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WEB DEVELOPMENT

22 Essential Pages to include on Your Website
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-08-27

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    22 Essential Pages to include on Your Website
    by Ivana Katz

    Wondering what pages to include on your website and why? Here
    is a list of important information that should be included on
    your site.

    Before you start thinking about what to write, it is important
    that you create a plan, which outlines what each page will
    contain. That way you won't repeat yourself or forget vital
    information. The most common pages on successful websites include:


    1. Home Page (First Page)

    This is your *sales* page and should provide information about
    what you can do for your customers. It should also give your
    visitors a brief overview of what they can find on your site.


    2. Products / Services

    It is useful to have a separate page for each product/service
    and write as much detail about each as possible. Start each
    page with a brief summary of the product/service, then provide
    whatever information you can. If the page appears too long, you
    can always break it into more pages. When people are searching
    for information on the internet, they want to know it NOW. They
    don't want to wait until tomorrow when they can speak to you on
    the phone. The more information you can provide about your
    products/services, the better.


    3. Contact Us

    Place contact details in as many places as possible. Make
    it easy for your customers to contact you. Create a special
    *Contact Us* page, include your details in *About Us* page
    and also at the bottom of each page. Information to include:
    business name, physical address, mailing address, telephone,
    fax, email, emergency number, website address.


    4. Pricing

    Whenever possible include the price of your products/services.
    Even if you can't be specific. It is helpful to put at least
    a range of prices, eg. Carpet cleaning ranges between $40 - $60
    per room.


    5. Testimonials / Product Reviews / Before & After

    Include testimonials from your current customer to show your
    potential clients that you are trustworthy, reliable and that
    you offer great service and/or products. Make sure the
    testimonials are real and if possible provide contact details
    of the person who supplied you with the testimonial. If you
    don't have any right now, get them! Simply email your
    customers and ask for their feedback on your business and
    service. Most happy customers will gladly provide this.

    You could also include before and after photos. Show the
    problem picture and beside it show the picture of resolution,
    with an explanation of your product's benefits.


    6. Frequently Asked Questions

    This has proven to be a great time saver for many companies.
    Instead of having to answer the same questions over and over
    again, place them on your website and keep adding to them.
    The more information you have on your website, the less time
    you will need to spend answering questions by email or phone.

    Frequently Asked Questions should address your customer's
    concerns that may otherwise be an obstacle to making a sale.


    7. Response form such as *Subscribe* or *Enquiry* form

    An absolute must if you want to build a mailing list. Most
    people don't like giving out too much information, so ask only
    the basics, such as Name and Email Address. Then keep in touch
    with your customers on a regular basis by sending out information
    that may be of interest to them. You may even wish to develop
    your own on-line magazine (ezine). There are many fantastic
    free or inexpensive programs that can handle this for you.
    We will discuss these in more detail in future articles.


    8. On-line Magazine or Newsletter

    This is a great marketing tool. Not only does it help you keep
    in touch with your customers, but provides your website with
    fresh content. You can set up your Ezine in 2 different ways:

    1. Email subscribers on a regular basis or
    2. Publish it on your website. Or both. Include information
    about your business, industry or anything that may be of
    interest to your customers.


    9. Resources/Articles

    Add value to your business. Provide information that is
    complementary to what you do. For example, if you sell wedding
    dresses include information about reception venues, wedding
    planners, wedding cakes, flowers. By adding extra information
    you encourage more hits.


    10. About Us

    This is a very important page as it tells your customer about
    who you are and why they should buy your products, services
    and/or trust your organization. It can also feature your
    business hours (if you have a bricks and mortar store) or when
    they can speak to someone live. Many companies also include
    their mission or purpose on this page, details of their staff
    (photos, biographies, qualifications), recently completed
    projects. Other information to include: ACN or ABN, logo,
    directions to your store/office.


    11. Guarantee

    Offer a money back guarantee. The longer the guarantee, the
    more effective it will be. It could be 30 days, 60 days,
    1 year or lifetime.


    12. Survey

    Find out what customers think about your website, business or
    product.


    13. Events Calendar

    This can relate to your business or industry. If you are an
    artist, you can feature dates where and when your art will be
    displayed or if you are a singer, where you will be performing.


    14. Search My Website Feature

    Some visitors to your side may not know exactly what they want
    but if you include a search function on your site, they can look
    for it very easily. Like search engines, this feature will
    allow your visitors to type in a word or phrase and then search
    for it on your site. It's like having your own mini search
    engines, only instead of it searching the world wide web, it
    just searches your website.


    15. Return/Refund Policy

    To make your customers feel more comfortable when making a
    transaction at your website, you should provide then with your
    return/refund policy. Ensure it is easy to understand and
    spelt out step by step.


    16. Privacy Policy

    Privacy continues to be a major issue for customers shopping
    online. Concerns about how their information is going to be
    used is a major barrier when making a sale. Internet shopping
    experience is built on trust and privacy is the number one
    ingredient in trust.


    17. Site Map

    A site map is similar to a contents. It shows visitors how
    the site is laid out and which sections are where.


    18. Copyright Information

    Your website should carry a copyright notice to protect its
    intellectual property. It is generally in the form of
    *Copyright 2004, Your Company Name*.


    19. Links

    Here you can place links to the manufacturers of your products,
    trade associations or complementary services. When you place
    links to other businesses, you can request they do the same for
    you. This will not only bring you more visitors, but may
    improve your search engine ranking.


    20. Media Information

    Include any information, articles, photos of your products,
    staff etc that have appeared in the media - print, TV, radio
    or internet.


    21. News

    This can include news about your products/services or about
    your industry.


    22. On-line store

    An on-line store allows you sell products directly on the
    internet 24 hours a day/7 days a week. When building an online
    store it is important to take in a number of key concepts.


    - Make sure that when visitors arrive at your store the
    navigational mechanisms are simple and effective
    - The actual process of placing the order must be simple
    - Make sure you accept common and convenient methods of payment
    - Continually test your store so you understand your customer's
    shopping experience


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ivana Katz is the owner of Websites 4 Small Business, a company
    specialising in the design and promotion of small and home-based
    business websites. She believes that every business deserves
    to have a successful website, no matter what its budget is.
    For more information visit www.web4business.com.au or email
    mailto:info@web4business.com.au. To download your Website Plan
    go to: http://www.web4business.com.au/WebsitePlanRequest.htm

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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