This series is to promote my upcoming Website Workshop, where participants can bring their content and design ideas and, with a few hours of work(with hands-on assistance in a small classroom setting), they walk out with an attractive website that is live on the internet and easy to maintain. Check it out here!
Articles will be released on a weekly basis on Tuesdays this month. I’ve written these based on the most common questions that I receive from others in regards to making a website.
*This series will be aimed at local business owners and those that manage associations/nonprofits. These websites will consist of 5-15 pages and will act as simple websites - like a “brochure.”
Part 1 - What text should be on my website?
Part 2 - Where do I find good images/media?
Part 3 - What are the basic design principles to follow?
Part 4 - What is the actual creation process like?
When designing a website, it is essential to always keep the overall goal in mind. At least in the case of a basic “brochure” website (which is what we’re discussing in this series), it is to get people to email you or pick up the phone and call you. That is the ultimate goal. They’ve therefore determined that your business is a credible one, and now that visitor either wants to buy from you, or at least contact you to acquire more information and move along with the buying process.
What text should be on my website?
Most people, as you can imagine, don’t like writing about themselves. We try to be modest, after all. However, when someone visits your website, they’re looking for information - so at some point or another, you will need to write about your business or organization. Nobody knows what you do and why you are unique better than you, so make sure that you allow a level of passion and clarity that keeps visitors interested.
This will obviously vary based on the purpose of your website. It’s important to plan out what pages you’ll have. In general, the basic ones would be: “Home,” “About Us,” “Services” (or “Products”), and “Contact Us.” It’s best to not have more than six items on a navigation bar, as you don’t want to overwhelm visitors with options. Four to six items is usually the magic number. It is perfectly fine to have subpages if they’re relevant (e.g. if under “Services,” you have one subcategory for an individual page to cover each service that your firm offers).
Once you plan out what pages you want, let’s move along to the actual text content for those pages.
Tips for the actual text on pages
There aren’t any golden rules in terms of things like number of words per pages to write. So if you were thinking that, then get that out of your head!
- The key is, once again, writing what you need to get people to take that next step - emailing or calling you.
- I usually recommend somewhere between 100 and 300 words per page. But this is a basic rule of thumb.
- If it is essential for you to share large amounts of information via pages on your website, they should be broken up into multiple sections with various headers/subheaders.
- In general, with text, less is more. You want to “chunk” it into various sections and be relatively brief. Give people the essentials of what you do.
- Continuing off of the three points above - images help break up text and make it more digestible. I’ll be covering images in part two of this series.
- Focus on the end benefits that your clients receive, as opposed to just listing off capabilities. Others don’t care about what you do necessarily, but what end solution that you can provide for them.
- Don’t badmouth your competitors. It is, however, okay to mention some issues with the industry you’re in as a whole and how you differentiate yourself from the competition in that sense.
You should now have a high-level understanding of organizing the text content on your website and what to write. Start getting to it - and be on the lookout for the post next Tuesday, when I discuss finding great images (and other media) for your website!