Not every business needs a ten page website with bios, lengthy service descriptions, blog and online store. If you are reading this, you already understand the importance of having a place to call home online. However, your small business doesn’t necessarily need a mansion of a website. For many small business, especially ones that are just starting out, a one page website is the perfect place to start. Here’s what you need to have on your website, even if you only have one page.
Let me first say that one page websites are legit. Don’t feel like your website is inferior, sub-par, or unprofessional just because you don’t have page after page of content. Different businesses have different needs. The things that make your business unique and awesome is you and the way that you run it.
Don’t build a huge website just because you feel like you have to. In fact, a huge website might be harmful to your business if you don’t have the content to support it.
A big, multi page website is harmful to your business if you don’t have the content to support it.
It is better to be oozing value and quality content on your one page website, then to have ten pages that say the same thing or nothing at all. I had a prospect a while back that put together a basic website for his business on WordPress.com. Most of the pages only had a few sentences on them. If I had landed on that website as a potential customer I wouldn’t have gotten past the home page. It would have been better for him to show a few fantastic photos of his work, a short bio about the business and a phone number then to try and stretch that content over 5 pages.
I know. This one should be obvious. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve proofed an ad only to realize we forgot to put a logo or business name on the ad. Sometimes it’s the things that seem like no-brainers that we forget. I’m telling you now, so you won’t feel like an idiot later.
People need to know who you are. If you have a logo use it. If you don’t have a logo use a different font or color or larger spacing to separate the name of your business from your other content. You want the name of your business to standout so that it sticks in a visitors brain. If your business name blends into the content they are less likely to remember you.
Visitors need to know what your business is about. Summarize your business in three to five sentences. You want to think “elevator pitch” not “college dissertation” here. What would you want to tell a new prospect about your business? What makes you unique? What services does your business offer? What is your business all about?
We are going to assume that someone has stumbled across your website for the first time. Make it clear what your business has to offer them in a way that is digestible. Remember that people are more likely to read lots of short paragraphs then they are to read long sections of copy.
Don’t write long extended paragraphs just to fill space. Every piece of content, especially on a one page website, has to be there for a purpose. Visitors will be turned off if they read content that doesn’t have any value.
Another one that should be obvious, but I can’t tell you the number of small business websites I’ve landed on that have literally no way to get in touch with them. Most likely you want a website as a lead generator. Your website can’t do it’s job without contact information. You need at least one contact method off the list below. What you pick will depend on what makes the most sense for your business.
For example, I don’t want people emailing me willy-nilly. I like to collect a little bit of information first before connecting with a potential client. I also don’t want to work with just anyone. I use my prospect intake form to filter out clients that are not a good fit. I want to protect my inbox from potential clients that are casually looking. So, instead of posting phone numbers and email addresses I have contact forms.
Your business might thrive on providing a direct phone number. Think through what is best for your business and make sure you provide some way for people to get in touch with you.
Realistically, even a one page website will have more content the checklist items listed above. Below are additional items you might have on your one page website. Use this list as a starting place to brainstorm your website content. If you need help developing your content you can download my 40+ page website planning guide.
Show off your work with photos if you have them. Images can be a powerful way to communicate what your business does and how awesome it is. Even if you don’t have photos of your work you can still use stock photography to show the type of service you offer or the lifestyle connected to your business.
Having quotes from your previous clients can be a huge boost in selling your services. If you’ve got them, use them. Just be careful not to overwhelm visitors with too many testimonials or ones that are super lengthy. If the testimonial is too long it will just get skipped over, edit them down by picking out a few good sentences. Limit your client quotes to three to five.
In addition to the “overview of business” paragraph, you might add a list of services that you offer. How you handle this will depend on the number of services you have. If you only offer two or three services (congratulations on niching down, high-five), you can list each service individually with a short description.
If you have a long list (12 or more), consider organizing your services into categories to make it easier for prospects to find the service they are looking for. You might even list just the categories themselves, rather than individual services. Using icons, photos, and other visual aids to list your services will make your website more engaging. The more engaging your one page website is, the more likely visitors are to contact you.
You don’t have to have a big website as long as you have the basics to engage visitors and pull them into your business: who you are, what you do, and how to get in touch. These three items make up the minimum of what you need on any small business website.
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