Developing The Layout and Content for a Business Website
Developing The Layout and Content for a Business Website
Building a company website is serious business and requires some dedication regarding content and structure. Indeed, it does not mean you need to give it all the time but it requires some care to have it succeed. The fact is the success of the website will depend on the first impressions it makes to visitors.
So how should one approach this huge task of setting up a web page for a company or any other organization? This post approaches this problem from the perspective of a beginner and provides the guide.
Critical Aspects of the Web Page Outline
â€¢ Part 1: The Homepage
â€¢ Part 2: The company About Us page
â€¢ Part 3: The Products and/or services pages
â€¢ Part 4: Customer Testimonials page
â€¢ Part 5: The Company Blog
â€¢ Part 6: Contact Us page
The Home Page
The homepage is undoubtedly the most important. It provides the layout for internal pages and guides visitors on how to use the site and what the entire site will be all about.
What should the homepage outline look like? Letâ€™s look at them in greater detail.
â€¢ You will have your company logo displayed at the top left. This will normally be linked to the homepage.
â€¢ The top right will be be good to have things like:
o Phone Numberâ€Šâ€”â€ŠA customer contact phone.
o Addressâ€Šâ€”â€ŠThis will be because it is given so your customers can find your business location, but itâ€™s also great for search engines to be able to â€œtieâ€ your company to a particular location.
o Search barâ€Šâ€”â€ŠHaving a search bar at the top of the page isnâ€™t necessarily a requirement. But if your site will have a search bar, itâ€™s best to put it in the top right hand side of the page and every other page on the website thereafter. This makes it easier for your customers to search for what theyâ€™re looking for without having to browse the site. Search bars are very good for larger sites without a lot of products and/or services. For well planned smaller website, the search bar may not be necessary.
Â 2. Navigation or Main Menu
This section will determine whether your visitors will be guided to look at internal pages and to believe that the website contain what they are looking for. The content of these internal pages will also affect how they navigate the entire site. The following layout should guide you in setting up the navigation or main menu.
â€¢ The first option should always be HOME.
â€¢ Second navigation item should be your About Us section.
â€¢ Third navigation item should be your Products and/or Services section.
â€¢ Fourth navigation item should be about your customers: testimonials, case studies, customer logos page, etc.
â€¢ Fifth and last part of your navigation bar should be a link to your Contact page.
3. Main Banner or Slideshow
This is usually the largest section of the homepage. It should draw attention immediately and project the focus of the website, company services or products. It is also used to display the most popular product offering. You can do this in one banner or with the use of multiple banners. A good rule of thumb is to reserve this for your most popular products or services. Ideally, 3 banners are very good for the position. It will be advised that it should not have more than 5. The reason it is good to restrict the number of banners is because the more you load banners on the home page, the higher the file size and that could add up to slow down your website.
4. Contact Us Form or Opt-in form
Experiences have shown that one thing prospects and customers will always want to do is to check if the website owner can be contacted. The contact form should always be placed at a very conspicuous position to assure that there is always a way for your customers to contact you.
5. Introductory paragraph
The introductory chapter welcomes your visitors and gives an introduction to the services you offer. You will do well to empathize with your customers in your introductory presentation. You can input some links to your internal pages in this section. To keep it simple, you can typically add the â€œread moreâ€ and link this section to the â€œAbout Usâ€ page.
6. The Module Positions or Buckets
The module positions contain other information presented on the site and could be used to present an advertisement, an image placed at a particular position and so many other contents which you will want on the homepage. Modules are good and actually determine how beautiful the website can be.
This section is also of great importance as it can be used to feature some very important information. Amongst others, it can be used to:
â€¢ Display your latest news or press releasesâ€Šâ€”â€ŠNot only does this keep your customers informed on the latest happenings of your company, but it also lets search engines know your website is staying up to date and fresh.
â€¢ Display a set of customer testimonialsâ€Šâ€”â€ŠThis section will give customers a brief look at how youâ€™ve helped other people as well as an option to read more testimonials. Nothing boosts the sales process more than seeing all the customers your business made happy.
Â 8. Footer
The footer is very important part of a business website. It has pretty much the same information as the top of the website, but can also be an area to have other information as well.
â€¢ Middleâ€Šâ€”â€ŠOther ways to connect with the business as well as any social media buttons or links.
â€¢ Right sideâ€Šâ€”â€ŠSite linksâ€Šâ€”â€Šthis will usually be the main navigation from the top as well as a link to your sitemap.
â€¢ The footer provides a way to add a link to the site from the designer. This link can sometimes help your SEO as a backlink.
With this guide, your website should convey the right kind of information and retain your visitors for a reasonable time.Although there could be many other guides that will be good for website designing. We find this a good one to achieve your objectives.
The â€œAbout Usâ€ page
The about us page tells you who the business is and it will create the image for your online company. It gives you the opportunity to create an image for the website by telling your story and trying to build customer confidence. Confidence building is crucial because on the internet, no body appears physical for any examination. It is the About Us page that determines what the customer or visitor would believe.
Letâ€™s look at how a website About Us page should be constructed.
â€¢ Company History
Begin with your company history. When did the business start? How long have you been in business? Customers want to know your history because it helps them connect with your business and also gives some insight on your reputation.
â€¢ Mission Statement
The mission states the primary purpose of the business. You need to craft that statement for your visitors. Your mission statement will be quite brief but can include your targeted customers, who you want to help, and how you will help them.
â€¢ Your Team
Itâ€™s a good practice to include those behind the business on your page. This is particularly helpful where you establish contact with your customers. Putting the people behind the business on the website makes the face familiar and builds good confidence and assurances with the people with whom you do business.
Awards and certifications if any
Letting your visitors know how have some credibility and recognition is a good practice. Itâ€™s a good way to instill confidence and trust in your customers. Letting them know about these recognitions is a good practice and helps build sales also.
The Products and Services Page
This is the most important section or page after the Homepage. The product and services page is about the offerings you are asking your customers to buy. You must work with a good layout.This section can be broken down into two parts:
The main products and services overview page
This page can just serve as the table of contents for your products and services. Start with a main paragraph that welcomes the visitor and briefly states how you can help them, followed by a list of all your products and services. The key to this page is to keep the content brief, with an introduction of only a sentence of two for each product or service as well as a small thumbnail.
2. The products/services detail pages
You will on this page provide some more detailed description of products/services with a clear call to action if they are interested in purchasing it.
Here are suggested features that will help you lay out the detail page of your product/service:
1. Large header graphic
3. Product brochures
In this post, we have provided you with what should be essential and enough to prepare the layout and build the content for a business website. This guideline will work perfectly well for any organization also and will only need to be adapted to fit any need.