It’s a question we get a lot from entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to develop or redesign a website: “What pages should my site have?”
Sometimes, new clients simply feel lost or overwhelmed by the web design process. Occasionally, clients expect some sort of mindblowing answer in which we identify brilliant page ideas they’ve never heard or thought of that will revolutionize the way they do business.
Depending on where you fall, we have some good news or some bad news.
It’s Best to Stick to Standard Web Pages
The anatomy of a successful brand website is pretty basic. Customers and site visitors have deeply ingrained expectations of what they’ll find and where they’ll find it. And they don’t appreciate having these expectations messed with.
If users can’t easily find what they’re looking for, they leave your site for a competitor’s. Your small business website needs the same fundamental pages every other one has. Usually, it’s even best to give them the same names everyone else gives them. In many cases, it’s also advisable to use as few pages as possible while covering everything important in a logically organized way.
This isn’t to say there’s no room for creativity. There’s lots, but it’s mostly in your site’s copy and imagery. Website structure, navigation, page names, and much of the layout should conform to well-established best practices. That’s a big part of building a user-friendly website that keeps visitors on your site, gives them what they want, and converts traffic into leads into sales into fans.
Basic Small Business Website Pages
There’s no one right answer as to which web pages your site must have (though it’s not going out on too flimsy a limb to suggest you need a Home page). Every case is different, with plenty of individual factors in play. But here’s a glimpse of standard web pages for small business sites to give you an idea what’s involved in a basic structure.
Every small business website needs a Home page. It’s the first page most inbound traffic sees and therefore the introduction to your brand. A great home page accomplishes a lot of things quickly. It tells visitors who you are and what you do, communicates your unique selling proposition and brand promise, establishes trust, and engages your target market.
The About page is where visitors go to learn additional specific details about your brand. It should offer insight into your brand personality, policies, philosophies, and practices. Some talk about their company history or personal background; this can build rapport and trust—if it’s interesting and brief. Often, you cover products or services here if you don’t have individual pages for these purposes.
If we were singling out the three most important pages for a business website, this one would round out the list with the above two. People need to get in touch with you. If you have a physical location, give the address (which helps with Google business listings). Provide a phone number and/or email address you’re proactive about answering, or a contact form that forwards to an email address of your choosing.
Also, list your business hours here (or the About page) if applicable.
Blog or Resources Page
Regularly updating your website with quality, relevant content is a huge part of inbound marketing to increase targeted traffic to your site. It improves search engine ranking, builds brand credibility, improves user experience, fields basic questions you otherwise have to be contacted about, and more. A blog or page for articles or resources is the standard way to accomplish this.
Products or Services Page
If it can’t be covered in a simple and straightforward way on your About page, your products or services should be outlined on a dedicated page. While users often want to know about features, remember that it’s a focus on benefits that really sells. Sometimes, this page serves as a directory leading to landing pages for individual products or services.
Portfolio or Testimonials or Clients Page
Including one or more of these elements builds brand credibility. If you’re in a creative field, people definitely appreciate seeing samples of your work, so take the opportunity to show off what you can do. Adding real, attributed testimonials from happy customers or clients is also helpful. Or, if your clients list is impressive, flaunt it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page
If you or your staff spend time repeatedly answering the same questions from existing or potential customers, a FAQ page helps. List these questions and give short, easy-to-understand answers, ordering them with the most common and most significant questions first.
E-Commerce Store Page
One last basic web page many brands benefit from is an e-commerce store. There are important considerations before making the leap, but if you offer the convenience of buying from you online with the click of a few buttons, it’s likely to increase your revenue.