I talk a lot about the importance of having a website for your business, and it’s not just because I am a total website geek…it’s because it really is important.
I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I do when I hear about a new business is look it up online. I want to know what the business is all about, what other people think about it, who owns it, etc. I basically want to know all I can possibly know about it before I even make the first contact with that business. The reasoning behind this is simple enough: we all like as little risk as possible.
It’s true. Generally, people don’t like surprises and they want to be “in the know” when it comes to just about everything. If I’m going to try out a new restaurant, I want to see their menu and read what other people have to say about it before I go there. So if I look up that restaurant name online and nothing comes up, that’s an issue for me. It may even stop me from going there, which sounds super dramatic, but it’s true! I want to know what to expect from that business beforehand so that I am less likely to be disappointed.
Creating your business website is simple enough (I give a step-by-step tutorial in my post Starting a Blog on Your Lunch Break: The No BS Guide.) but figuring out what to post on said website is the hard part…or so you thought 🙂 In this post, I’m going to give you a jumpstart to creating kick-ass content for your business website and explain all the things you need to include to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.
But first, why is it important to load your business website with content? Here are just a few (of the many) reasons.
- Engaging, valuable content will increase your website traffic
- Your website acts as an introduction to your business, before the consumer has even contacted you directly
- Having a complete website and a wealth of information builds your credibility and authority in your niche
There are manyyy many other benefits to having a content-rich business website, but those three are particularly noteworthy because the ultimate goal of a good business website is to drive traffic and build trust for your brand. So for those reasons, it is of the utmost importance to build your business website correctly include the right content.
What Should I Post on my Business Website?
1. The basics: This covers all of the general information about your business, including but not limited to:
- Telephone Number
- Email Address
You want these things to be in a place that is easy to find and you want it to be on multiple pages. Many business websites have this information at the bottom left or right, which is good because that is where most people look first. It’s also a good idea to have a “Contact Us” page in the main menu of your site where it is easily accessible. WordPress offers a ton of nifty, easy-to-use plugins that you can use for contact forms.
2. An “About Me/Us” page: Part of building credibility and trust in your business is being transparent. Having a face to go along with your brand makes it more personable and authentic to your readers. Your about me page can include whatever you want, but should at least include your name, a photo of you/your team, a little bit about yourself personally and then a lot about your personal connection to your business.
3. What you’re selling/offering: Well, duh…right? Even if you don’t want to list your pricing, you should at least include what products/services you offer. Typically, a product-based business will list pricing on their website, especially if customers can buy items directly from the website. If you are a service-based business offering babysitting or dog-walking, there may be multiple factors that ultimately determine what you charge, so you can list your services and then have potential customers email or call for pricing.
Case Study: I called a local cat grooming salon the other day to get some information about their pricing. Their website lists all of the different options that they offer (I was going to go with the Lion Cut, of course) but it doesn’t list their prices. I wasn’t put off by this, because I know a lot of service-based businesses operate on a “it depends” pricing system. The woman who answered the phone [very nicely] said that the pricing starts at X, but it ultimately depends on how matted your cat is and how difficult they are during the grooming process. Which I completely understand…but I probably won’t take my cat there because if we’re basing price off of behavior, it would probably cost me a cool $1,000 when it was all said and done. Yeah, he’s a cat only a mother could love.
A great addition for your products/services page is a “free estimate/quote” contact form. Potential customers can fill in the form and tell you a little more about their situation and then you can provide them with more accurate pricing.
For example, Easley Does It Lawnscapes, a landscaping company in Greenville, NC, has a Services page on their website that lists the services they offer, but the pricing isn’t listed. This is a perfect example of “it depends” pricing. Of course they aren’t going to list a flat rate for grass mowing, because one customer may live on one acre and another customer may live on one hundred acres. But they have a contact form that potential customers can fill out to get quotes. Perfect.
4. A gallery or portfolio: This is a place to show off your best work. It can include photos of your products, photos of happy customers or before and after photos if you’re in a business like landscaping, organizing, hairdressing, etc. You can get really creative here and show people the quality of your brand! Every website builder that I’ve used has had gallery plugins that make organizing photos really simple! Photo Gallery by WD is a responsive WordPress.org plugin with fantastic reviews – you can learn more about it here.
We live in an extremely visual world, and you know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. You can talk about how amazing your products and services are all the livelong day, or you can let photos of your work speak for themselves.
5. Customer testimonials: Have you heard the term “social proof?” It is basically “proof” from other customers that your business is what you say it is. If you say that you offer top-notch dog-sitting, how awesome would it be to have an entire page of testimonials from happy customers singing your praises? It’s no different than wanting to read a hundred reviews before purchasing a refrigerator – people want to know that they’re getting the best there is…and there’s no better “proof” of that than the words of satisfied customers.
Sure, there are other places online where people can review your business…Facebook, Yelp, Google (just to name a few) all have a reviews program. But the advantage to having a testimonials page on your website is that you control what reviews are included. Not saying that you should sweep constructive criticism under the rug, because it can be extremely useful, but for the sake of putting your best foot forward, it’s a good idea to highlight your best reviews on your business website.
6. A blog: “I’m a business owner…not a blogger.” Okay, fair enough. But guess what, you don’t have to be a blogger to blog! If you are an authority in your niche, (which should be a goal of yours as a business owner) you are qualified to write quality content about your area of expertise.
A blog can be an excellent resource for your readers and provide them with tons of helpful information. Let’s say you’re a yoga instructor. Your business website has all of your basic information, has photos of your students in yoga class and has reviews from your students about what a kick-ass teacher you are. Now, how can you add even MORE value to your website?
Ahem, a blog.
The possibilities for writing about yoga (and every other type of business) are endless. You could write about the history of yoga and where it originated, how it benefits your health, how it compares to other forms of exercise, a list of 20 yoga poses to try…etc. As long as it relates to yoga, it has a place in the blog section of your website. You want your website to not only drive business to you, but to also serve as a learning center for your readers. Not to mention, the more quality content coming from your website, the more likely people are to find your website in the first place. Someone may not be Googling “yoga instructors near me,” but they may be Googling “simple yoga poses” – and if you have a blog post called “simple yoga poses,” chances are that person is going to end up on your business website, when they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Alright, friends. I hope this post has inspired you to fill your business website with tons of amazing content, and to start blogging (even if you aren’t a blogger). 🙂 If you don’t yet have a website, check out my post Starting a Blog on Your Lunch Break: The No BS Guide – it’s called starting a “blog,” but really it is a post about starting a website in general. It’s a great “prequel” to this post!
Got a question? Drop me a line below!