Before you even start blogging, you need to make sure your website is ready. Until you have the main pages and legal part of your business set up, you are not ready to receive any visitors to your site.
With the enactment of the FTC and GDPR laws, you must now make full disclosures on your website if you receive compensation for your content.
You also need to configure some of the main pages of your website.
1. Home page
This is the main landing page and you want to optimize it for two things:
- Brand authority.
Most sites have a hero section at the top that focuses on a free download or access to a free email course. The offer is directly related to your main promotion. For example, if your main promotion is a web hosting company, your offering might be a guide or an email course on how to start a blog.
This also applies to your own digital products.
When designing your own home page, focus on the most important elements that make up your website business. Align that with the goal of your main website’s landing page and you’ll be clear on what exactly you need to highlight.
It is also a good idea to compare with influencers in your industry. Every industry is different, so landing page designs that work really well for certain creatives may not sound good to your audience.
Is your design bold, simple, elegant, or interesting?
Home page example: FreelancerKenya
Walter from FreelancerKenya really came down to making his homepage focus on super converting. In fact, her entire page is a call to action inviting people to join her mini-course on freelance writing, which then promotes her affordable freelance writing training course.
Walter implemented this new twist in his design in the fall of 2017, helping him grow his subscribers to more than 22,000 by 2020.
Notice how he subtly shows his face and a quick welcome introduction after the form. It also tells you where to go next if you don’t want to subscribe. (Read the Blog)
Bottom Line: While you may not want to replace your entire homepage with Walter’s startup idea, you may want to adopt it for the hero section of your site. Do you want more evidence?
Let’s look at two other examples:
Gaps.com Home Page
Backlinko Home Page
2. About the page
In addition to your home page, your About Us page will attract a good number of visitors. So you want to optimize it to align with your overall purpose.
People who visit your About page want a story. Serve them one that is yours and relevant to them. Your About page is really about the two of you. You and your reader. Do not take the largest portion of the cake.
Warm up your visitors with your exciting parts and make them connect with you with your vulnerabilities. In other words, tell a story and tell it so well that everyone who visits this page will immediately feel a connection.
You also want to carefully invite people to join you in achieving particular goals together. Make them feel like insiders rather than people you just want to bombard with your weekly newsletters.
Your story convinces people that you are in a better position to teach them what they need to learn in your industry.
3. Contact page.
This is sadly an underused page but one that can be truly transformative for your business.
When designing my Freelance website, I had to think a lot about each page. Either on the home page, About me or Contact me.
When creating your own contact page, keep the following tips in mind:
- Start with a copy of some kind. Instead of just posting your forms or maps, invite other people to invite you. Be polite but concise. Effective contact page copy ensures that only visitors with a mission that you can help contact you.
- Eliminate unnecessary information. Your page is to allow people to do what they came to do: contact you. The copy should make that process easier rather than downplaying it.
- Just ask for the details that you Really need and will use. Long forms are easily abandoned and each abandoned contact process is a cost your business has to pay.
- Use conditional logic to show specific details. For example, if a user selects a particular service from a Dropbox, only follow up with other form fields that relate to the selected service, when necessary.
- Lastly, be sure to set the necessary expectations. Tell readers when you are likely to respond, if there are queries you will never respond to, or generally what happens next. For example, you can choose to pre-qualify users who contact you and send successful ones to book an hour with you with a calendar tool like Calendly.
Examples of the best contact pages: mostly serious
Mostly serious it doesn’t have a dedicated contact page as its contact section appears near the footer of its pages and also when expanding its top navigation menu. They manage to achieve classic lean minimalism with shapes that give them a human touch.
You want to include:
- a disclosure that data is collected
- What data is collected
- How visitors can get a copy of the collected details
- If said content will be shared
- If so, with whom …
5. Terms and Conditions
This page is important as it protects your intellectual property and restricts legal liability if you ever run into trouble.
You can generate your own content from the Terms and Conditions page using free online tools and then edit it before publishing it on your website. Alternatively, you can find affordable legal templates created by attorneys.
A free generator is Shopify. Just check the box that says skip the free trial for now to continue without creating a Shopify account.
After completing the form that appears, a link to your template will be emailed to you.
6. Cookies policy:
This is an agreement that informs your visitors that your website will place specific cookies on their devices to improve their experience.
For example, cookies will inform your site if the user has opted for a particular form so that they are not bombarded with offers that they have already seen. This page also informs you how exactly these cookies will be used. In certain countries, for example in the EU region, this notification is a necessity by law.
7. Affiliate Disclosure.
Depending on how your website is structured, you may need a separate page to describe how you make money from your site. You can include this information on your general disclosure page
8. Page 404
A 404 page is one that appears in case the desired page or post is not found on your website. While a good practice is to always redirect your visitors to a relevant resource in case you delete a page, there will still be cases where people still access a resource that is not available on your website.
Generic 404 pages are boring and scream “I don’t care.” This is an impression that you do not want to give your readers.
So, instead of using the generic 404 page for your WordPress theme, consider creating a custom one using a 404 plugin or using the Elementor 404 page template. A good 404 page is fun to interact with, it’s simple, and it points to the visitors the most relevant options.
Let’s see some examples:
1 Blizzard uses humor
2: Hennekke’s lovely marketing
3: What about mine?
Depending on the nature of your business, you may need some or all of the pages that I have discussed on this page. Like everything you do online, be sure to give plenty of ideas when creating and designing each of your web pages.
Doing so will ensure that your overall design tells a complete and compelling story and that each piece syncs across your site and resonates with your audience.