Having an online presence is a major strategy that can help any business reach a wider market and increase their customer’s brand awareness. If your business is just starting out on building its presence online or you already have a website and want to review your website, then here is a guide to consider for building and maintaining your website content.
Your website should give your visitors a more or less complete overview of your business. Consider your website the online version of your corporate profile and these are the basic type of contents and pages that you should have.
This section of your website serves as your introduction to your business’ goals and philosophy and the values that guide the company. This kind of information gives your visitors a more personal feel about the culture of the company and serves as a guide on how your customers can relate to the company.
The About Us section can also serve to strengthen the credibility of the company by highlighting the important personnel involved in the business. By informing visitors of the experiences and qualifications of the persons manning the business; they are able to view the business in an even more personal perspective.
They will also be able to associate the credentials of these personnel to the credibility of the business itself so it is important that you highlight the facts and experiences about each person that are relevant to the company’s own goals.
On the other hand, some businesses, especially start-ups, choose to publish information about their personnel even though these persons have no recent experience regarding the business. This is also an effective way to convey to visitors that you are sincere about your business goals. This kind of approach can be effective in gaining the sympathy of customers which can translate to patronizing your business’ products and services.
Products and Services
Depending on what the company offers, this page may be named Products or Services. For companies that offer both, then this section is titled Products and Services. Obviously, this page highlights the offerings of your business for the market.
For products, this can take the function of an online catalog where each product is displayed together with important information about the product. Good product images are an important component of the Products page as these are the first things that will draw the attention of visitors to read more about the item.
Services pages will also need visually compelling images related to the service being offered. Each service offered should have a clear and concise explanation of what the service is all about and how it can help the customer. In some websites, the minimum rate for each of the services is also provided.
Whether offering products or services or both; the page where they are highlighted should be able to provide all the information that consumers will need to know to make a good purchasing or hiring decision. So details such as prices and sizes, as well as health risks for products are important while descriptions about services should provide the benefit of each service, the minimum rate, and the contact details for the service.
Important information that should be part of the descriptions of items in this page is the warranty or the guarantee that the company promises the potential customer if they are not satisfied with the product. This is applicable if the warranty or guarantee section is not already and substantially described in other pages such as the FAQ section.
Usually, if a trial size or a trial offer is provided for the product or service, customers are more willing to try them, especially if the product is new. In conjunction with this, products and service offerings that have existed in the market for some time can benefit by attaching a warranty or guarantee so that customers will be more willing and feel safer to try the product or service.
Frequently Asked Questions / FAQ
Aside from reducing the load of emails and phone calls about inquiries and questions, a section where common customer inquiries can be answered is an essential part of any website.
The Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ page can be a flexible way to organize questions according to categories that are applicable to the business. This way, customers will also find it more convenient to look for the questions and the answers they need.
A good thing about online FAQs is that the list can actually be updated, so if there are questions about new products and services, they can be answered here. This also helps in clarifying questions regarding procedures such as product delivery, service requirements and company policies regarding transactions and such processes.
Generally, FAQ questions can be organized according to the way the rest of the website content is organized. However, established companies tend to focus their FAQs on procedures and product or service information.
The FAQ page can serve as a convenient way to answer customers’ immediate questions as well as more detailed concerns regarding policy and processes. It is also a good way to point customers to the other pages of the website where they can find out about their concerns. Thus, it is an important part of any online website.
News or Activities
Customers appreciate that companies are focused on improving their products and services. However, we all know that people are also interested in reading stories.
This is especially true online and the main function of the News or Activities page is to highlight the business’ latest activities and achievements outside of the core business. People are interested to learn what the company is doing when they are not mixing up their next line of products or brainstorming about their new service.
Did the company President or Secretary attend a conference? This information may seem to have very little impact or interest, but people would certainly be glad to learn that top company executives are expanding their learning in order to improve their products and service performance. This does not only inform the public that the individuals involved are rooting for the enhancement of the business, but also that they are continuously learning and willing to do so for the benefit of the company and its customers in turn. Remember that learning also implies progress and going forward and this can reflect positively on the company’s own image.
Did the company have a fun outing or an amazing Christmas party? It may seem that this event is not relevant to people outside of the company, but customers would certainly have a higher regard for a business establishment who knows how to have fun and lets its employees enjoy fun times too. It also speaks well of the company’s financial circumstances and can give a point or two to boost the company’s credibility scoreboard.
This may seem to be trivial information, but the fact that you are publishing this information for the world to see tells visitors that you are not afraid to share experiences with your audience. Think of this page as a bulletin board where you get to share fun pictures and inspiring stories. Of course, this section can also be used to announce important updates regarding the company’s operations, products, and services.
This type of content on your website provides a personal tone to the company’s activities that the rest of your website pages may not be able to do. Customers may also relate to the activities you attend for your advocacies and grow to love your products and services even more.
The FAQ section is a very helpful tool, but some customers and some issues and concerns need more than just the written word or a video to provide a satisfying answer. So providing customers with a way to elevate their concerns is the function of the Contact Us page.
This page is usually the most minimalist of all the pages in terms of content. Most Contact Us pages only display the company’s contact details and provide a message field where customers can type in their questions and email them directly to the company.
A more effective way of utilizing the contact form is to provide customers with a list of categories where their question may fall. The categories may be similar to the FAQ categories or can be categorized according to the different departments. This allows for a more organized way to sort out inquiries so that the customer service department or website administrator will know where or to whom the inquiry should be sent. This is easily programmable and is an efficient way to handle customer inquiries.
In some instances, the Contact Us page has been used to conduct short customer surveys. Businesses have also utilized this page to provide a listing of their store branches and the contact details for each. Other businesses even use this page to display the contact details of the point persons in each of their departments.
These are the five basic pages that your website has to have to start attracting visitors and customers online. So make sure that the content for each of these pages and the required functionalities are detailed in the plans for your website development team or service provider.