How to organize your page's content (Part II)
I don’t know if you ever had your professors in school or college tell you that you should always write the introduction for your projects or essays, last.
But if you're like me, you were stubborn and always struggled writing it first because you never knew what to say...
That’s because they were right.
Once you know what goes on inside the project, essay or whatever it is you’re writing, it’s easier to know what to say in the introduction.
Well, guess what... same thing goes for the homepage.
Even when it’s what you should design FIRST, it’s what you should plan LAST.
That way, you’ll know exactly what you want to showcase from the rest of the website.
So, let’s beginning planning.
If you haven’t already, make sure to check out PART I of this series to find out how you can prepare to design a website in Squarespace and make things easier on yourself.
All caught up? Then keep reading!
Setting your page's purpose
First, you need to set a goal for each of the pages.
We already have two general goals for the site, so all pages should directly or indirectly lead to at least one of them.
In this case, we want to:
- Turn your client's visitors into clients by purchasing her flower arrangement service.
- Invite those who become clients to join her ambassador, affiliate or referral program to help her spread the word.
But since her secondary goal depends on the success of the first one, then all the pages should focus on getting her those new clients.
Meaning that any content we add to the site should be aimed at showing her visitors, one way or another, why they should hire her in the first place.
Since I’m not a copywriter, your client should have already given you her content, and this series is focused on design, I won’t go into much detail on what to write for each page.
However if you need more guidance and some handy checklists, make sure to check out Jodi Neufeld's Website Content Planner! It's super useful.
For people to hire her they need to know who they’re hiring, how she can help them and what experience she has that makes her a match for their needs.
Then, you need to provide a call to action, or a next step if you will.
Think about it this way, with this new knowledge they have of her and her brand, what should her visitors do next?
I would suggest you do two things: add an invite to contact her so those who are already convinced can take it, but add a second invite for those who aren’t so sure and send them to read her blog.
By doing this, you'll be leading her visitors into content that shows off what an expert she is on the flower arrangement area, and hopefully get them off the fence.
Regarding imagery, you can go with a picture of herself, her team and/or her workplace to give visitors a look behind the scenes.
In this case, this page is basically the finish line of the site, it’s where you want her visitors to arrive to be able to hire her.
The content inside it should be pretty straightforward, any instructions on how to get in touch with her, her contact details and/or an intake form – if that’s how she wants to handle her requests.
Here, you can add more images about her, her team, her brand or remind her visitors of the praise she's gotten/the work she did for previous clients.
For this site we have three gallery pages.
Since you want people to hire her for her flower arrangement services, you’ll want to present the work she did for previous clients in this section.
Keep in mind that minimal design is fine, as long as it doesn't leave out important information. So don't skip adding a bit of text introducing her galleries, so her visitors can understand what they're seeing, and its not just a bunch of pictures floating around.
You could ask your client for a brief description on what type of arrangements they’ll find inside, so her visitors can understand what they’re seeing and know right away if that’s something they’ll be interested in for their own event.
Remember that the main goal is for her visitors to turn into clients, so after they’re done looking at her work, you'll want to offer an invitation to get in touch with her by linking to the contact page.
Don’t assume they’ll automatically jump to that page, even if the link is in the menu.
Regarding her blog page, you don’t necessarily need all her blog post content since you might have agreed to launch the site before that.
TERMS AND POLICY
As for her legal content, here are some good resources your client can check out to find out what she needs to include:
Blogging Legally 101 - by Jackie from Jade & Oak.
Tips from two lawyers about protecting your blog - by Melissa from Blog Clarity.
This page doesn’t need a call to action since people generally visit it only when they want to find out about a brand's terms.
In this page the goal should be to show her prospective clients how she’s helped previous clients, thus letting them see how she can help them too.
You can go for a testimonial carousel with featured pictures of her past work; to do this you'll need to create an additional blog page to set the content.
You could also create a lovely Pinterest-style gallery displaying pictures of her previous projects along with their corresponding testimonials (the wall summary block will do this for you! but you’ll need an extra blog page to add the content of her reviews)
Here you can link directly to her contact page or to her previous work galleries!
BECOME AN AMBASSADOR
This page is meant to have all the info regarding her affiliate program, so her clients know what they need to do in order to promote her brand and earn something in return!
Elise from House of Brazen has a great affiliate page example setup in her site that you can check out for inspiration!
Finally, the introduction.
Now that you know what's inside the rest of the site, you can plan the homepage.
A homepage is different from a landing page, you have more freedom to talk about the different things that go on inside the site, whilst a landing page should be focused on one thing, one goal only.
In this case, since the secondary goal depends on the success of the first one, there's no room for conflicting information because the only objective will be to convince visitors to hire your client, meaning that her homepage will basically act as a landing page.
This is a great place to quickly address these questions: what, how, who?
What is this?, how can it help me? and who's behind this?
Granted, it won’t necessarily be the first page people see, but it’s likely the one her visitors will look for to know what her site is all about.
There are many tips and "musts" that marketers suggest you need to have to create a converting homepage (here's a great infographic by Kissmetrics on the Anatomy of an Effective Homepage), but in general these are some things you should keep in mind:
- Start with a brief yet descriptive headline of what the site is about.
- Add a CTA that leads directly to the main goal – in this case, it could be a link to the contact page inviting her visitor to request a quote.
- Think about the most logical order to find out about what this service-based site is about – you can follow the CTA with a how it works/how it helps section, and then introduce the brand, as people normally don't care about who you are unless they see how you can help them.
- If most websites in her niche follow a similar organizational pattern by answering a particular question before the other, her visitors might expect to find the information in the same place. So you can either follow that same pattern so there’s no surprise, or... surprise her visitors by changing the order.
- Add links to other relevant content in the site that aligns with the main goal or secondary goal – in this case, you can link to her flower arrangement galleries, and latest blog posts on the subject.
Once you're done with this part of the planning:
- You’ll be clear on the site’s two main goals.
- You’ll know how many and which pages you need to build.
- You’ll know what each page should lead to.
- You’ll know what content you should have on each page, which is a great way to know if the information your client gave you is complete.
Now, you’ll be ready for the next step! How to choose a Squarespace template.
Until next time,