Every business or brand no matter the industry, niche or location you operate from, should have a website where people can find you. When building your website it does not have to be a custom design, top of the line, all the bells and whistles type of website - just a place where people can find you online when they are searching for information, a product or service.
Too many times we are convinced by service providers and the world at large that bigger is better and it will allow us to grow to success faster. Normally exactly the opposite is true. For most people today "Less is more" and the simpler one makes it for people to find information and consume it, the better the impression you make on your audience and the higher the retention of said information.
Nobody needs a Rolls Royce when a Beetle will do but there are some basic crucial pages and options that are non-negotiable when building your website. These will convey the most important information to your market or audience and that allows you to be found by all.
# 1 - Optin / Sign Up Form
An optin is where you exchange valuable information that will resonate with your market/audience for free, in exchange for their email address so that you may contact them directly in the future with more information and offers.
This will allow you to build your email list of subscribers which is equivalent to winning a jackpot or having access to unlimited cash. These are all people that have shown their willingness to hear from you in the future, who are interested in what you have to say and will be the most likely people to buy your products and services sometime in the future.
When you have something to offer in the future, you can contact them directly and make your offer, without having to go through the whole process of trying to get them on board, as they already know you.
# 2 - Homepage
The Homepage is where they will be taken when they access your link/ URL/domain name.
It's the first thing that they will normally see. It is in your best interest to make this page as informative, interactive and engaging as possible.
It's your welcome mat, "please come in and browse around" page that should draw the reader in to want to know more about you, your business/brand or message.
Your Homepage is like a shop window in a mall that will draw the reader into the website to explore and discover what you have to offer.
# 3 - About Us page
The About Us page is the most read page on any website according to worldwide research that has been conducted.
It's the page where you inform your reader about the what, who, why, where, how and when of you, your business or brand. This is the core of your message and it's something that you should make sure is the best, most descriptive, authentic information that you can share with your readers.
Let them get the inside scoop of who you are and the message you have to share, what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there. Yes, it's a bit uncomfortable to put that information out there, but always remember, people want to connect with people, so the more real you can be the better people will be able to relate to what you have to say.
# 4 - Contact Us Page
The Contact Us page should be as simple as possible to ensure that your readers can connect with you and start building a relationship.
It's about being open and transparent, showing the world that you have nothing to hide and would love to connect with your audience and followers. Nothing is more suspect when you get to a website and there is no way, or information about how you can contact the owners/creator of the website.
Also, do not make the mistake of taking too long to respond to any messages that you receive as this will negatively affect your credibility and color any future dealings the reader may have with you, the business or the brand.
You want people to reach out and contact you, so make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
People are so skeptical about sharing their information online today and you need to reassure them as quickly and as clearly as possible how you will safeguard their personal information and what you will be doing with it and how you will keep it private
In today's information age, data is the new currency. Businesses, governments, and advertisers will find the information that your readers are sharing with you very valuable; that's why it's imperative to reassure them that its safe with you.
Here are some of the most basic points that absolutely need to be included:
- Your name (or business name), location, and contact information
- What information you’re collecting from them (including names, email addresses, IP addresses, and any other information)
- How you’re collecting their information, and what you’re going to use it for
- How you’re keeping their information safe
- Whether or not it’s optional for them to share that information, how they can opt-out, and the consequences of doing so
- Any third-party services you’re using to collect, process, or store that information (such as an email newsletter service, or advertising network)
#6 - Social Media Links
Besides using your website to be found online, the next port of call for many people when searching for information online is social media channels. Its best to find out where your audience hangs out and then concentrate on building your profile on that platform.
There should always be the option for your reader to link to your social media platform's of choice and join you there. This also provides them with ways in which they can share your awesome content and messages with their follower, friends and colleagues.
My advice is always to find which platform is best for connecting with your audience and then mastering that platform, before adding another.
As mentioned above, social media is important as many times people will start off with the social media connection, then migrate to becoming a subscriber and eventually a customer.
Although I have referred to these choices as pages on a website, they can even be sections on a one page website - just get it setup and published so that people can find you online when they are searching.
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Having a website is one of the most crucial things everybody needs in today's digitally connected world. It has become a symbol of professionalism, that if you don't have it, people doubt you are actually either in business or somebody worthy of their time or effort, so make sure you get yours in place as soon as possible - your continued career, business, unique message or brand identity may depend on it.