As a modern, forward-thinking, friendly business you’re creating a spiffing website. But you’re facing a problem. You’re not 100% sure what pages your website needs. Or how many.
Whether you’re working on your first ever site, starting afresh, or revamping what’s already there, the same hurdle is shoved in the middle of the track:
What pages should my website have and how do I decide what they’re about?
Jumping this hurdle is easier than you think. And I’ll show you how.
What pages do I need for my website?
Most clients choose my Up & Running website content service. This gives them five pages of website content and all the trimmings that gets them, well… up and running.
A few clients know exactly what those five pages are for. They understand who’s visiting their site and know what information they’ll be searching for.
Most of my clients have no idea. And that’s OK. They come to me knowing the three core pages every website needs: homepage, about page and contact page. The other two pages are up for debate.
So how do you work out what you should use those other two pages for?
I’ll show you in a moment exactly how. But an important starting point is understanding this:
Your pages need to be relevant. And they need to drive site visitors towards a goal.
When working with my clients to uncover what pages their websites need I offer up three tips to help them think this through.
If you’re facing a similar struggle, give these three things some thought and by the end of it you should have a clearer idea of the website pages your business site needs.
Tip 1: Identify important services or products
Are there products or services that are best sellers or more important than all the others? Dedicating a page to one service makes communicating all of its benefits and features much easier.
Without any other distractions this page can be set up to sell and promote this one thing. Your visitor is forced to give this one particular thing their full attention.
To give you an example, on my site I’ve got dedicated pages for my website, blog article and email services. There are other things I can write, but these are the most important ones that I want to let visitors to my site know about. These are the services I’m trying to sell most of. And I make that clear by giving them their own pages.
Tip 2: Know your CTAs
A call to action (CTA) needs to take your site visitor somewhere after they’ve clicked it. So, another way to work out which website pages you need is thinking about where you want to take users after they click a link or button.
For example, imagine you run a cake-making business. On your homepage you mention your cakes are made with local ingredients and the packaging is made from recycled materials.
You know you want the time and space to explain this. There’s more to say than you can squeeze onto the homepage. So you take people from the homepage to a dedicated page where you can talk about this at length.
You’ve just identified another website page you need. When I work with clients, this is how we uncover how many pages their site actually needs.
By having a rough idea of the content you want included on your core pages (especially your homepage) you’ll be able to draft your CTAs. This forces you to build a path for your site visitors.
When you get enough of these down, you can then sketch out a site map.
I’m crap at drawing these, but they look a bit like this.
I rough site maps out on paper, using a pencil and keep a rubber handy. But I’ve seen folks lay them out in word, paint or even in an Excel document. Its technical name is ‘site architecture’ and it’s not a service I officially offer, but it’s a document I can help you piece together for the sake of our project.
Tip 3: Define your audiences
Everything on your website is done with your audience in mind. That means you have to understand who your audience (or audiences) are. It’s the only way to speak to them effectively.
Understand who your audience is and you’ll grasp what they need from you.
Let’s return to our cake business example.
If you attract lots of couples needing a wedding cake it’s a good idea to dedicate a page to that specific audience. Or if you can define your audience’s age, perhaps they’re 60-70 and nearing retirement, then you can include a page for that audience.
Even though I harp on a lot about audiences, it really does have to be a starting point for so many of your marketing decisions.
How many pages should your website include?
**Truth bomb warning**
You ready for this?
Your website is never finished.
And accepting this makes it so much easier to answer the question of what website pages you need and how many.
The beauty of websites is how flexible they are. You can redesign it, build it up and strip it back as your business needs. There’s no fixed number that answers ‘how many pages should your website include.’ Your website should include as many pages as are needed to give your site visitors the information they need and move them towards the action you want them to take.
What pages are you putting on your website?
The above three tips are how I help my clients define the website pages they need. But I don’t believe it’s the only way business owners and fellow content marketers work this out.
If you’re working on a website project — either your own or your clients — I’m keen to hear what techniques you use?
Or perhaps you’re struggling to know what website pages you need to include and think you might give one of my tips a try? If you do, let me know how it works out.
Leave a comment here in the post or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know.