You want to bring value to people with the work you’ve already done. From the basic concepts of how to begin a content audit, to the gritty details of how to structure a value prop, you’re a pro by now. But what does it all look like? Where the rubber meets the road, you need to be able to take audited content and actually build a new and better site with it. This post will provide the templates needed to turn your audited content into a brilliant new site.
Identify your Most Important Pages
If you’ve followed along with this series so far, you’ll know that my opinion is that most websites are more complicated than users need them to be. Usually, less is more when it comes to making a valuable site.
When deciding what pages to keep from your audited content, think about the information your users must know to take action.Don’t just put it on your site because it looked cool on someone else’s. We both know you’re a leader not a follower.
All that said, the pages I’ve noted as being most important to Evermore’s typical clients are:
- About/Home page (we’ll talk about the distinction)
- Contact Us
Now let’s talk about how to structure each one.
Content Template for Home Pages
I lumped Home and About pages together. Remember, we’re looking for simplicity. For most small businesses and nonprofits, people need to know what you’re about as soon as they hit your website. This page should focus on how you are different from others, and why that’s important to readers. You’re not the only law firm, but you’re the only one that sees your customers the way you do.
Be sure to include these crucial details:
Specifics about what You Do
Nothing is worse than going to a website and having no idea why you’re there. Don’t do that to your audience. Tell them as straightforward and completely as possible what you do and why you do it. Keep your unique value front and center.
Limited Contact Info
It doesn’t hurt to make sure contact info is on the page near the bottom. If you’re doing a great job getting value in front of your audience, they’ll want to act right away. Make it easy for them to do so. You don’t need every phone number and email address on this page, just the primary ones.
Get to the Point
This page should be no more than 500 words. Anything longer than that is a “wall-o-text” that makes your website feel overwhelming. Keep it above 250 words though. Any less and people might not spend enough time on it and will “bounce” which hurts SEO.
Call to Action
Every page needs to justify it’s existence. You’re not auditing content and making a better website for a pat on the back. You’re making it to better serve your audience. Clearly let them know what you want them to do after reading the home page.
Content Template for Contact Us Page
If you title a page “Contact Us” (or any variation thereof) you should assume people are going to it to –well– contact you. Again, make that easy for them.
Detailed Contact Info
Give a physical address if that’s relevant. Make sure phone numbers are clear. But more importantly, get detailed. If you have one phone number to call for one type of service offered, and a different one for something else, make that clear. Let people know who to ask for, or who they will be speaking to. If you’re going to ask questions, or need specific info when they call, let them know right on the page.
Give them a Reason to Reach Out
Hopefully, someone got to the contact page already planning to contact you. Still, make sure there is a reminder of why they should contact you and not someone else. This should take about 250 words, and less than 500 words. Don’t overdo it.
Content Template for Events Page
The devil is in the details. That is, make the details of the events clear. There’s absolutely no reason to lay this page out like the paper calendar you hang by your desk. Why? Unless you’re holding important events every day, most of the calendar days will be blank. That just distracts from the things you are doing.
Make your events page a regularly updated list. Don’t leave events on this page from June 2013. Include clear details about when, where, why, who + how to contact with any questions. This page is all information. Keep it to the point.
Content Template for Fundraising or Other Payment Page
Put the materials they need to make a contribution front and center. Make it the main focus.
Similar to the contact page, it doesn’t hurt to have a brief reminder of why they should be sharing their hard earned money with you.
Keep this page to about 250 words, and don’t make anyone scroll to find the place where they need to make their donation. Include relevant contact info if they need to get in touch about the process. And, remember to thank them!
Above are are four basic templates for taking audited content and making it into the essential pages for a small business or non profit website. Other pages may be important to your specific organization. Use variations and combinations of the ideas above to meet each need.
Remember, make it easy for your audience to use each page, provide value, and have fun.