1. The Homepage
What does your website need to do?
If you’re a business, you’re probably selling a product or a service. But you don’t just want to hit people with the hard sell, do you? Your website communicates your brand’s key messages and tells visitors about your attitude to your customers, your attention to detail, the things that are important to you, and why you’re different from the competition. All of this gives your potential customers a feeling about you, so you have to create content that emphasises how you can help them rather than talking about yourself.
The first page is what most new visitors will see; it’s the page that people will check first if they’ve just met you at a networking event or if you have had a meeting together.
You need to include…
- What do you do?
- What makes what you do special?
- What are the benefits to the customer?
- What are your USPs? (unique selling points)
- Reinforce what you have just told them
- Where are you based? (so they have a bit of context)
- What do you want them to do now?
Here’s an example:
What do you do?
Welcome to Bright Light – we make a range of energy-efficient light bulbs for your home. Not only do our bulbs save you money on your fuel bills, but their environmentally-friendly qualities and quirky design have won multiple awards.
So, we save you money, we save the planet, and we look good at the same time. Not bad, eh?
Where are you based?
– If you’re a big company, you can emphasise branches across the country
– If you’re a small company who’s you’re online, you can sell anywhere
We’re based in Liverpool and have been here for the last 12 years with our highly skilled workforce. Liverpool may be our home, but we supply our products worldwide, from Argentina to India.
Our head office is in Liverpool where we were founded 12 years ago. These days, we have 26 branches across the UK. Click here to find a branch near you.
What do you want them to do now? (You can give them several options)
Have a look around the site. You can buy Bright Lights online, get advice about energy saving products and environmentally friendly designs, or get in touch with one of our highly skilled members of staff.
What do you do?
How do you make your customers’ lives easier/ better?
Sum that up in one sentence…
Where are you based?
What do you want your visitors to do now?
2. Who we are/ about us
Who are you? A team? A company? Choose the right word that reflects how you want your customers to see you. Customers are not really interested in the structure of your company, it’s more about creating the image that you want them to see.
When you’re talking about your team/company, use motivational words, such as highly skilled, experienced, etc.
Emphasise what makes your company trustworthy/reliable/etc.
– If all of your staff go on refresher courses each year, say this
– If you pay for your staff to do some personal development, say this
Selling a service?
Emphasise the personalities of your staff; client management is very important when selling a service, so make it personal. Give them an insight into the people they’ll be working with if they choose your business. You could have a bit of blurb about each person on your team. This applies no matter how big or small your company may be – potential clients want a personal contact and reassurance that they can get in touch with anyone they need directly.
Selling a product?
You could include a brief history of the company, but make sure that it’s no longer than a paragraph otherwise you’re delaying how quickly they reach your products/services. Instead, you could describe how your product has been developed while emphasising your levels of customer care and/or satisfaction.
Showcase any awards you have to your potential customers! They will help cement your position in the market and your customer’s trust in what you do.
3. What we do
Remember, don’t tell your customers about what you do from your point of view. Instead, get to the crux about what you’re giving to them. Avoid getting lost in waffling about the minute details of what you do!
Selling a service?
If you’re a marketing company, events agency, hairdresser or mechanic, you’re selling YOU and your ability to do the job:
It’s pretty unlikely you’ll be the only person or company offering your service, so how are you different from the competition?
– emphasise the personality of your staff by talking about their experience, attention to detail, awesome customer service and sense of fun
– tell your customers how you help them. For example:
- If you’re a marketing company, you help solidify their product’s place in the market to encourage sales.
- If you’re an events agency, you take care of all of the tricky detail in staging an event, take away the stress of a wedding, get them press attention for their new products, attract new guests to grow their customer database and sell their product/service.
- If you’re a hairdresser, you make them feel good about themselves. Focus on how they’ll face the world feeling confident and smart, and they’ll get a bit of TLC and ‘me time’ too!
- If you’re a mechanic, you smooth over any bumps in their road; you make sure they have their independence and flexibility by ensuring their vehicles are working efficiently and safely. You get them from A to B; you help them avoid those unwanted change of plans, dashing for the train or arriving at a job interview soaked from a downpour.
Selling a product?
You’ve got a product, so tell us why people want it. It’s not what you do, it’s what they’re looking for. Remember, your company isn’t making lightbulbs, you’re selling light – this sounds cheesy, but it’s true. You have to see what other people want from you.You could be focusing on one very specific invention, but it’s likely that there are several other competitors in the marketplace. So, what makes your product different from theirs?
– Do you offer an environmentally-friendly version to satisfy their eco-credentials?
– Does your product save them time or money?
Try and think of three key advantages of buying from you, not anyone else…
Keep asking ‘why?’ until you get to the crux of your product or service.
* Keep your sales pitch as simple as possible by using as little jargon and technical description as possible.
Here’s an example:
What do you do?
Bright Light makes energy-efficient lightbulbs.
Because they use less energy, so they are better for the environment and reduce the cost of your electricity bills.
Sometimes energy-efficient bulbs are not as bright as normal ones, but our xyz technology means that our bulbs are only 1.2% dimmer than standard bulbs and 46% brighter than energy-efficient ones!
If customers can’t see as clearly when they’re using energy-efficient bulbs, they would be more likely to purchase the brighter, less-efficient bulbs.
Customers need to prioritise being able to see what they’re doing. So it’s important not to sacrifice this attribute when making energy-efficient bulbs.
Ah ha – eureka! So, Bright Light means:
- You can see what you’re doing
- You spend less on electricity because they’re energy-efficient
- You can help save the planet too
So what do you do?
How does that help me?
That’s a pretty convincing product you’ve got there! It’s essential to reinforce those messages with case studies and testimonials from your clients. If you haven’t got them already, updating your website is a great excuse to ask them for some feedback you can present on the site.
Try to get feedback from your clients when you complete a job for them or when a customer emails you to compliment your product.
*If you do have to include some technical descriptions for your product or service, put them in an FAQ section and direct people there from this page.
If you can think creatively and offer site visitors some freebies, then:
- You’re setting yourself up as an expert, so what you’re saying has more kudos
- They’re more likely to come back if they know they can get something from it
- You can encourage them to sign up for a newsletter/special offers/etc., which can improve your marketing database
Bright Light might choose:
- Energy-saving advice for your home
- Other energy-saving companies that they support – they could offer a 15% discount when customers buy from them with the code BRIGHTLIGHT02
Make a list of three potential ideas for some freebie resources:
5. T&Cs or FAQs
These are different for every website, but you can use this page for any complicated explanations that relate to your product/service.
If you sell online you’ll need to include information about your:
You can also use it answer frequently asked questions about your product. You can start by asking someone who’s not an expert on your business and what they would ask. Do a bit of market research, even if it’s only speaking to a few friends.
Bright Light bulbs contain x, which means that the filament heats up instantly and doesn’t take as long to reach its maximum brightness as other bulbs.
“Sounds hot! Is it dangerous?”
No – the material is thinner, which is why it heats up faster. The filament is also longer, which means that energy is spread over a bigger area so that the bulb doesn’t heat up as much. Therefore, it’s safer and doesn’t lose as much energy when heating up, which is why it’s cheaper to use.
Each time a customer emails you with a question, you could add it to this page.
6. A blog
Blogs are more flexible than a website’s news page. You can use them to talk about anything: something from national or international news, something that your customers will actually want to read about, and so much more.
As we’ve said before, it’s not about you, it’s about your customer.
So, Bright Light might choose:
– Something in the news about climate change, which the company’s stats about energy efficiency can be tagged onto the bottom of.
– A new industry award. Yes, your business is great for winning it, but look at it from the customer’s point of view – it means that they can trust you and are buying the best available product.
– A 15% off offer for customers’ birthdays.
As you work on your website, keep a list of subjects you can blog about, such as things that catch your eye in the papers, things you see online and can link to, and any news and updates about you and what you’re doing…
7. Contact us
Finally, give your customers plenty of ways to get in contact with you. You could include information, such as a phone number, an email address (or email addresses for different departments, if you’re a large company) and a physical address with a Multimap. Additionally, giving the email addresses of individuals who do a specific job can provide a personal touch, rather than email@example.com etc. Remember to be friendly and inviting, don’t hide from your customers!