Your website can and should be the hub of your business-–a place where prospects can go any time of day or night to find out exactly how you can help them. And every page on your website should somehow smooth the path toward the sale. But four pages in particular are key… The Home Page Your home page needs to immediately convince the visitor she’ll quickly find what she’s looking for before she turns around and walks back out the door. This means sharing a little about what you do–-using the same words and phrases she would use-–and why she should care. It also means offering guidance as to where she may want to go next on the site. And overall, it’s good to keep the layout and navigation simple. But before she leaves the home page, encourage her to sign up for your newsletter. That way you can keep in touch even if she decides not to buy or contact you today. The About Us Page That’s right–-the page we often think about last actually plays an important role in building credibility and enhancing your likability. In fact, one Marketing Sherpa study found that a personable About Us page can boost website conversions 30%! Remember…people buy from people, not companies. They’re also generally skeptical about buying from unknown businesses on the internet. So your About Us page is critical to establishing yourself as an expert and developing the all-important know, like and trust factor. Here are a few key dos and don’ts: * DON’T post a formal bio (save that for your media page) * DON’T start with a dense but essentially meaningless mission statement * DON’T post long lists of journal articles, previous speaking engagements or other similar items. Put a link to them on the page instead so visitors aren’t overwhelmed * DO tell them about you–-your experience, your story (if relevant) and a little about who you are personally * DO use a more casual, conversational style * DO include a photo or two Sales Pages The workhorse of your website–-each product or service should have its own sales page. The style and format is designed to minimize distractions, and the copy makes a compelling logical and emotional case for your offering. The goal is to motivate her to act now–-whether that’s buying through an online shopping cart or contacting you for a free consultation. Unfortunately, sales pages are usually the weakest link in a website–-offering a paragraph or two of information and a price or “contact us” for more information. The problem is…no one wants to email or call you for more information. It takes too much time and she dreads being trapped by a hard-core sales pitch. So a visitor won’t bother until she’s fairly sure you can meet her needs. That means giving her the full scoop upfront in an entertaining and persuasive way. Contact Us Yes, even the Contact Us page is critical to your credibility. Even if you’ve given them a way to respond on your sales page, people will often check Contact Us to see if you’re a “real” business. I often look to see where a business is located so I know when a good time to call or email may be. One huge mistake is NOT having the company name, street address, phone, and email listed. If you’re concerned about privacy, get a UPS box or rent a virtual office. Not having those items just makes your business look sketchy. A second common mistake is offering a contact form as the ONLY way to contact you. Some people just won’t do it. Plus, the slightest breeze seems to break internet forms and then no one can reach you at all. That’s why the best route is to offer as much contact information and as many ways for them to contact you as possible. In short, all four of these pages are essential to creating an effective, business-building website.