In the world of marketing, a website exists to interact with prospects. The website should educate, engage and help your prospects move through the value journey. A website is a tool that connects you to your customers, clients, and prospects.
A good website engages and sells. It is NOT just a beautiful brochure full of abstract photography and crammed full of design elements. There is a place in the world for websites like that, just not in marketing.
I also separate the e-commerce part of a website from the engagement part. Whereas e-commerce is all about drawing attention to products, engagement is about building a relationship with the buyer.
This post goes through the different pages that you will need when building a website. I will use the terms website and page below, know that I am talking about engagement, not e-commerce, and not a brochure. If you want notes on beautiful design, this is the wrong place.
If you want a website that sells, then read on!
Below I go through the core pages every website needs, along with some examples and templates.
- Your homepage (category and overview pages)
- A landing page (AKA opt-in page).
- The thank-you page
- The sales page
Three fundamental principles of an engaging website design
Before I get into the types of pages, I want to mention a couple of principles.
- First and foremost, the website is about the visitor to the website, not the company presenting the website. It is about your customer, not you; it is THEIR journey. So when you review your website, think about the journey they are going on, where you want them to click and how you want them to engage with your site.
- Simple is better than complex. Designers often want to add design elements to a website. If these design elements help a viewer digest the information on a page, then it is useful. If they exist to make the website look splashier or show design capability, they are not helpful.
- Words, not images, sell. Pictures are nice, they can tell a story, and they are an essential part of a website. But they don’t sell. It is the words that engage, create a relationship, and sell. So the design should make reading and engaging with the words easier. That is the objective.
Overview of the pages you need
The home page is the first page that people see when they visit your domain. However, it is often not the first page people see. More often than not, visitors come to your website through a landing page or a blog page. Then they visit your home page.
The home page serves the purpose of providing an overview of your company and how you work.
There are two types of home pages: a category page and an overview page.
The category home page
The category page gives you a choice between two or three different categories of visitors. The content is straightforward and encourages a decision.
The Schultz Photo School homepage is a category page. It explains the different categories of students that they serve and encourages the visitor to make a choice.
The Schultz Photo School Pagehttps://shultzphotoschool.com
The overview page
An overview page explains the problem you solve, for whom, and how. Go back to the Shultz Photo School Site and click on any one of the categories. That will open an overview page that is tailored to that category of the viewer.
The overview page speaks to ONE character avatar. It talks about ONE solution. The only time you would entertain the idea of a category page is if you have fully developed multiple character journeys and funnel them to their individual pages.
Start with an overview page, and once you start adding characters move to a category page.
For more information on how to create a home page, watch this recorded webinar.
A note on first fold design
When you look at the first fold, think about how the eye tracks on the page. It starts going across the top, crosses the middle then goes from left to right on the bottom.
So this gives us a general layout for the top of the fold:
You have a simple menu a the top, two calls to action, a “hero” image (which is almost never a building or a bridge. People love to include buildings and bridges here, resist the urge! Make your hero image about people. People buy, not buildings, not bridges). Across the bottom, we can add a trust bar with testimonials, logos, or stories of success.
The Landing page or opt-in page
The landing page is typically where someone “lands” on a webpage. Any advertising you do should drive traffic to a landing page.
Simplicity sells, not confusion, not complexity. So if you have 1000 character avatars and sell ten products to each of these, you will have 10,000 pages. This is why you want to have as few avatars and products as possible and then grow from there. Even 3 products to 3 avatars means as many as 9 pages.
Landing pages should be specific.
Landing pages should have a clear call to action. Generally, you want them to opt-in to something, so clearly direct them toward the opt-in.
Here is a landing page for Callifi, a telephone company:
This is a little busy, but it works for them, and you get all of the information you need in the first fold. To simplify, I would remove menu items: you want the visitor to focus on the page’s content, not be distracted by everything that they see.
The Callifi page also shows another element of the landing page, and that is the scroll content. The page can go much longer than one screen, and in Callifi’s case, people tend to scroll through the entire page. They want more information.
You can have these pages go on as long as you like, as long as the first fold is simple and to the point.
Here is a simple landing page template that you can use to create your landing page.
The thank you page
Once your prospect has opted in, you send them to a Thank You page. You thank them for opting in on that page, and you make them a “Godfather Offer” (an offer they can’t refuse).
Almost everyone will refuse that offer, but some will take you up on it, so you want to give them the option. Here is a simple template for a Thank You page:
This is a great place to put a video talking directly to your prospect.
The Sales Page
The sales page is product-focused, and it helps your prospect understand precisely what they are buying. Generally, a sales page is LONG with a lot of explanation. It can have multiple videos and images as well as many calls to action.
The writing is KEY on a sales page, and the design should be simple.
A straightforward sales page template looks something like this:
Sales Page Template
Hero Image, add a video telling the story below
The Pain or problem you solve, Start by describing the problem. This is what is missing for the character and what is holding them back
How to the problem, this is based on the piece that is missing for your character and the villain who is keeping them incomplete. If you Pain or if you pain 2, or if you have ever felt internal villain, then this message is for you. Here is why state the reward.
And there is a cost to not dealing with this what your character avoids by taking action.
Amplify the Pain dig a little deeper
If you ignore it, it just gets worse
What most people do when facing the problem, this is based on the piece that is missing for your character and the villain who is keeping them incomplete, is an ineffective solution
But for most people this doesn’t work:
- Describe Failure 1
- Then Failure 2
- and maybe add Failure 3
- And what happens if you just do nothing? If you just keep doing what you have been doing? Describe the cost of not solving the problem, the thing that happens if your character does not take action to become the hero.
Solve the problem
How I / How they received the reward.
I have an answer that works. Here is the story: Tell how you found or invented the answer.
Which led to Describe what life looks like once the problem is solved
And ultimately transformed me/the person you helped from your character before the transformation to what your character is transformed to.
It worked for these people, it will work for you
Here is what it did for me your transformation, and what it did for somebody elses transformation
show a few testimonials here
Now, it is your turn.
When you get your signature program name today, you will get the key to:
- A Benefit
- Second Benefit
- Third Benefit
It all comes as part of your deliverables as a part of the signature program.
add a guarantee; this is a powerful way to convince people to give your product a try
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Call to action
It is time for a decision
You have a choice to make: do what you have always done (or, even worse, do nothing). You know that path; you’ve seen that movie. Is that where you want to go?
Or do something new. And get a whole new result, get transformational benefit.
Are you ready?
Here is what to do now, click below describe the next steps in the order process