What pages do I need on my website?

When you’re creating a website, it can be hard to know where to start – and when it’s okay to step back for a while. There are loads of different pages you can have, and it can be overwhelming trying to imagine how you’ll find time to create them all. However, we’ve got good news for you: you can create a professional, complete website with just six essential pages. These pages will cover all the bases, from showing your personality to sharing your products – and you can add any other pages you want to add later!

Homepage

This is where your customers will land when they first come to your website, so make sure you make it engaging and clear! Give your company’s name pride of place, and follow it by a subheading or strapline to ensure it’s clear to every visitor what you do – remember that not everyone will be there because they looked you up specifically! Maximise your chances of converting new customers by showing them that you can give them what they need.

Use call-to-action (CTA) buttons to provide clear pointers to other key areas of your website via a menu and short sections leading to these areas (e.g. a short introduction to you, followed by a link to the full about page), to give your customers an easy path to follow and keep them engaged. They’ve come to your website for a reason, so make it enticing for them to stay there!

About page

People like to know they’re doing business with a human being, and this page gives you a chance to show them that you’re just that! Show your customers who you are with an insight into your motivations and personality. You could do this by telling the story of why you started the business; introducing your canine- or feline-in-chief; telling people a little about your background… just be yourself!

For another human touch, don’t forget to add a photo! If you’re a little camera shy, you could always use a photo of your four-legged-friend or your workspace – just something that will inject even more personality into the page, while keeping it visually engaging.

For more advice on creating an effective about page, we love these tips from Moz.

Contact

There are countless reasons why a visitor to your website may want to contact you: a query about a product or service; a business enquiry; a collaboration request… the list goes on, so make sure you give them a way to get in touch! The simplest way to do this is a contact form, but if you have a bricks-and-mortar location, then use a map feature to show them exactly where you are. You can also include an email address and phone number if applicable – but make sure your email address is something professional and in keeping with your wider branding.

Store OR product information

If you have products or services to sell, an online store is the perfect way to do this. Even if you also have a physical location, selling online means that you don’t ever have to miss a sale. You can sell without even being awake! Make sure your products are all clearly listed, with all the relevant information; this will save your customers having to ask for clarification or return items, and it will save you from having to answer questions or process returns!

If you don’t have products or services which can be listed in this way, you should still have a products/services page: this is a great place to show off what you do! Give all the information you think potential customers will need to make a decision, and, for extra impact, include your contact details on this page too – giving them a way to take the next step once you’ve won them over!

Testimonials

Until your customers have seen how great your products or services are for themselves, the best way to breed their trust is to show them how satisfied other people have been. If you don’t have testimonials already, why not reach out to some of your satisfied customers to see if they’d be happy to provide one? If you’re going to do this, just make sure you’re complying with GDPR, and not contacting customers or sharing their data without their consent.

It’s up to you how you structure this page, but a good rule of thumb for any copy-based page is to keep it visually engaging with product images and an easy-to-read layout. For extra impact, you could also place testimonials or quotes throughout your website!

Blog

Just like the about page, a blog is a great way to show your personality and create a loyal following. As well as this, it’s also a place to share exciting news, from product updates to promotions. If you need any more persuasion, businesses with blogs receive 55% more traffic than those without!

If you can, it’s good to get into the habit of sharing regular (e.g. monthly) updates. This will help you to get into a routine and open up the lines of communication with your customers. If you don’t always have big developments to share, that’s okay! You can also update on smaller or more personal developments, such as plans, house moves, goals and more. Your customers will appreciate the insight into the human behind the company. If you’re stuck for ideas, articles like this have some great advice.

Once you have these pages, you’ll find that your website has a complete, professional feel to it. When visitors come to your site, they won’t be left wanting at all – just these few pages will give them all the information they need to really engage with your business.

If you don’t already have a website, you’ll need a simple way to create these essential pages. We’ve designed Go Sitebuilder to be a simple and effective way to get online, giving you everything you need to grow your business, wherever you are – no technical skills needed! Try it free today.

Essential work-life balance tips for small business owners

One of the best things about running your own business is that you get to be your own boss. Not having to work in one place or between set times gives you a freedom you’ll rarely find when you have an employer. This freedom brings a wealth of benefits, but it can also be a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to work-life balance.

While employers might enforce working at certain times, this will most likely also enforce not working at other times – something it can be harder to do when you work alone. If you’ve struck out on your own, or are thinking about it, you might be wondering how you can maintain a work-life balance when all the running of the business falls to you.

The good news is that it’s possible! We’ve created a free eBook with some easy steps you can take to ensure that you can maintain a good work-life balance whilst also running a successful business. With a little planning, you can make sure you’re taking care of yourself, so that you can properly take care of your business!

In this eBook, we’ll share:

How to value your time

How to prioritise your health

The importance of prioritisation

How technology can help

Enter your email address to download your free eBook today

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Eight ways to build a social media following

Social media can be a great way to reach people, gain customers and keep them engaged, as well as growing your brand as a whole. But how can you make sure you’re using your valuable time effectively?

The idea of growing your following on social media can seem daunting, but there are a few really easy steps you can take to be well on your way to success. Once you’ve done some of these, you’ll realise it’s actually nowhere near as scary as it seems! With a little bit of planning and thought, your follower numbers will be climbing in no time.

Understand who your audience are (and focus on the networks they use)

First of all, who are your audience? Are you mostly targeting a certain age group, or a certain lifestyle category, such as young parents or travel enthusiasts? If so, find out which social networks they’re most likely to use. There are loads of great resources like this article from Hootsuite which will help you to understand where you need to place your focus.

If you’re not sure who your audience are, don’t worry! Looking at competitors; talking to your existing audience; just thinking about who you want to be interested in your products – there are plenty of ways to get a better idea of who you’re targeting.

Make the most of useful apps and tools

Even if you’re focusing on one social media platform in particular, it’s likely that you’ll need to at least occasionally use other platforms. Juggling messages, comments, likes and tags on several different platforms can get overwhelming – especially if (or when!) your following increases. Fortunately, there are loads of tools which make managing multiple accounts as easy as managing one.

As well as using products to link your accounts, make the most of the existing connections between the platforms. If you post regularly on Instagram, for example, why not turn on post sharing to Facebook, so you can update the two pages at the same time?

Be human

We may be all for automating processes, but that doesn’t mean that your posts need to lack personality! Social media is a great way of connecting with your customers as individuals. Interact with them, respond to their questions, and engage with any mentions of your brand – if they’re positive, it’s free advertising!

Over two-thirds of customers are more likely to recommend a brand if they’ve had a positive experience with it on social media, so it’s really important to try and ensure that you’re creating a positive environment on your page. There are loads of ways to do this, but the best thing you can do is be yourself. Your brand is all yours, after all!

Help, don’t sell

In keeping with the above point, your customers want to be treated like individuals, and to feel like they’re speaking to a human being. It’s best not to focus too much on selling, as a rule – if you can build a good enough rapport with your customers, you’re more likely to make sales anyway! It may seem like a contradiction, but if you can establish your company as a helpful presence on social media without constantly selling to them, your potential customers will react much better to the idea of buying from you.

Use great photos (it doesn’t have to cost a lot)

People are more than twice as likely to engage with a Facebook post with an image, and tweets with images get 150% more retweets than those without. Wherever possible, keep your posts engaging with images. Most smartphones these days have pretty good cameras, so it’s actually easy to take great photos with minimal effort. If this isn’t really your thing, or your product isn’t something you can photograph, make the most of the interactions you’re already having. Have they tagged you in a post you can share? Has your product helped them to achieve something they would be happy for you to promote?

When you don’t have any images of your own to share, you can also use stock images to liven up a post. There are loads of free websites where you can find great images which are suitable for reuse, without the risk of copyright issues arising.

Build a community; don’t buy one

It may be tempting to go for a ‘quick fix’ and go down the route of buying followers, but this isn’t how you’re going to grow your brand long term. Slow and steady really does win the race on this one. If you can create an engaged community of followers on social media, you’re much more likely to see your brand having a wider impact further down the line. This is especially true seeing as Instagram has begun to take steps against inauthentic follower numbers.

The best way to build a real community is to really listen to your target audience. Ask questions, engage with their responses, and keep up a rapport with them. Why not run a competition, or even a weekly photo challenge featuring your products? There are endless ways to keep people engaged, but perseverance is key – engagement fluctuates, and that’s totally normal!

Work with influencers (but be careful)

Over the past few years, there’s been a huge rise in the number of brands working with social media influencers: accounts with a lot of followers, and therefore a lot of influence over people’s decisions – hence the name. There are a few different ways to go about this: you can ask them to review your products or services; you can set up giveaways; you can ask them to feature your products in one of their posts; the possibilities are broad-ranging.

This said, there are a few things to be aware of. Sending your products to an influencer does not guarantee exposure: the more popular an influencer, the more likely it is that they get sent a lot of products – and that they are selective in what they post. Make sure you choose who you contact carefully; don’t send your products to someone whose account (and therefore follower base) isn’t in keeping with your goals and values. Not only will they be less likely to feature you, but it probably won’t build you the right audience if they do. Last but not least, don’t do anything you can’t afford to do! If you can’t send freebies out just yet, that’s okay – focus on other ways to grow your audience for now, until you’re in a better position to come back to this.

If you have the budget, try some paid ads

Paid social advertising can be a great way to widen your audience, gain a better understanding of who you’re reaching, and know if you need to retarget at all. It’s definitely worth looking into its benefits if you have the budget, but, as with the above point, don’t overstretch yourself! Some social media sites will offer advertising credits from time to time – make the most of this wherever possible. If you don’t have any credits, it’s totally fine to leave advertising until you can spare a bit more budget, or to set a very low limit for a pay-per-click campaign. Focus on growing a community organically, and you’ll soon find you have the budget for advertising after all.

This might seem like a lot, but it’s actually surprisingly simple! The key things to remember are:

  • Stay relatable
  • Make your life as easy as possible
  • Understand your audience
  • Be helpful

Keep these ‘rules’ in mind, and you’ll surprise yourself with how quickly you can end up with a successful social media presence.

Once you’ve got all the followers, make sure you give them a way to become customers! If you haven’t already, you can create a great new website today: download the Go Sitebuilder app on Google Play or the App Store, or access it through your browser here.