5 Things Your Website Must Include

In this post you'll find out how a clear introduction, minimum-viable product, obvious CTA, about page, and email capture will make your website 100 times better than your competition.

Whether you’re a student, employee, blogger, or the CEO of a startup, everything on your website should be intentional. Everything from your headlines, CTA buttons, to your pages and images, all need to be moving your audience toward an end goal.

What happens if your site isn’t intentionally setup? People will get lost, bounce, and you probably won’t ever see them again.

Here are 5 things your website must include if you want to be the best.

1. A Clear Introduction

The absolute best introduction I have seen is from StartupCamp.

First you see the founder, Dale, so you know the business is about people. Second, you read “entrepreneur, blogger or dreamer” so you know exactly who it’s for—driven, motivated people who want to start their own thing. Third, you get an introduction to a massive community of folks chasing their dream. Fourth, a super obvious invitation to watch his compelling video.  

2. Product

You don’t need retail space, a warehouse, or a manufacturing plant to sell product. Products can be physical like a t-shirt, a book, or a download. They can also be a service, like consulting, writing, or designing.

If you are a blogger, the biggest mistake you can make is not selling a product. A blog is not a business and your posts are not products—they are a content marketing platform. Of course, the exception to this rule is that your blog could be a business if it’s sole purpose is to make advertising sales like BuzzFeed, DrudgeReport, or BusinessInsider. Otherwise, a blog is a piece of the marketing puzzle, not the entire product.

A lot of folks write e-books or guides as a product. A great way to promote an ebook is to giveaway the first chapter or two away in exchange for an email address. Gumroad makes this process so simple!

3. Email Capture

Social media interaction, likes and follows are important to build a thriving digital business or blog, but nothing is as important to your long-term strategy than email capture.

You need to start building an audience today that you can connect with, send updates to, and  directly sell your product to regularly. Everyone spends hours on their email every day, so reach them where they are.

Mailchimp is the my recommendation for someone just starting out. You don’t have to pay for the first 1,000 subscribers.

If you’re really serious about your email marketing and want a versatile, easy-to-use, premium service, check out AWeber. AWeber is a very popular choice and currently the best email tool on the market.

4. An Obvious Call-to-Action

Ask for the sale. Sadly, most people are afraid to do this because they don’t want to be judged as shallow, seen as spammy, or lose out on quality fans. Don’t worry about being too “salesy” because the truth is that even if you have to convince someone now, they will be thanking you later. Make it easy for your audience to purchase.

Here are a couple case studies to illustrate my point: Fizzle and Storybrand.

Not only is StartupCamp making their call-to-actions obvious, so are the folks over at Fizzle. It’s really difficult to miss the big green “I AM IN” button. They invite you to join them for $1 per month, then they tell you that you’re in. Notice that the button doesn’t say, “Find out more” or “Get information.” It says “I am in.” They’re asking for the sale.

If you’re a blogger, you’ll want to either hit users right away with “Start Here” or “Get the free guide.” By doing that, you’ll either push your audience deeper into your site and off the homepage, or entice them to give you their email right away before they bounce.

If you’re a business, you’ll want to invite the audience to join you or register for something right away. Storybrand does this really well. Check out their homepage slider below. It is composed of a video loop with compelling static text and a hard-to-miss “register here” button.

5. About Page

The most important page on your site is the about page.

If you use Google Analytics, a quick look at your most popular pages will show you that the about page is very highly ranked. It ought to be—people are interested in other people and want to know more about them. When someone lands on your site, they want to get to know the human behind the brand—you!

A killer about page always includes contact information so they can email or call you about your product. Maybe they want to hire you or partner with you. It would be a real bummer to miss out on customers and clients because they simply can’t find your email!

Last, but not least, the about page is not as much about you as it is about them—your audience. They need to be able to find themselves in your story and see your life as a close reflection of theirs. 

What do you think? Anything else you think is essential?