Canadians are serious about the internet — according to Cira, 71% of the population is online for at least three hours each day. That means if you run a business in Canada, a website is non-negotiable. It’s your central hub, a place your customers can find information around the clock. To make the most of your web presence, your site should have a few basic pages that give customers what they need.
What Does Your Business Do?
When a new customer lands on your website, they often have one question in mind: "What does this company do?" Your website should make it easy to get an answer — usually, with a page that describes your services. This page can go by many names; three common options are Services, What We Do, and Products. This page should tell customers exactly what your company can do for them. It’s a good idea to use bold headings for each main product or service. When in doubt, run your page through the scan test: Could a first-time visitor understand what you do after scanning the page for three to five seconds?
Keep in mind that a service page isn’t necessary for every company. If you run a business called Joe’s Seafood Restaurant, you probably don’t need to provide a page that says, "We serve seafood." Instead, you can help customers understand your company with a Menu page.
Show Off Your Work
Your website is the perfect place to show off your best work. Once a potential customer is interested in your products or services, a Portfolio page is your chance to reel them in further. This page should showcase two things: your style and your abilities. If you work with physical objects, such as toys or brochures, consider investing in professional photography to put your products in the best light. For writers, links to published articles are easy and user-friendly. Don’t be afraid to get creative — if you’re a social media specialist, you can create a portfolio by showing before and after screenshots of customers’ Facebook Insights stats.
What if your work doesn’t lend itself to a portfolio? You’re not alone. Many businesses, such as accounting firms, simply don’t have website-friendly work products. If that sounds familiar, you can replace the portfolio with a Testimonials or Clients page. Testimonials are a great way to get your customers to brag about your company, so you don’t have to. Whenever possible, give them more weight by linking to the person’s website or LinkedIn profile. A Clients page is simple: a list of companies you’ve worked for. For an even more powerful page, use the company logos (with permission, of course).
Continuing the Conversation
Once you’ve convinced your customers of your abilities, it’s time to give them a way to get in touch, usually, with a Contact page. The actual contact channels you choose depend on how you want people to reach out. An email address is the bare minimum; you can also include a contact form and a mailing address. Don’t forget about your social media profiles — this is a no-commitment way for customers to check you out further.
Phone numbers can be a starting point. If you have a dedicated business phone, feel free to include it. If you’re a solopreneur and you use your personal cell phone for work, however, you might want to think twice. Do you actually want to give that number to everyone on the internet? If the answer is no, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave it off.
Finding Your Business
Does your business have a physical location? If so, a Find Us or Directions page is a must. When a customer wants to find you, they automatically look for this page to find an address. If you’re located in a confusing spot, or if GPS routes to your address are incorrect, it’s helpful to add a short explanation. A photo of your storefront can also help customers spot your business on a busy street.
If your Directions page looks sparse, a beautiful map can jazz it up. Google Maps allows you to embed maps directly onto your website; WordPress also has map plugins for convenience.
Setting Your Company Apart
The About Us page is a fantastic opportunity to set your company apart from the competition. It’s a great spot to humanize your company — tell the story of how you got started, explain how you chose your name, or talk about what you do differently. The Toronto restaurant Harvest Kitchen, for example, uses its About page to talk about its commitment to local ingredients and affordable food. These details help create personal connections with your business, which can be a powerful way to get people in the door.
How Long Should Each Page Be?
Your website is an information hub for people who already know your business exists, but it’s also a great way to help new people discover you. The length of each page matters; great content helps search engines find your website. According to Forbes, 300 words per page is the minimum, but pages that are 750 words or longer tend to rank higher in search engines. There’s no need to force long paragraphs, especially on pages such as Contact. When you can, add more text that talks about your company and what you do.
An informative, easy-to-navigate website is a great way to build an internet presence for your company. With a few informative pages, you can attract new customers and make it easy to get in touch.