The vast majority of organizations have websites. But most aren’t using them to their full potential.
Whether you’ve had a website for decades or you just launched yours last week, odds are you’re missing some crucial pages your customers need to discover your brand, research your solutions, and get what they need from you.
Obviously, every industry, every company, and every audience is unique. We can’t give you a complete list of what pages you need without digging into your specific website—but we can tell you about the kinds of pages a lot of organizations miss, and some of the biggest ways you can use your website to serve your audience.
Here are three types of pages your website needs in 2020.
1. Pillar pages
Pillar pages are comprehensive articles that you build your content around. Each one covers a crucial concept, core problem, or key solution you want your audience to understand. They may not explicitly promote or highlight your product, but they should be strongly related to your product category. They’re the things you want your organization to be known as an expert on.
A good pillar page is like the hub of a wagon wheel. As you dig into topics that are core to your business, they create natural opportunities to link to your product or service pages, case studies, and other content—and each of those pages link back to your pillar pages, like the spokes of a wheel.
If you want to stand out in your product category in 2020, you need to use your website to educate your target market about your product category. And pillar pages are one of the best ways to do that.
2. Deep dives into your products or services
Your product or service pages should be the best possible places for people to explore the nuts and bolts of what your organization actually does. A lot of companies use surface-level, “salesy” content to explain their products or services, hoping that these pages will give just enough to drive visitors to contact sales.
That used to be a decent marketing strategy. But if you’re still putting the bare minimum into these vital pages, you’re leaving a lot of potential conversions on the table. Consumers rely on websites to research companies, products, and services, and if your website is forcing them to work too hard to find what they need (by picking up the phone or filling out a form), they’re probably just going to move on.
Make sure your products and services are clearly explained on dedicated pages. Describe them in detail, answer common questions, and provide clear examples of how they work.
3. Case studies, stories, or reviews
Case studies, stories, and reviews aren’t appropriate for every organization. But most organizations could be using one of those categories. And if you can, you absolutely should. These pages give your audience a valuable opportunity to see real outcomes of your product or service, and to see their own possibilities through the lens of someone else’s experience.
Case studies provide clear, tangible examples of how your product or service works in a real-life application (ideally with stats and figures). A lot of marketing explores hypothetical situations and hypothetical outcomes. Case studies highlight a real problem, and showcase one of your solutions in action.
Between sales associates, customer service teams, missionaries, field reps, and other teams that interact with the people they serve, most organizations wind up with a seemingly infinite supply of stories worth sharing.
Every story your organization publishes about someone you served creates a unique opportunity for a potential customer to see themselves and consider your business in a new light. So when you hear about a good story, see if you can get permission to share it on your website.
And if you have a product, reviews are simply something your audience is going to look for before they buy. If your website doesn’t help them find reviews, they’re going to turn to Google—and who knows what they’ll find there!
Case studies, stories, and reviews help new website visitors gain confidence in your products or services, but they can serve another important purpose as well: they give you a stream of relevant content to share with your existing customers, email subscribers, and social media followers, too.
Is your website setting you up for success?
It’s not enough anymore to simply have a website, or to provide basic information about your organization. Today, your website needs to be a hub for people to learn everything they can about you, from you. If you force people to go somewhere else to learn about you and what you do, you lose control of the experience and risk that it simply may not happen.
So find out what your audience needs to know about you and your industry, and then get it on your website.