Building a website for your business can be overwhelming. When you’re first formulating your website strategy, or if you DIY’d your website and you’re wondering if you’re on the right track, you likely have a lot of questions:
- Which pages do I need to include on my website?
- What platform should I build my website on?
- How should my website look?
- How can I create a website that looks how I want it to?
- Where the heck do I start??
Well, my friend, today we’re going to cut through the overwhelm. This article will help you create a simple plan to finally get your website up and running.
As with most things in life, the most difficult part of creating a website is often just getting started. And this is a great place to start – outlining content just for the pages that are essential right now, so you have something to show your audience, clients, or customers.
Website Strategy: The 4 Pages You Need on Your Website
Before we dive into talking about which pages you need on your website, let’s make sure we have the right mindset going into it.
When you’re just starting out in business, it’s easy to let big projects like this overwhelm you. You might look around at your competitors’ websites and think to yourself, “Sigh, their website is perfect. I’ll never be able to create something half as good.”
This is a friendly reminder not to compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle! You have no idea what your competitors’ websites looked like when they first started out (and chances are, they were nothing like the site you see when you type in their URL today).
The most important thing to remember when you embark on your website creation journey is that websites are always growing, changing, and evolving. Websites are dynamic – they’re not set in stone.
Your goal at the beginning shouldn’t be to create the website equivalent of the Vatican. We’re just aiming to build a humble house with a few organized rooms, so people know what we have to offer.
As my favorite life coach Brooke Castillo always says, don’t be afraid to do B minus work! We can work up to the Vatican later.
No. 1: The Contact Page
When I’m creating a website, I like to start from the “bottom of the funnel,” or wherever I want a customer to end up. For most service-based businesses, this is the Contact page. (Even if you’re not a service provider, people still need a clear way to contact you!) Starting here will help you get inside the mind of your customer and envision their journey so you can meet their exact needs at each stage.
The Contact page is the last place your potential client goes before they’re in your inbox. For that reason, this page needs to be super clear, straightforward, and easy to access.
The copy you write on your Contact page can either help or hurt you. The goal is to make it easy for people to approach you with their inquiry, request, or comment.
Keep in mind that a person coming to this page may be experiencing a variety of potential emotions – excitement about the possibility of getting to utilize your service, nervousness about a request they have from you, or even frustration at something that’s gone wrong in their journey. Your Contact page should create the space for them to feel comfortable enough to share what’s on their mind.
Here are some important elements to consider including on your Contact page:
- Welcoming headline
- Functioning contact form (make sure to test this so no emails slip through the cracks!)
- Frequently Asked Questions section (answering some of the most common questions people ask will help keep your inbox clean!)
- When people can expect a response from you
- A direct email – Some people don’t want to fill out all the fields in your contact form and would prefer to reach out to you directly. This one is a must!
No. 2: The Sales or Services Page
Moving up the funnel, just before a potential client reaches out to you via your Contact page, they’ll likely be learning about your offer on a sales or services page.
The job of a sales or services page is to demonstrate the value of your offer, explain what’s included, and encourage your ideal clients to purchase from you. In essence, it’s a digital sales pitch.
If you offer multiple services or offerings, it’s a good idea to create a separate page for each of them. This will cut down on the word-clutter and make sure the writing on each page is ultra-focused on guiding people straight toward the action you want them to take.
That being said, if you’re launching your website for the first time, just focus on creating a sales page for your most central offer for now. Later, you can add more pages for the different services you provide. Just get an offer out there – don’t get stuck thinking your entire suite of offerings has to be perfect before you launch.
A lot of people tend to get uncomfortable when writing their sales or service pages because they worry about sounding too “salesy.” And for good reason! Nobody wants to come across like a scammy salesperson trying to make a quick buck. So how can you avoid this?
There’s a lot more to say about this topic, but when you’re writing your sales page copy, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you should always be presenting your offer as a solution to your client’s problem.
A common and useful copywriting trick is to follow the P.A.S. framework: Problem – Agitate – Solution:
- Problem: Become intimately familiar with the problems, struggles, and concerns of your ideal clients. What keeps them up at night? What do they wish could be different about their lives? Which struggles are they eager to overcome?
- Agitate: What will happen if these problems continue? What’s at stake for your prospective clients if they don’t get their problems solved? Remind them of the pain your service helps them avoid or, alternatively, the positive result that’s within reach.
- Solution: This is where you present your offer! Make sure you’re upfront about what’s included and be clear about how your product is the solution to a problem.
How long should your sales page be? We tend to think we need a long, scrolling page to fully explain what we’re offering, but that isn’t always the case. I like to follow the principle of writing enough text to get the point across, and no more. In other words, be as concise as you can while thoroughly explaining the value of what you’re offering.
Include at least one clear, bold Call to Action (CTA) so people know exactly how to take the first step!
No. 3: The About Page
Now that you’ve got a website page that explains what you’re selling and a way for people to engage you, you’ve got the solid beginnings of a winning website strategy! The next step is to create a page that provides more information about who you are.
Why might people visit your About page? Most of the time, it’s to gain reassurance about who is selling to them. For this reason, your About page is an incredible opportunity to build trust with your audience.
A mistake a lot of new business owners make is that they think their About page is all about them. But, just like every page on your website, your About page should always be reinforcing what’s in it for your client.
The people who come to your website are interested in what your business can do for them. Yes, you’ll want to spend some time explaining who you are and what your business is all about. But if you can remember to keep the needs of your prospective clients in mind while writing your About page, you’ll be more likely to connect with them.
Include information that makes it easy for your ideal clients to see that they’re in the right place.
No. 4: The Homepage
We’ve arrived at the top of the funnel – your homepage.
A website’s homepage is like the foyer of a house – it’s where people form their first impressions, but it’s seldom their final destination. With this in mind, we want to make sure this page accomplishes two goals:
- Make a good first impression, and
- Make it super easy for your website visitors to move onto another page
For homepages, simplicity is the name of the game. When people come across your website for the first time, they should be able to easily (and quickly!) understand exactly what you can do for them.
Again, keeping your client’s needs at the forefront, create a headline that clearly states the value or unique selling proposition of your business. Who is your business for? What’s unique about the service you provide? What result do you achieve for your clients?
Moving down the page, give your users opportunities to move to other areas of your website. For now, this could be a link to your newly created Sales or Services page. Later, you can add links to a blog, testimonials, a portfolio, or other products and services you add.
There you have it – the only four pages you need to launch (or refine) your website. Now, you have a website strategy to start implementing, and you’re one step closer to putting your offer out into the world!