Five Common Website Pages – Which Ones Do You Need?

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Common-Website-Pages_0I’ve noticed a recurring trend when talking with clients about their websites and the types of pages that they want. They say one thing, but mean entirely something different.

They’ll talk about a splash page when they mean home page, or a squeeze page when they’re actually talking about a landing page.

A recent talk with a customer went something like this.

Customer: “We want to have a great splash page and be able to do this, this and this…”

(I cringe as I’m anticipating he’s getting ready to start talking about Flash animation)

Me: “What splash page are you talking about? Are we thinking about incorporating a splash page? Tell me more about what you’re thinking there.”

Customer: “Yes – when someone lands on the site, we want the splash page with this awesome slider, this great button, and these articles, and this feed…”

Me: “Oh – ok – you’re talking about your home page. That’s something almost entirely different, but I get where you’re going.”

Customer: “Oh – ok. Well, whatever you call it we want to …”

… And then he continued to go on about all the different things he wanted to have and we finally got it all out on the table. Now that we know what we’re all talking about, it’s a little easier to set our game plan and start putting things together.

Understanding the different types of pages you need to have on your site is important because you need to understand what each page is designed to accomplish and what you want your visitors to do once they get there. (Click to tweet)

Different types of pages on your site are there for different purposes and you’ll need most if not all of these pages discussed below.

1. Home Page

mint

Simply put, this is the first page that someone sees when they come to your website. This is your index page and it can come in all kinds of varieties. For blog sites, it’s usually the latest 10 posts, for companies, it’s optimized to introduce the company – the really fast “who”, “what” and “why”, along with a clear call to action that they want visitors to click to dig deeper. E-commerce sites may list products and sale items. It’s very different from site to site, but the goal of this page is to quickly introduce visitors to the content and get them to dig deeper.

I’ve heard this page be referred to by each of the following page types, so it’s important to make the distinction.

Here are three great home pages:

2. Landing Page

moz

This is a page that is focused on gathering traffic and moving them through your funnel – whether it be to opt in to a email list, or to purchase a product. It’s called a landing page because that where you want visitors to “land” – whether they come in by a link via social media, or a search – the goal of a landing page is focusing clearly on one call to action and to drive conversion.

Here are three great landing page examples:

3. Squeeze Page

productlaunchformula

This is a page that is meant to build your list and capture email addresses. It may be an existing site and a service, or it could be one that is up and coming. This is the kind of product that Premise or LeadPages.net work really well for. The content on these pages is highly specific, and concise. You’re not going to see a lot of copy on these types of pages.

These kinds of pages are so tightly focused that they’re usually devoid of navigation links because they don’t want traffic leaking to other places on the site.

And three examples of great squeeze pages:

4. Sales Page

optimizepress

This is a page dedicated to promoting a product for sale. They’ve traditionally been really spammy and ugly, but they’re getting better and website owners are taking greater care in how they create these pages. The objective is tightly focused on conversion in as few clicks as possible to get visitors to buy.

On pages like this you’ll get a lot of information, hype, big sales buttons, and deals too good to pass up along with testimonials and other kinds of validation. The goal is closing the sale.

Here are three good examples sales pages:

5. Splash Page

24hourfitness

A splash page is a page that’s used as a gateway to a website. These pages are usually very stark with little content, the exception being that users are presented options for which way they’d like to proceed. Splash pages also are used to present users with basic opt-ins for sites and web apps that are opening up for beta testers among other things, but the principle remains – very simple, very focused direction for visitors to follow along the path that the website owner wants them to take.

Here are good examples of splash pages:

You’ll also see them on sites for alcoholic beverage producers like Budweiser where visitors have to enter date of birth information to be able to proceed.

Conclusion

Each of these page types represents a different focus and they can all be used on your site to help you build your web business. You don’t have to have all these pages on your site, but if you’re being strategic about how you’re doing your marketing you’re going to need at least a couple of these. You’ll also see, as you think about your website strategy that you will have a time and place to have each of these pages in your plan.

What kind of pages do you have on your site? How effective have they been for you?

images by Terry McCombs and Leo Reynolds