The FIVE Content MUST HAVES for an Effective Website

The FIVE Content Must Haves for an Effective Website | Home Sweet Hyatt Studios

If you're stuck with what content to put on your website, you're not alone. It always brings me back to the dozens of interviews that I completed in my previous corporate life. I hated talking about myself. I hated talking about my experience. I hated feeling like I was competing with other people with the same end-goal of being hired.

However, as much as I hated it, I did more mock interviews than I can count. I rehearsed over and over my answers to certain questions. There was one job that I went for (and was hired on!) that I literally had THIRTEEN INTERVIEWS. Thirteen! I think I'm still recovering.

That being said, your website is the number one place that should sell you and your services. It's your permanent resume. Everyone can see it. Everyone can read it. And, if you have a secure host, it should be up ALL the time working for you! It's like a permanent recruiter.  :)

If you're trying to figure out what to put on your website, here are a few things that your audience expects to see on your website. This should give you a head start!

#1 | Professional Photo

I know, I'm not a fan of it either. However, people want to know who is behind the service or product they're purchasing. ESPECIALLY for services! If you're a coach, a photographer, a florist, an event planner, any sort of business where you're working one-on-one with a customer, you better have your gorgeous mug on your site!

#2 | Social Media

Let's say it's September and you're targeting a huge special around the holidays for your business. If someone just lands on your site in September and doesn't have a way to find you to keep up with your business, they'll forget about you and won't see your business updates. Make it easy for them to find you by placing social media in the footer of your website!

#3 | Services + Pricing

Always make sure to list out EXACTLY what is included in your services. If you say you're a stationery designer, what does that mean? What does your work entail? There is ALWAYS debate on whether prices should be listed on a website, especially with photographers. Everyone has a preference based on their experience and comfort level. If I'm looking at websites, though, and I don't see prices, I immediately feel uncomfortable reaching out to the photographer to ask, if I don't even have a ballpark of a number to start with. My preference? Put a starting-at price so your customers know if their budget is completely out of line with yours AND to protect your business by not giving a "set in stone" price by using the words, "starting at." 

#4 | Portfolio

The proof is in the pudding! THIS is where you need to show it all off and let your work speak for itself. If you sell services, like a business or life coach, testimonials are HUGE as a portfolio asset. Prove to your audience that your business is legitimate. Prove to them that incredible impact your business has on your customers. Make them feel like they cannot leave your website without contacting you because of the incredible work you do!

#5 | Verbiage/Wording Tips

This is the part that most people hate. This is the part of the interview (and my own website design process) that I had the hardest time with. What makes you an expert? What would make someone purchase your services? What sets YOU apart from all of your competitors? What the heck are you supposed to type on your website to fluff it all up and tie it all together?

  • Home Page:  Ready for my number one tip for the content that must be on your website? This is the biggest pet peeve of most people that I network with to test my customer websites. If serve a specific location, put your location on your website home page. Front and center. Save yourself the embarrassment of someone emailing you asking where you're located to see if they're even in your market. Or, the unknown embarrassment of that person not taking the time/effort to email you and simply closing out of your website because they have no idea where you serve. This also helps Google find you, so that's always a win!
  • About Page:  Put that pretty mug of yours right on your about page. People expect it! When you're writing your 'About Page', pretend you're in an interview for a job. When that interviewee asks you the dreaded question of, "Tell me a bit about yourself.." instead of telling them about your favorite ice cream flavor (oreo + cookie dough, duh), talk to them about your experience, your background, and how you've helped to solve a problem with your expertise/services/products. On your website, it's important to focus on telling your customer what you can do to help them. Tell them about your experience, your background, and how you've helped others with the services/products you sell. Don't throw tons and tons of numbers out there to make yourself sound like a schmoozy sales-person/robot, but truly talk to them. If you let them know about your experience, background, and what you can do to help them... throw in the ice cream flavor, too. ;)
  • Contact Page:  Another great place to add social media icons or even your live Instagram/Twitter feeds! Put a simple, easy contact form that someone can fill out to reach out to you. Although, make sure you capture information you want to receive from them right out of the gate! One of the most beneficial things to include on your contact form: 'Where did you hear about us?' -- you'll know where to focus your marketing based on these answers over time!

Feeling a bit more comfortable with approaching your website content now? My best advice is to get the facts and figures down first. Figure out what you want/need to include on each page and fill in the rest of the details as you go! 

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