Launching a website is an almost scary idea for most people.
Over the years I’ve helped many small businesses establish an online presence, and I know that the majority of them get overwhelmed with the thought of going live with a new website. They waste a lot of time trying to make it perfect, but it never seems to be ready for launch.
Does that ring a bell for you?
In this post, I want to encourage you to approach this topic from a different perspective and go live with just a handful of pages.
In fact, you only need three pages to have a fully functional website.
Don’t agonize over the details
Before we dive into the basics of these essential pages, let me talk for a second about the right mindset.
When you are just launching your website – or any other product/service, for that matter – it doesn’t make sense at all to get stressed about the details.
You don’t have to spend days – or weeks – to pick the perfect design, color palette, or font.
I’m not saying these aspects of your website are not important. I’m just saying that you can take care of them later on, when your site is already live and, more importantly, when you start getting some feedback from your readers.
At this stage, all you have to care about is to publish the first version of your website as fast as you can.
To achieve that goal you only need three pages:
- The Home page
- The About page
- The Contact page
Let’s get started.
The Home page
The Home page of your site is where most of your visitors get to know that you exist. It’s the page they see when they type your domain name in the address bar of their browser.
Your primary goal for your Home page is to make it as clear and straightforward as possible.
Don’t force your visitors to think to figure out what you’re about. Tell them right away who you are, what you do, and why they should listen to you.
Don’t try to be smart and clever with your words.
In fact, try to be as clear and concise as you can. Don’t have your visitors guess whether you’re the one who has the answer to their questions.
Tell them you are the best fit for their needs and, if you’re in the position to do so, show them some social proof of your statement.
Use testimonials from your past clients to show your visitors that you can help them as well.
The About page
I don’t know about you, but the About page is the first page I look for when I visit a website for the first time.
Because I want to understand what they do and how they ended up where they are today.
Chances are your visitors are like me.
Therefore, you need an About page to give them the opportunity to get to know you better.
There’s a counterintuitive approach to writing a good About page that you have to keep in mind.
An effective About page puts the reader in the spotlight.
Put it another way, don’t use your About page to brag or make a long list of your accomplishments. Rather, explain to your reader that you can solve her biggest challenge.
Let her understand that you’re the person who can help her. Talk about yourself in the context of how you can help her.Are you using your About page to brag? You're making a huge mistake. Click To Tweet
The About page is also the right place to build more social proof using testimonials and praises from your clients.
Finally, don’t forget to put a nice picture of you on the About page. Your readers want to see your face.
The Contact page
At this point, some people have read your Home page and taken the time to go through your About page. It’s now time to give those people an easy way to connect with you.
Contact pages are a key element of every website.
It’s up to you to decide how much contact information you need, but, at a minimum, you have to give people a way to send you written messages.
My advice is to avoid putting your email address on your site and to use a contact form instead. This solution will help you keep spammers at bay and also project an aura of professionalism.
You may also want to put a phone number and a physical mailing address. If privacy is an issue for you, keep in mind that for very little money you can buy a Skype or Google Voice phone number and a PO box.
It goes without saying that if you run a brick-and-mortar business, you have to include your office or shop address.
Once you get these three pages done, you’re ready to launch your website.
Everything else can wait.
Just hit publish and start collecting feedback from your visitors to improve it.
Have you launched your website yet? If not, what are you waiting for? What do you think is still missing? Let me know your answers in the comments below.