This mean seem like an easy question to answer but, as I have been finding when I talk with clients in my website business, it’s not necessarily the same for everyone.
There are some obvious pages that everyone needs. Then it is a question of thinking about what potential clients need to know in order to decide whether to take the next step with you or not.
And then there are some other pages which might be relevant and helpful to you.
Every page on your website should have a job. It needs to add something. It needs to be valuable. Otherwise you’re just either wasting your time or, worse, wasting potential clients’ time (which means they’re more likely to get bored or distracted and leave without doing what you want them to do)…
The pages I have set out here are the key ones that a serviced based business should have. If you’re running an e-commerce store then you will need slightly different pages (including obviously a shop page).
1. Home Page
Every website should have a home page. It is the page many visitors will land on first (although they may land on a blog page if your blog drives traffic from search engines or a landing page if you’re using ads).
I talk more about what you should have on a website homepage in the blog post 7 key things to include on your website homepage. But the role of your homepage is clear. It’s purpose is to show people they’ve come to the right place (or they haven’t as the case may be), it is worth their investing time in this website because it looks like you can help them, and to signpost them where to go next. Ok that’s 3 jobs it has to do. So it needs to be good!
Seriously though this is the page of the website you need to ensure really is the best it can be. Because otherwise people won’t go any further.
2. About Page
You may have heard people say this page isn’t about you, it is about your client or potential client. I don’t think that’s quite right either.
I like to think of this page as the “why you” page. It is about both you and your potential client.
It is a difficult page to get right. People either tend to write way too much and bore the pants off the readers. “My grandfather started this business in 1971” is not the best introduction.
Or they kind of miss the point of the page.
In the blog post “It’s not all ‘me me me’ – writing your About page” I go into much more detail about what should be on this page. But knowing who you’re writing it for and how you would explain why you’re the right person for what they need is key.
3. Contact Page
Do you need a contact page? Can’t you just put your contact details in the footer?
Well I’d highly recommend having one. Because you want people to contact you! Therefore you need to make it easy.
Visitors expect to see a contact button on the header menu. Yes you can make this so you can click on it and it takes you to the relevant footer section, but a separate page is so much cleaner!
Having a separate contact pages gives you the opportunity not just to share contact details, but also to let visitors know who will answer and/or perhaps how long to expect for a response. You can also add in forms that collect the information you really need (like which service they’re interested in). If you’re very clever (or use a professional) you can even tie this into your CRM (I use Dubsado).
So this is not a page I’d recommend skipping!
4. Services Page(s)
Service pages set out the services you offer. I also recommend setting out pricing on this page or pages (I have a whole blog post on putting prices on your website which you can find here). And you should include testimonials here too (in fact testimonials should be used throughout your website but they’re particularly valuable here).
I’m not a fan of a separate testimonials page. Have you ever read one? Seriously, you get about 3 testimonials down and your eyes glaze over. You rarely get to the one that you think “that could be me”.
And I’m also not a fan of separate pricing pages generally. Put them on with the service descriptions.
Should you just have the one services page or do you need to separate out your services? Well that depends…
Obviously if you just offer one service which solves one kind of problem you just need the one page.
But if you offer several services??? Well if they solve the same kind of problem, but in slightly different ways you can get away with putting them all on one page. Provided that doesn’t make the page too long (no-one wants to keep scrolling to find what they need). You need to be more disciplined in what you write about each (that is never a bad thing anyway!).
But if you offer different services for different people or problems then you should think about putting them on separate pages.
We’re in the process of building a website for a mobile bar business. They offer the same bar(s) to weddings, events and corporate events. But we put these on different pages because they’re very different audiences (corporates don’t necessarily relate to images from weddings) and the packages are slightly different for each.
5. Information Page(s)
Depending on what you do there may be quite a lot of information you need to answer questions potential clients may have before buying or getting in touch with you.
Some of these pieces of information may be so important they’re on the home or services page (eg how many people can your venue cater for), but otherwise you may have a separate relevant page or a Frequently Asked Questions page.
We’ve built a few websites now for wedding venues. If there is accommodation on site we usually put this information on a separate page so we can set out the various rooms, what is included etc. This is very relevant information but is much better on a separate page to the “wedding services” page.
You might have a separate page with the process so potential clients understand what is involved. A “how we work” kind of page.
Alternatively you could have a Frequently Asked Questions page which gives all the information someone might need before getting in touch with you. Because sometimes people might not want to speak to you or email you to find out – it may depend if it is a “deal breaker” for them.
If you listen to this podcast often you probably know we’re big fans of blogging (we even wrote a blog post about why you should blog). We’ve published over 60 ourselves. Yes we don’t just talk about blogging but put it into action too.
Without wishing to steal the thunder of our blog episode, the reasons you should think about blogging are:
- it shows your authority (we blog about all sorts of things related to websites and marketing – it shows we have a wide knowledge and you can trust us to do a good job)
- it is good for SEO (we get a lot of website traffic to our blog posts because a couple of the posts rank highly for certain terms/questions that potential clients ask)
- you can repurpose the content across all forms of social media – we regularly get about 10 – 15 Instagram posts and reels from a single blog article
And of course if you do blog you should have a blog page which sets out all your blog articles.
7. Portfolio or Case Studies
Whilst I’m not a fan of a separate page for testimonials, I’m a big fan of a separate page for your portfolio or case studies of clients you have worked with.
Our portfolio page is one of the most viewed on our website. Visitors want to see what you have done. How you have helped other people just like them.
These are longer stories and so don’t fit so well on other pages. Also, not everyone wants to read every case study so you need to allow visitors to choose the ones they want to read. So you might choose to categorise them. We did that for a garden designer recently. The portfolio page has different categories like contemporary gardens, cottage gardens and formal gardens so visitors can see examples of the kind of gardens they’re interested in.
8. Other Pages
There are many other pages you might want to consider adding to your website, depending on what you do.
If you regularly hold events or go to events (or workshops), then you might want to a separate page for these. If you do, then I would like this back to your other services so that people who can’t make those dates see how else you can help them.
If you sell physical goods or downloads you might want a separate shop page. You could of course just include these in with the relevant services. When we built the website for Fleur McCrone’s Fine Styling business we added her DIY wardrobe edit e-book to her wardrobe edit page rather than having a separate shop page.
For the same website we added a sustainability page. Eco-credentials, social responsibility etc are big topics now and many clients want to understand what you do in relation to these. You can address it in an About page or even on your homepage but, if it is important enough, it may warrant its own page.
If you host your own podcast then you should have a separate page with your podcast episodes on. Many podcast hosts provide links you can embed on your website. We use Captivate and they have their own plugin for wordpress websites which automatically adds the latest episode. Yes it means one less thing for me to do each week.
If you are trying to get press for you or your business then it is worthwhile having a good media page. This would allow any journalists, etc to look at what you can talk about and the press you have already been in. You could also add a bio and images that journalists can download and use. You want to make their job as easy as possible.
If you do have a media page on your website then make sure you keep it up to date. There’s nothing worse than an out of date media page (advice I could do with heeding myself…)
Similarly, if you are looking to get booked for speaking gigs then having a separate speaking page is a good idea.
You could include some video clips of you speaking at other events (these don’t need to be long). You could include the kind of topics you can speak on. And of course you should include some reviews or testimonials from events where you have presented.
Sales pages are similar to services pages but used to promote a particular offer. These are often used if you’re running ads or promoting a particular offer via social media or email. You might send visitors to a specific sales page. These may not have a menu or items in the footer as the purpose is to get people to sign up to whatever it is that you are promoting without getting distracted by anything else.
9. Legal Pages
There are certain legal pages which you should consider adding to your website.
Website terms and conditions set out the terms on which someone can view your website and state things like the copyright belongs to you (ie they can’t copy things from your website without your express permission), you’re not responsible for any viruses as a result of visiting your website.
If you need help with any of these legal policies we have teamed up with Termageddon (this is an affiliate link which gives you 10% off their prices and a small commission to us) who can guide you through writing these policies. Or consult a lawyer.
I’ve covered a lot of different pages that you could have on your website in this episode. Not all of them will make sense for everyone! You need to choose which ones are most relevant for you.
At its most basic I recommend everyone should have separate pages for:
- plus relevant legal pages
It may also make sense to have other services pages, an FAQ page, a portfolio or case study page, events page and/or a shop page. If you blog then include a blog page, if you host a podcast then add a podcast page, if you want to get into the press a media page and if you’re looking for speaking gigs then a speaking page.
That can be a lot of pages! You don’t need to add them all at once. I recommend starting with your basic pages and then adding the others.
Critically, not all of your pages need to be on your menu at the top of each page. In fact, I’d recommend no more than 6 or 7 go on this navigation menu. You can add more through a drop down if you like. But you can add links in from other pages. And you can use the footer at the bottom. I’d certainly recommend you don’t waste valuable space at the top of each page on your legal pages – these can go in the footer.
I’m sure there are many other pages you can add to a website. It’s a case of thinking what your target audience needs to know before mapping out the relevant pages.