4 Hidden Pages Every Website Should Have

Cynthia Bartz • December 15, 2016

If you have a business website, you should have hidden pages on it. Your website should be a central home of your business. Even if it is simple, your website can be a powerful tool that goes way beyond the standard home-about-services-contact pages.

What is a Hidden Page?

There are several definitions of a “hidden page”. For our purposes, a hidden page is a page that is not accessible through a menu. Most of your website pages will be linked in the top menu or navigation, but hidden pages may only be linked to from the bottom of a blog post or only shared by email. Although a hidden page can be viewed by a visitor who clicks on a specific link or types in the page address, it might not be as easy to get to as your about page.

Four Hidden Pages You Should Have

A Newsletter Page

Recommended Page Url: yourwebsite.com/newsletter

Where to Link: everywhere

What should be on this page?

  • Sign up link
  • Frequency of newsletter
  • Short description of what they can expect
  • Newsletter testimonial (if you have one)
  • Photo/Graphic (something to catch the visitor’s eye).

The number one hidden page that I recommend is a yourwebsite.com/newsletter page. If you have a newsletter or are thinking about starting one (hint, you should), this page makes it easy to direct people to sign up. If you are building a list, you want to link to your newsletter sign-up from everywhere. If you don’t have a central sign-up location, you either have to embed the code over and over again or send them off your website to the sign-up page provided by your email marketing client. No bueno, we want to keep people on your website.

A newsletter page solves both of these problems. Yes, you will need to figure out how to embed the right code for them to sign up, but you will only need to do this once.

The newsletter page should be fairly simple and not have a lot of content. However, even if it is simple, it should be well organized and inviting. Remember that this is the last touch before the visitor makes a decision to sign up for your newsletter. So, don’t just drop the form on the page and call it done. You will be missing an opportunity to entice people in.

Landing Pages

Recommended Page Url: yourwebsite.com/product-name

Where to Link: everywhere

What should be on this page?

  • Information about the product/service
  • A strong call to action
  • No navigation or menu (if possible)
  • Image or Graphic of Service (if possible/relevant).

In essence, a newsletter page is a landing page. But, if you are adding a new service or product, it might be good to create a separate landing page for your new thing. Just like a newsletter page, you will link to it anywhere you are promoting your new product or service.

Very rarely will you link to a service or product landing page from the main menu of your website. Just because you aren’t putting it in your menu, doesn’t mean it won’t get traffic. You will link to this landing page throughout your blog, through a catchy advertisement, a banner on your home page, a link from your Facebook, etc.

Remember, just like the newsletter page, a landing page is your last opportunity to make a positive impression on your prospect. A good landing page will force the visitor to make a decision: take an action or close the page. This is why you do not want to link from this page to your main menu if you can avoid it. And limit the number of links. The ultimate goal of a landing page is to limit the options so that more people opt-in, make a purchase, or contact you.

Forms

Recommended Page Url: yourwebsite.com/form-name

Where to Link: email and project management software

What should be on this page?

  • Title
  • Short descriptive paragraph
  • Form – standard information you want to collect.

If you don’t include your website as a critical part of your services process, you should. The best use of my website, besides promoting my services and products, is making my new-client-process easier. I have hidden form pages for on-boarding new clients, conducting surveys after a project, inquiries about new services, and others. I love having these forms online for a number of reasons.

First, it makes it easy to collect standard information I need every time. Second, it makes it easier for me to send the form to my client, and easier for the client to fill it out. Third, using a form allows me to create a log of information. For example, I can see a list of everyone who has tried to contact me about a project, without having to scrounge through my email. Plus, it gives me a unified place that I collect testimonials.

Generally moving your forms online is all kinds of awesomeness. If you aren’t sure how to get forms on your website, you should check out my favorite plugins article.

I do like to include a short paragraph before the form, just to clearly communicate what the form is for and how the information will be used.

Client Resources

Recommended Page Url: yourwebsite.com/client-resources/article-title

Where to Link: email and project management software

What should be on this page?

  • Title
  • Detailed answer to a frequently asked question.

Every business that has been in business for any length of time knows that you have a handful of things that you explain over and over and over. Sometimes these questions make excellent blog articles. But every once in a while you will run into a question that just doesn’t work for content marketing. When that happens I like to create a page with a detailed answer to the question. This allows me to point my client to a descriptive page, rather than typing out the answer repeatedly. It also funnels the client back to my website.

Just to keep my website organized, I like to group these pages underneath a “parent” page titled “Client Resources”. You don’t even have to have anything on the Client Resources page. I just find it easier to sort out my content if I create sub pages like this.

So, the next time a client asks you a question that you can’t turn into a blog post, type out your answer and turn it into a client resource. These hidden pages will become invaluable over time, and they will save you a lot of hours sorting through your email to find your response to the last person who asked the question.

Where to Link Them

If the page is hidden, how do I get to it? I’ve already answered most of this above. But I wanted to point out that where you share the page link will depend on the content of the page. For the newsletter page, I recommend linking to it from everywhere: buttons on your blog, a link in your email, a link in the footer of your website, on sales materials. But, for other pages, like client resources or forms, you might only share the link in an email with your client. Use good sense, and think through what is going to work best to make your process better.

The goal of hidden pages is to make your life easier. I like to make the links for my hidden pages something that I can easily remember, so I don’t have to go to my website or to a document to remember the url for a particular page.

For example, I frequently share my cbgraphics.net/newsletter url with prospects, on Facebook, and with random people I meet. And because it’s so easy to remember, I don’t have to go through the long explanation I typically see small business owners do: “go to my home page, scroll down to the bottom, click on blog, and you can sign up for my newsletter in the side bar.” Save yourself from this and create a link that is easy for you and the person you are sharing it with to remember.

Summary

Hidden pages are like a website super power. It takes your website from a digital brochure to an online hub for your business. You can use hidden pages for landing pages, forms, and resources.

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