Most first-time website owners are at a loss when they set up their websites. They simply do not know what information they should have on their websites. If you are building your website, below are some ideas to help you get a head start. Decide which is most important but do not crowd your website with everything just because you can.
Products and Services
Give as much detail as you can for each product and service. Never assume your buyers or customers know about your business. Always give more information than is needed. Be as specific as you can – colors, sizes, weight, price – and include photographs or illustrations.
Be open and upfront about your contact details. Include your physical address, phone numbers and email addresses. You can place these details on each page of your website or you can place them on the page titled "Contact Us". If you have a physical store, this is the best place to include directions and map to your location. Plus, do not forget operation hours.
Everyone likes to hear what your users, buyers or customers feel about your products and services. Make it a point to collect testimonials from your customers after each transaction. Testimonials can be on a page by itself or you can scatter them on various pages of your website. However, use real testimonials and include the customer's names, their company name and geographic location for better reliability. If your customers are not shy, ask if you can put their photographs next to their testimonials. For better impact, record them saying good things about you and place these audios on your website.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you find yourself answering the same questions over and over, it's time to have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on your website. Draw up a list of questions customers usually ask – these can range from the common to the not-so-common. Pick 10 to 15 questions from this list and answer them as clearly as you can. Use this as your initial batch of questions. Add more questions and answers to your FAQ page from time to time.
About the Company / Founders
Many websites waste this page because they do not tell much about themselves or their company. Use this page to tell a great story about how you began the business. Describe miles, achievements, successes, affiliations and yes, even hobbies and personal information. You've been surprised how many people want to know how you started and what makes you, well, YOU! Include photos of the people in the company. Too many companies use boring stock photos of perfect models that look nothing like regular people.
Do not let your website visitors leave without capturing their information. They may not buy from you now but who knows about the future? Design your website with a mailing list so that you can grab these visitors' names and email addresses in return for an offering such as an informative report or free newsletter. Ensure your mailing list sign-up form is visible on all pages of your website.
Everyone's looking for information when they arrive at a website. Have a specific page which caters to these information-seekers. Write articles, post interesting links to other websites, offer free reports or white papers and cool tools. If you update this page frequently, your visitors will visit often! (Note: If you can not write, you can always get free articles from article directories on the Internet.
Guarantees and Policies
Forums are great for building communities who share the same likes and hobbies on your website. Before you go about starting a forum, think of the pros and cons. Yes, you may attract the right crowd (who are likely to be your customers) but you will also need more resources in terms of time and manpower to moderate the forum and answer questions or kick start discussions.
Having a blog incorporated into your website is a good way to update your visitors and customers about what's happening. Like a forum, a blog will take up your time and you will need to blog regularly. Nothing is worse than reading a blog that has not been updated in aeons (this is visible because of the date and time stamp on your blog). If you do not have time for a blog, keep this an idea for now. You can always insert a blog into your website later when you are ready.