What Components Your Business Website Should Include

Whether you hire someone to design your business website or are planning to do it yourself, all business websites should have the following basic pages:

  • Home page: This is the first face of your company the website visitor sees. Make it crisp, clean, and easy to read. Welcome your customers and let them know — at first contact — how important they are to you and your business.

    Be sure to have clickable links to lead your customers to the rest of the pages in the site. Even a simple site, like the one in this figure of the im@cs consulting website, can get the point across while linking to related pages.

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  • Products/Services: If you have products or services to sell, start with a page that lists them individually. At least provide a short synopsis of the items and include a link to other pages on your site.

  • About page: Who are you? When was your company founded? (Here’s where your mission statement comes in.) What do you do that sets you apart from others in your field? In addition to your About page, include a link to the Meet the Staff page and more. Classic Nursery’s About page (shown in this figure) is inviting and homey.

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  • Meet the Staff page: Your key employees (or partners) have a vested interest in your company. You hired them because they do a great job and have a passion for their work. List them on the Meet the Staff page.

    For example, Zappos.com is serious about their business but takes a humorous approach on their web pages. Photos and short descriptions of each department link from the main Meet the Zappos Family page. For example, this figure shows the Zappos.com IT (information technology) staff along with a funny, casual description.

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    On the Meet Your Staff page, show that your company consists of real people. Include photos of you and your staff (even if the staff consists of family members). People love to see the people with whom they do business. If you’d like to give your site a warm, fuzzy feeling, toss in a picture of your office pet or family dog.

  • Privacy policy: Your privacy policy is a statement that discloses the ways your website gathers, uses, discloses, and manages a customer’s or client’s data. Several state and federal laws require a website privacy statement.

    Your policy can be so complex that it covers an entire page or as simple as the following: Your privacy is important to us. Any information collected on this site will not be sold or shared with third parties.

    Most businesses are safe using this simple example. But if you intend to share or use the data gathered on your site from subscribers or clients (such as e-mail addresses) in any way, you are bound (legally as well as morally) to disclose what and how you share.

    Because legal ramifications are involved in online privacy issues, you should check out Iubenda. On this site (shown in the figure), you can generate a privacy policy for an existing website in three steps. Legal skills are unnecessary. Your privacy policy is hosted on the web (in the cloud) and is embedded into your website using a small amount of code.

    Iubenda offers a simple policy for free; their Pro version covers more complex legalities and is available for a monthly fee.

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  • FAQs page: The frequently asked questions page is an immediate customer service shortcut that can save you and your staff precious time on the phone. Your soon-to-be, as well as current, customers and clients will appreciate this page.

  • Contact page: The Contact page is second only to your home page in importance! If you want to generate business, make it easy for customers and clients to contact you. At a bare minimum, give the world your phone number and e-mail address. If you have a walk-in location, put a map to your business on this page.

  • Sitemap: How many times have you been to a site and not been able to find a specific piece of information that you know should be there? The sitemap (see the figure) is an often overlooked but important page that lists every live page on the site. A link to it is generally found at the bottom of the home page.

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    A sitemap is also important because web spiders from search engines use this page to index your site. A thorough sitemap can help your search engine rankings.

  • Social media links: Social media is the tie that binds your social commerce, but joining a social media site is pointless if your customers don’t know you have a page there! This figure shows representative logo icons for various social media sites. Link these to your social media account pages.

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    Add a custom bar to the bottom of your website that not only will link to your social media accounts but also will allow your customers to interact with you, as shown in this figure. After you set up all your social media connections, visit wibiya to customize your toolbar.

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This list contains the bare minimum for a basic website. After you have these pages in place, you should think about adding the bells and whistles that give people a reason to visit your site.

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