If you’re building and designing a website, the sitemap and page count can become overwhelming. Only because… how are you supposed to know which pages are necessary? Will people visit all the pages?? How much content has to be on these pages??
If you’re getting concerned, don’t worry. We’ll start with the basics.
Do I even need a website??
Let’s answer the burning question first: why do we even need websites these days? Isn’t Instagram with a LinkTree enough??
No. Even if you’re doing most of your business on Instagram, you still need a website that belongs to you. Why? Because Instagram can take away access as easily as it gives it.
For example, I’m a copywriter, and the word “copywriter” had a warning banner a few weeks ago… blocking all traffic to the hashtags and accounts with that word (yes, someone could type in my complete handle, and they would see a warning about copywriters).
You can’t build your business on someone else’s platform: let’s diversify your “funnels,” and the best place to start is your website.
5-Page Website vs. One Page
Something is better than nothing, which is why I have a course about writing your own one-page website that can still rank on Google.
So, if you have nothing and you’ve been building your presence on social media, get up a one-page site right away.
For Google: the more pages, the better. 5 pages is a manageable number as you build a robust website.
The 5 Essential Webpages
If you’re ready to build more than a single-page site (and drive people to take action and work with you), here are the five pages you need:
Obviously, you need a home page, but the home page’s job is to send the reader to the next logical section.
You want a little about all your services, your about page, and probably a contact form on there somewhere, but you also need buttons and links so everyone knows what the next step is.
Ultimately, your home page is very important, but when it comes to search engines, your customers may never visit your home page. They may end up somewhere else on your site. Every page needs to have everything on it for a reader to decide to buy.
That’s why you need to spend just as much time designing and writing your other pages.
Services pages are great because you get to do a deep dive into why you’re unique and how your process makes a difference for clients. We love service pages. Ideally, you will have a separate service page for each service. But to keep it to a 5-page website… I’ll let you get away with one page with blurbs about each service. As you build out your site, those blurbs should have buttons to the individual service page.
This page gives you a lot of search engine value, and it’s probably where a reader will end up if they don’t land on your home page.
What we love about individual service pages, though, is the opportunity for specific keyword targeting—finding the right keyword or keyphrase to write that page around and bring your website up on the first page of search results.
These are also awesome for search results because people still type questions into Google! It’s also just a helpful page for people to look at, and you can get rid of those basic questions you’re tired of answering. These can be basic questions about your industry or the specifics about your offerings (how long is a class? do I pay monthly? etc.).
I know most of the time, questions are specifically about pricing. If you are in a position to share that right on your website, it could filter out the people who aren’t the right fit. Sometimes, people just hunt for the price, and they’ll bounce without reading the rest of your content. So, it’s important to keep them engaged and demonstrate your value before you share the price.
About pages are interesting because they should be more about your customer than about you, proving that you understand their problems and you’re the right person for the job. You need to keep that reader in mind the whole time.
For example, the fact that I have two large dogs doesn’t really come up on my website (it might say something about running around the lake with one of them… I don’t remember 😳). It’s not a connection point for my clients.
But if your ideal client is an outdoorsy, animal-loving person, then maybe you want the photo of you with your dogs on there.
It totally depends on the client. Not you 😊
However, people want to buy from people, so your About page can be less formal and maybe include a video so they see the real you (especially with so much content written by bots lately).
Blog & Optimized Pages
Blogs are not dead. We can call them something else, like “resources” or “articles,” but the biggest mistake I see small businesses make is ignoring the opportunity for a blog on their website.
Let me tell you: there is nothing more frustrating for me (someone who doesn’t want to ask for help and cause any problems) than seeing something cool on Instagram, then going to the brand’s website, searching, and finding NOTHINGGGGGG.
First: the content you have on your social media feed should reflect the content already available on your website (no one wants to search hundreds of highlights and posts to find that one piece of information)
Second: these pages are great for search engine optimization. Write blogs about your services and your location (if you’re location-limited), and you WILL start showing up when people search for answers to their problems.
Bonus: Contact Page / Form
Of course, but let’s make it funnnn
Make this page surprising and delightful, so they’re excited for you to get back to them!
Maybe you have the contact form on every page, but you can still make it strongly branded with fun button text that shows your personality and tells them what to expect when they work with you.
And let’s keep it short: inquiry forms should NOT have many fields. If you give them too many questions to answer, they probably won’t answer them at all.
It should be so easy to say yes to you.
Writing a Website
Getting all this content together is the trickiest part for most people. Which is where I come in 😊
I will learn allllll about your business, send you an outline with a plan for your site, and make all the content come together in one week.
Do you have a 5-page website? Fewer? More? I want to knowwww.