Jun

What content should be on a website?

12 Foundational Elements You Need

What content should be on a websiteStruggling to figure out what content you should have on your new website?

The most important thing you need to know about website content is that each time a visitor lands on your website they’re asking “What’s in it for me?”

They want to know quickly if you understand their problem, if you provide the solution they’re looking for, and what it’s like to work with you.

Everything else you do is built on that foundation.

What content should be on your website?

The content on your website should be focused on building a connection with your dream customer. Tell your story by crafting a really great homepage and about page. Especially important for your website content is knowing what you want visitors to do when they land on your site and have super clear calls to action that deliver value by providing lead magnets to generate leads. Deliver the resources your visitors are looking for.

One of the biggest things that most people struggle with when it comes to developing a new website project is not having a clue what content they need to have on their website, nor do they know how to create it.

But today I’m going to demystify what you need so you have a clear path for what content should be on your website and how to get it created.

What content should be on a website?

When it comes to starting a new website or redesigning an old one, one of the first things people get really excited about is the look and feel of the new design.

I get it.

I do too.

But even the best looking website in the world is going to be highly ineffective if the content that you have on your website isn’t dialed in with the fight focus.

Miss that and you’ll end up frustrated and confused not knowing why our website isn’t performing the way you think it should.

The content that you have on your website should tell your story, inform your customers and prospects how you solve problems & provide solutions, how they can find you and get in touch with you, and provide the documentation that’s appropriate for your products & services.

Here’s the deal:

It’s all about them, not you.

Of course you’re part of that equation.

But the goal is to introduce them to your world in a way that communicates that you understand them, that you understand their problem and that you know how to lead them to the solutions they’re looking for and can solve their problems.

The features you need to have are all secondary to having really well put together copy and content for your website.

What needs to be on your homepage

The header section is where you get to make your first impression. This is where you start to tell your story to your visitors and you want to capture their attention fast.

Your main headline needs to communicate clearly the problems you solve. Don’t be clever, or try to be witty here.

Communicate clearly.

Tell your visitor exactly what they get and what benefit they’ll receive by working with you.

Communicate how you understand the challenge or pain that your customers face.

Illustrate how that situation impacts your customers and the effects it has on their lives.

Explain how you remedy these situations with the benefits and advantages your business delivers.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a brick and mortar business building an ecommerce website, or you’re building a platform funnel – the purpose of your homepage is to immediately communicate that you understand and you can help.

Anything else will fall short.

What needs to be on your “about us” page

This is where your visitors really get a chance to know you.

On your about us page you need to tell your story.

The most important factor here is to keep the focus on your visitor while you’re telling your story.

You want to build a connection with people so they can relate to where you’re coming from.

Russell Brunson talks in Expert Secrets about the power of telling your story.

  • How did you get to the point where you’re at now?
  • What struggles did you have along the way?
  • What setbacks did you face and how did you overcome them?
  • What does the timeline look like to get from where you started to where you are now?
  • Then follow that with answering the following questions:

    How can I help?
  • Who am I – what’s my bio?
  • What do I do?
  • What am I working on?
  • What does it look like for others to work with me?

Validation on this page goes a long way too.

If you’ve got testimonials, this is a great place to present them.

Don’t use corny third-person corporate speak here.

Be relatable.

Be human.

People do business with those that they know, like, and trust, so you’re going to want to pull out all the stops here to build those factors into the content on this page.

Keep the focus on them.

What pages do I need on my website?

There are several other pages that you need on your website too. I’ve covered that in depth here.

A clear purpose/call-to-action

One thing that my clients rarely understand when they come to me is what purpose they have for their site and what they want people to do there.

I can’t tell you how many times people say something like “I want them to read the content here”, or “I want them to learn about our business” or something like that.

That’s when we begin the conversation about calls to action and having a purpose-driven website because, in most instances, they don’t realize they’ve got a purpose, they just don’t know how to articulate it.

So here’s the one big question that breaks through everything:

When someone lands on your website, what’s the main thing you want them to do?

This should be something measurable.

Here are a couple examples:

When someone lands on your website you want them to download a free resource to get them onto your email list.

You want them to initiate a free trial.

You want them to buy a product.

The main point here is that you have a clearly defined action you want for your visitors to take when they land on your site and you can measure whether or not you’re being successful at achieving that goal.

So figure out what it is that you want visitors to do when they land on your website and measure it!

Your Story

Here’s the thing about telling your story on your website.

People don’t like humble-bragging and thinly veiled self-congratulatory stories.

They don’t care about your corporate history.

Seriously, unless it’s a student who’s writing a paper for their MBA class, there aren’t a lot of people who are interested in hearing you toot your own horn.

Instead what they want to hear is how you overcame your obstacles to get where you wanted to be.

They want to see and read about how a real human that was a lot like them was able to achieve the kinds of results you achieved and how they can do it too.

They want to know about the significant moments in your timeline that changed everything for you.

They want to know what you’ve gone through to get there.

They’re looking for authenticity, humility, and vulnerability.

That way they can relate to you a lot better.

So stuff the corny stuff and get real!

How you solve problems & provide solutions

You’ve no doubt thought that you need a products and services page.

Or perhaps multiple pages for products and services.

But here’s the deal:

The content on your products & services pages needs to clearly community the benefits and advantages of the features you offer.

No one anywhere likes techno-babble.

Think about it this way:

Say you want to Best Buy because you wanted to buy a new TV, so you get the sales person’s attention.

You let them know that you’re interested in a nice big 85 inch TV.

The sales person, who also happens to be an expert on big 85 inch TVs starts talking about refresh rates, color saturation, pixels per square inch, HDR, HDMI connections, how it compares to other LCD, LED, and OLED displays, etc.

Unless you’re a tech nerd like the sales person most of that doesn’t mean anything.

You just want a nice high-def 4k TV for the football party you’re hosting next week.

But instead of communicating WITH you the sales person has feature dumped all over you with a LOT of techno-babble.

Who wants that?

But that’s what happens on websites products & services pages so much.

I’ve been working with clients for years to level out their content so that it talks about the advantages that features deliver because at the end of the day, the advantages are what your visitors are going to understand the most.

So when you’re creating the content for how your business solves problems and provides solutions, approach your content from the perspective of talking about advantages and benefits that your customers get from the features and services you offer.

Great, high-quality photography

Most of the time people don’t think about images and photography as content on a website, but it’s true.

In fact, it’s one of the most important aspects of your content because the images you choose for your website tell your story just as much as the words on the page do.

Your images should be informative and complementary to the content they’re placed with.

Unless you’ve got a good handle on how to take images yourself, mobile phone images aren’t a good idea most of the time.

Instead, working with a photographer to get high-quality images will do wonders for your website.

BTW – don’t overthink your images

I recently had a project for a client where we provided a lot of good imagery from stock photography libraries that really complemented their new website well.

Until their CEO decided that they were a designer and wanted to change them all.

It completely ruined the story flow on the pages, and the look and feel and on top of it all, the images they chose did a much poorer job of telling their story and building their brand than the ones we chose for them did.

This is why it’s always a good idea to trust your designer that you’re paying thousands of dollars to to make good choices for your brand.

Make sure your images complement the copy that’s on the page.

If you’re not sure, reach out to a designer to get feedback – I promise you it will be worth it.

How your customers can contact you

One of the main pieces of content you should have on your website is how you can be reached.

So many times people just throw a contact form on a page, and call it a “contact page”, and they’re done with it.

This is a mistake that misses a big opportunity.

Because if you’re an online citizen of any kind in 2021 you’ve got a presence on several different platforms, so you need to let your audience know where they can reach out to you and find you.

Find a way to inject some personality in this page on your website to help build your brand; make it fun and memorable.

Feature a customer testimonial as well on this page – external validation is always a great way to increase the value of your brand and build the know-like-trust factor in the mind of your visitor.

Share links to where you’re hanging out online on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Not only that, but if you’ve got an office or a physical location, not only should you put your address on this page, but include a free Google Map so your customers can find you easier.

When someone submits your form on your contact page, redirect them to a resource that they may find useful – a lead magnet, so you can introduce them to your business and what you do more deeply.

Blogging, News, & Thought Leadership

I was on a call today with a huge client for whom we just finished a big website for, but one of the things that they did NOT want when we started the project, despite my protestations, was a blog.

I think people get weirded out by that term – “blog”.

Call it whatever you want.

Some clients call it “news & updates”.

Others call it “thought leadership”.

Regardless of what you call it, you want to have content on your website where you’re answering the questions that your dream customers are already have and then speak to how you answer those problems.

Use the “what, why, how, & validation” framework.

I learned this one from Russell Brunson at Funnel Hacking Live in 2020.

Teach people about your expertise.

Answer their questions.

Help them define precisely what the problem is.

Help them understand why the solution you’re talking about works so well.

Then tell them how you solved the problem for yourself or for your clients.

You see these kinds of instances all throughout everything I publish here on this blog.

Then the clincher is to talk about how what you did to solve the problem worked and show some external validation.

This can be in the form of a client testimonial, or displaying the results you’ve achieved.

Answering their questions, teaching them how to get results themselves, and documenting your own journey will be a huge benefit to your website and your business as a whole.

A Lead magnet for lead generation

Once you get a visitor to your website, whether it’s a content page or a sales page, you want to set a hook and get them to dig deeper.

And one of the best ways to do that is to that is to give away something that’s irresistible.

It doesn’t matter what your business is – whether you’re a blogger, a brick and mortar business, a travel agency, or a general contractor, there is something that your dream customer needs from you, that you can create easily, that will deliver a TON of value to them.

And you give it to them in exchange for their email address.

And that is the gateway to your world where you can get them into your sales funnels.

A great way to follow up a lead magnet opt-in is something that takes the next step, goes a little deeper and makes implementing or learning about whatever your lead magnet is teaching them about, easier and faster.

But this time it’s a paid product.

Nothing expensive.

It’s called a “tripwire” product and will immediately help you identify who your buyers are.

This single concept has the potential to do more for your business than you can imagine.

When you put together great content on your website, leading visitors to a clearly defined objective, and you get them to take that initial bait and get onto your list, then you get them to purchase something small – that’s a HUGE victory!

One of the great things you can do that combine both the content creation approach we talked about above with creating a lead magnet is to create white papers about the results you’ve achieved.

Sometimes you will have customers and clients that want to read the in-depth behind-the-scenes info on how you did what you did and a white paper is the great way to document it all.

Combine that with an opt-in form to capture leads, and you’ve got a winner!

A Resource Page

So many times your readers want to know the tools you use to make things happen and creating a resources page is the perfect place to do that.

This is the stuff you recommend to help your readers get the results that you get, faster.

The best part of this is that, depending on the tools that you’re recommending, you can make a nice affiliate income from the tools that you’re already using – they end up paying for themselves!

How cool is that?

Just by letting people know what you use it can become another source of income for your business – one that you don’t even have to promote – the kind of “passive” income everyone is searching for!

An FAQ Page

The FAQ page can save you so many headaches.

When I worked for an e-commerce company we used to get absolutely overrun with emails every day asking all kinds of questions.

It was taking up way too much time for me & my staff to go over those and answer them every day, so we started collecting the answers to the ones we saw frequently and when we would get those questions we’d send them to the FAQ page on our sites.

It was an absolute game-changer for us!

We were able to cut hours of time answering emails by creating a great FAQ page.

Documentation

Your products & services need to have all the documentation that your customers need so they can help themselves.

These are your guides, your how-tos, your customer service info, etc.

Don’t leave your customers hanging or searching for ways to get help.

This should also include a link to your community where your customers can help your other customers.

Next Steps

Have any questions about any of this? Just leave me a comment below.

OR

If you’d like some help implementing what you’ve learned here I want to invite you to join my free Facebook group, Digital Marketing Mastery – would love to have you over there.

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