to prove that it works!
A web page with an enquiry form may be relevant if you provide a product or service that people may want to find out more about. Remember that getting customers and clients to make contact is what this is all about. When they provide you with their contact details you are on the way to doing business with them. Enquiry forms can also be developed to ask your enquirers for the information that you require about them. This is better than a plain email link since this allows them to provide the information and ask the questions that they think are relevant (as opposed the information you need to answer their enquiry.)
HAVE A LOOK AT MY ENQUIRY FORM WEB PAGE AS AN EXAMPLE
A Products and Services web page provides you visitors with details of what you have to offer them. For example if you are a consultant you should provide details of each of your main services. If you provide training you should provide details of the types of training you have available. If you sell more than one product or service the products and services webpage can be subdivided and categorised into more pages as required.
If you provide any kind of service to other companies or individuals a Portfolio web page is another great way of giving them the confidence to contact you. This page can list previous clients or work that you have done.
HAVE A LOOK AT MY PORTFOLIO WEB PAGE AS AN EXAMPLE
Testimonials provide reassurance to your clients or customers. You will know from your own experience that you are happier doing business with companies who can provide evidence that they have many satisfied previous clients. If you have testimonials you may want to consider placing these on a web page.
MY TESTIMONIALS ARE INCLUDED IN MY PORTFOLIO WEB PAGE >
A resources web page, i.e. pages with links to other sites, can gain you goodwill by providing your site visitors with additional information about your products or services. You may want to consider including a links web page bearing in mind that the links should not directly or indirectly lead to your competition. I provide a typical links web page on this website but my aim is to provide as much information within the site rather than sending people elsewhere.
HAVE A LOOK AT MY UK WEB DESIGN LINKS PAGE >
If you have an eCommerce website you will require shopping cart pages.
HAVE A LOOK AT MY ECOMMERCE WEBSITE INFORMATION >
Lets forget about the actual web page content for the moment. The structure of your website is also very important.
We must create your web site identity so that when people move between the pages they know that they are still in your site. If you have ever visited a site with a different layout, colours and fonts on every page you will know what I mean.
Text size is important. Using text that is too large is as bad as that which is too small. Paragraph text size should be roughly the same as a printed page. This however is complicated by the fact the people can change the resolution of their screens and their browser settings.
I generally use the optimum setting for this and I am always interested to hear if people have any problems viewing my websites. If you have any problems with the layout or text size on this site I would appreciate it if you could contact me to let me know about these.
I generally create a common web page header or "masthead" that is used on all the pages. I also place the menu in the same position on each page, (generally a panel on the left or right hand side, top and/or the bottom of each page.) This site uses a standard classic navigation structure with which most people who surf the Internet are familiar. I don't recommend any deviation from this standard that will cause your visitors problems when they are seeking information.
Other simple things are also important. For example, many people expect to be taken back to a home page when they click on the page header images. This is fairly standard, simple to implement and it should be used on all sites.