Once you have created your WordPress website and installed your chosen theme, the next stage is to begin to create the content that you want on your site. Whilst you may have an overall idea of the content you wish to publish, there are a few important elements that many website owners overlook. In this post, we will explain what these essential elements are and why you should have them.
Creating a good Homepage
Although everyone knows websites have a homepage, not everyone understands their function. You should think of a homepage as a shop window that is used to entice customers to visit other parts of your site.
A good home page should be visually attractive to your readers with a design which is appropriate for your business and which best suits your brand. It should make it immediately clear to your readers who you are and what you do so that they know they have arrived at the right place.
The home page should contain only brief descriptions of your main content, using high impact summaries and calls to action to move your readers on to the rest of the site. A blog might show excerpts from its most recent posts, an e-commerce site could show featured products from its main product categories, whilst other businesses would highlight their key services or products.
There are different ways to design your homepage: many WordPress themes come with homepage templates or homepage widgets, other themes enable you to customise the layout using the theme options and if none of these provide the design you require, you can install a page builder plugin which will let you create your own layout.
Why you need a Contact Us page
Trust is a very important factor when it comes to buying from a website and visitors can easily be put off when they cannot find detailed contact information. If they do not know where they are sending their money or they are not provided with full details of how to get in touch about a problem, they are unlikely to click the Buy Now button. It is important that your WordPress website contains a Contact Us page which contains all the following information:
- Business name
- Full business address (even better if you use a map at the side)
- Company registration number (for limited companies)
- VAT Number (If registered)
- Landline telephone number
- Mobile number (essential if your work takes you away from the office)
- Email address
- If you still use a fax, include that number too
Many companies now use live chat as a means for customers to contact them and this can be very helpful in answering questions about a product or service if the customer needs advice. It can also be a quick way to deal with any problems that a customer might have. There are a number of live chat plugins available.
Terms and conditions page
Your website should have a terms and conditions page as a way to protect you and to ensure that you are complying with the law. Your terms and conditions page should include information such as:
- a licence which lets visitors use the information on the website but prohibits them copying and using your copyrighted material
- a disclaimer of liability in case of inaccurate content
- Information about the applicable law under which any disputes will be resolved
In addition, specific business types might have other information which they need to include in their terms and conditions.
Terms and conditions pages are basically a way of stating to your customers that to use your website they must accept the terms and conditions which you are specifying.
You can download examples and templates to create your own terms and conditions page, however, it would be advisable to get a legal expert to ensure that it contains all the clauses it needs for your specific business and that each clause is accurately worded.
Install a Cookie Law Pop-up
As a result of this law, you will see that EU websites now have cookie law pop-ups when you visit them. For WordPress users, there is a range of EU Cookie Law pop-up plugins available, which you can install directly from your admin panel.
An About Us page is not a legal requirement but it is a very important element of your website. It is a page which, if used correctly, can strengthen your brand and boost sales. The content areas you can include in your About Us page are:
- your company ethos (We believe¦)
- your history (Founded in 1965¦
- a summary of company expertise
- an overview of your company’s successes
- information about why your company is better and different to your competitors
Information on this page can help showcase the human side of your business which is an important way to develop brand identity, foster good public relations and build a community of loyal customers.
A sitemap is a page which lists every other page and post on your website together with a link to them. It has two very useful purposes. For visitors who are looking for a specific page but can’t find it using your menu, site search or category archives, it provides another way of finding content. More importantly, it will show search engines how your website is organised and what information you have published this will allow your site to be indexed better and so that all your content is searchable online.
It is important that your sitemap is updated every time you add or delete a page or post so that it is always current. This can be an arduous task for big websites, especially if you are creating a sitemap manually. However, if you are a WordPress user there are HTML sitemap plugins which will do this for you. All you need to do is create a page called Sitemap, cut and paste the shortcode provided by the plugin on the page and press publish. After that, the sitemap is created and updated for you.
The aim of this article has been to highlight some of the essential content needed for WordPress websites. You should now have a better understanding of:
- The content needed on your home page
- The importance of a detailed Contact Us and About Us page
- The SEO importance of a sitemap
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