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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

Content for the smaller site
what to include

 2:34 pm on Oct 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

We have a number of smaller customers - sites of 5 pages or less, (often its all they can afford).

When starting the site, the biggest single issue we have is getting content out of the customer.
Its not a lack of willingness on their part, more a general confusion about what they should include.

What we want to do is give them a checklist to get their mental juices running.

e.g. (from the top of my head)
Home page - Introduction to your company and products
Products/Services Page(s)
Testemonials Page
Quality and Certifications Page
Location Details
Contact Details
Company History (yeah, b-o-r-i-n-g, but at least I can optimise it as doorway page)

What other suggestions can we throw out for 'possible' pages?

I feel that if we hit the right mix we can talk many of them into taking more pages, but at the very least get make it easier for them to focus on the pertinent facts.



 4:10 pm on Oct 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

I always like to build a site with these fundamental pages:

Home page - a corporate-style splash as an entry point.
About page - who they are and how they do what they do so well.
Product/Services page - what it says, perhaps leading to specific documents or data download (pdf).
News page - what's new from the company or its products.
Enquiry page - the most important page of the lot (you'd be surprised how many sites fail to include and enquiry form). Use automated data capture here too with opt-in/out mailing lists.

Kick off with this on the smaller sites and you won't go wrong. you'll find that the things like testimonials, quality and location will fit in to the About page and News page where it's newsworthy. History fits well in the about page, if you have to include it.


 4:38 pm on Oct 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Mission statements, investor info, press releases... All the corporate "dry stuff" can be made to help reinforce your theme. Be creative though, not many want to see another brochureware site.


 5:34 pm on Oct 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

A product comparison/cross reference page listing all of their major competitors' brands (giving proper credit for trademarks).

>Location Details
A map page (use "map" in the links and title) and a separate "driving directions" page covering all of the major routes (great for geographic keywords).


 6:48 pm on Oct 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

I find people appreciate and view the Privacy pages quite a bit.


 10:48 pm on Oct 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

Visitors usually want as much info about a product as possible and I have noticed businesses like to share as little about the product as possible. Ideas to help are:

--explain your industry and why the product stands out
--compare against other leading products
--why they should care to buy from you

I like to tell businesses to give the user as much info as possible. In many industries, the consumer doesn't know much. Now is your chance to educate them! Giving as much info as possible helps the visitor buy and build credibility.


 11:47 pm on Oct 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

What about customer service/help section, or a question/answer (faq) section. These can many times make great doorway pages also.


 1:40 pm on Oct 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

What about a links page to product manufacturers\govenering bodies etc (can help with promoting site to search engines)
also a possible database driven news page something they can update to keep the site sticky


 1:54 pm on Oct 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

This is all good stuff.

When I get a moment, I will collate it all and post a summary as a crib sheet to kick start the old grey cells.


 3:14 pm on Oct 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

>What about a links page to product manufacturers\govenering bodies

Oh yeah! I forgot that one... add trade associations and links to them.

Also, did we mention a "Line Card" anywhere? It's just a categorized list of your vendors, I was amazed at how many emails I rec'd where people were searching out specific brands, they came in on my line card.


 3:21 pm on Oct 12, 2001 (gmt 0)


could you explain more about "line Card" i think it may need a USA to UK translation.



 4:40 pm on Oct 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

>line card

It's just a directory of the major brands stocked or sold. A simple bulleted list of the manufacturer's name and a listing of some of the brands they manufacture or distribute. In some of the wholesale trades, manufacturer's websites may be scarce, but I'd link out if they have one. Very simple, very quick, and likely to be chock full of keywords and brands.


 4:47 pm on Oct 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, just pickin' through my site... Can't claim these are stunning pages in terms of numbers of hits, but they do get some:

Board of Director Info if you happen to have one (actually, this one gets quite a few hits....)
Bylaws again, if you happen to have any.
Annual Reports (I think someone already mentioned that...)
Employment Opportunities Other then our index page, this is our most hit page.

And of course things like current projects, rate scales, and other customer service type things.


 1:30 am on Oct 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

Also, which pages to include and page titles can also be influenced by the company's industry.

I did a small site for as Audio Production Suite some time ago including the following pages:- profile, credits, resources, rates, contact.

I guess these would translate to :-

profile => about
credits => history
resources => plant/factory equipment et al
rates => prices
contact => contact/enquiry


Robert Charlton

 1:47 am on Oct 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

In addition to the standard pages that everybody's discussed, I like to have pages dedicated to the major product or service areas that will be targeted for search. If people are searching a multi-faceted site for giant widget repair, it's much easier to target this on a page that's about giant widget repair than it is on a history page or a rates page.

This depends of course on how focused the site is and how many different products or services the company offers. It's not just a question of getting the page to rank... If the page isn't about what the visitor is searching for, he won't click through when he finds it in search.


 6:58 am on Oct 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

It's also a good idea to include a page that is updated continuously, to enhance stickiness. How to do this, depends on the industry.


 9:49 am on Oct 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

Just remembered another:

'Recently completed projects'


 3:16 pm on Oct 31, 2001 (gmt 0)

Right, I summarised all the suggestions as a 'check list' to be used in trying to get more info/pages from my clients.

This is going to be invaluable for me, so may be of use to you guys also. Apologies to anyone whose ideas I have incorrectly paraphrased.

It is no longer a list for smaller sites - but nevertheless, here goes:

(in no particular order)

* Home page
A summary page - this needs to tell the visitor what you offer and detail what they can hope to find in your site. If a key phrase is important it needs to be mentioned here.

* Company History
Self Evident, but a good opportunity to mention all your key phrases again and to present your company as a 'solid' concern.

* Quality and Certifications Page
Any Qualifications, Certifications, Quality Awards, BS or ISO standards, Investors in People awards etc. Another chance to convince the prospective customer. This page can be 'linked to' directly from the main 'sales pitch' page.

* Testemonials Page
Testemonials from satisfied customers. A chance to convince the prospective customer. This page can be 'linked to' directly from the main 'sales pitch' page.

* About Us page
On a smaller site, this can replace a number of other pages, eg Quality, History etc

* Location Details
Address, Map, Directions etc

* Contact Details
Fax, e-mail, phone etc. Can include a mini-directory for all your departments or points of contact.

* Product/Services pages
For good search engine ranking, each distinct product or service should have its own page. For the smaller site, these pages need to detail every key phrase that it relevant. These can be your main traffic grabbing pages.

* News and press release page
An opportunity to communicate with your visitors. May include a link to your mailing list (if you don't have one, why not!). Another opportunity to mention some of the key phrases. May contain links to individual press release pages. This can be a "user maintained" page.

* Enquiry page
The most important page of the lot. Make the form easy to use but make sure you get all the information you need

* Mission statement page
If you have a mission statement, why not put it on its own page.

* Investor info
If you have investors and shareholders, use this page to keep them informed. Can include Annual Reports, strategy information, contact details for your Investor Relations Manager etc.

* Product comparison/cross reference page
Listing all of their major competitors products and showing whay yours is better.

* Privacy pages
If you are collecting data via enquiry forms use this page to tell your potential customers that you won't abuse the information that they are providing.

* Customer service page
If you already have a customer base using the internet, give them a page with an enquiry form to report problems, ask questions etc

* FAQ page
A good Frequently Asked Questions Page can be a valuable way of answering questions that might otherwise be an obstacle to a sale.

* Links page
Although called something like 'further information', 'trade associations' etc.
A chance to link to all the product manufacturers, trade associations and professional bodies. Also an opportunity to provide return links to sites that have agreed to link to you.

* Line card
A directory of the major brands stocked or sold. A simple bulleted list of the manufacturer's name and a listing of some of the brands they manufacture or distribute. If the manufacturer have websites, link to them. A simple page that will full of keyword phrases and brand names.

* Board of Director Info
A 'vanity' page that gets more visitors than most people imagine.

* Employment Opportunities
This can be another 'user maintained'page.

* Resources Page
Plant/factory equipment - important in the manufacturing industry. Another opportunity to get relevant keywords into the site.

* Prices/Rates
Another 'selling' page, and an opportunity to mention those products and keyphrases again.

* Recently completed projects
Details, pictures, background information. Why were you chosen, how did you use your uniques skills to solve problems and complete the projects etc.

* A page for any unique keyword phrase that is not already covered.
Some phrases cannot be 'shoe-horned' into the main site and still succeed on the search engines. If a phrase is very competitive, or very unique, build a page around it.

Phew - any other ideas are welcome


 3:35 pm on Oct 31, 2001 (gmt 0)

Wow! Well Done 4eyes and thank you. Excellent Stuff!



 3:47 pm on Oct 31, 2001 (gmt 0)

I just came with a question and collated the answers.

Profit all round I hope


 12:36 am on Nov 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

* FAQ page
A good Frequently Asked Questions Page can be a valuable way of answering questions that might otherwise be an obstacle to a sale.

When it comes to doing organic SEO, FAQ's IMHO are by far the most overlooked and underdeveloped tool available. The amount of mileage you can get out of competitor brand names can be incredible. The first key is not to put all the questions on one page. Use a separate page for each. The second key is not not limit yourself to questions people actually ask. :)

After all, frequncy is directly related to traffic volume, so I always tell clients to write down all the possible questions they might get asked if they were getting 10,000+ visitors per day.


 9:38 pm on Nov 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

I think...

It helps to have a lot of information about the company and the people behind it. This can inspire trust by letting the user know there are real people involved.


 6:43 pm on Mar 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

How about a page of article summaries?

I haven't done it yet, but I am planning on offering this to one for my smaller clients. I plan to find articles related the various applications of their products and write a paragraph summary of the article. Per page I will have at least 5 summaries and each page will focus on only one application of their product.

I figure I'll get the following benefits from this:

1. Very easy to create.

2. Useful content for visitors.

3. Improvement in overall theme.

4. Nicely focused text filled pages to optimize and submit.

5. Quality outbound links.

Anyone see any problems with this? ...or have an easier idea to implement?



 9:57 am on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have to second what JamesR said. The more info in decreasing levels you can give the better. "click her for more info" gets clicked a very high percentage of the time on ecomm sites. Even general information.

Say you are selling computer speakers:

Super Xpo 100 watt speakers $99.00
- about xpo
- about "watt" ratings on speakers.
- types of sound cards needed.
- installation instructions
- software that comes with it - the software manual.
- hardware manual - pdf it.
- speaker cables.
- amp ratings.

and on and on. It's amazing how deep some people will click reading info. All that info? Food for da machine as well as the user.


 7:29 pm on Mar 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

You're right Brett, sometimes though (like right now for me) getting that content from the client is like pulling teeth...even when they understand the value.

That's why I came up with the article idea. I can easily create multiple pages for them this way, while I keep pulling at their teeth :)

I'm still looking for more ideas like this though. Anyone have other ideas for content that can be easily created without involving the client?


 7:39 pm on Mar 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think two other good ideas (on every page):

recommend this site to a friend:

Lets the user send an email message to a friend, with some added comment, plus perhaps some static text:

foo@bar.baz found information on widgets that you
might consider useful.

Here are their comments:

Hey Jack, really useful site i found, they have the
extralarge widgets at an unbeatable 9.99


let the user rate the info they find:

This tells you about the user acceptance of pages, ie. why you need to rework certain pages

Premade scripts (php, cgi) for both applications are readily available. Doing the first by hand is a matter of like 20mins for someone who knows php


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