- If you go somewhere new, it's nice to be aware of the highlights of that place.
- If you're learning about something, it helps to have an "About" piece of information.
- If you get lost, you need a roadmap.
- If you're needing something, it should be easy to get it.
- If you need to call someone, or e-mail them, get their contact info handy.
I encourage you to think about the above in terms of your website and how people interact with it. Do you have a "start here" or "highlights" section on your own website? Do you have a clearly listed "About" page? Do you have a sitemap or step-by-step process? Is your product list available? Are your contact details up-to-date?
When thinking about your website visitors, newsletter recipients, users, and customers, you'll want to have the rights kinds of information available to them in the right places.
The following are (I think) mandatory on your website:
1) Who We Are, or an "About Us" page — this helps people identify if you are the right "fit" and to assure your website visitors that the place is, in fact, run by real human beings. Photos of your team or staff are a plus.
2) Products and Services – what do you offer? this is easy if you have e-commerce, because you can specify your products list, but if you're selling services, make sure these are clearly defined. What do you sell? Make it clear.
3) How it Works – what are the next steps? How does someone engage with your company or organization? Make it very apparent what your next step, or "call to action" is.
4) Contact Information – a contact form is great, along with phone numbers, e-mail, fax, skype, or however else you communicate
5) Highlights, Blog, Articles, or Stories – some additional ways to add search engine optimization to your site and to increase your rankings. If you have ongoingupdated information on your website, it helps your content stay "fresh," engaging and meaningful. A linked WordPress.com or self-hosted WordPress.org blog is great for this if you don't already have blog capacity on your website.
Your website visitors need certain types of information – don't make it hard for them to find it. Keep your navigation consistent on every page, provide detailed information (without giving away everything), and make it easy for your casual visitor to turn into a paying member, customer, newsletter recipient, donor, or volunteer with easy-to-use forms.
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Monica S. Flores of is committed to educating, empowering, and connecting women in business. Her company offer full-service website design and development to green organizations, progressive companies, and women entrepreneurs. Connect with her at @monicadear