What content do I need for a website?

Gathering content for your small business website can be overwhelming. Let us break down the most important things you'll need to provide before your website launches.
Website content 101 for small businesses

A website without content is like a house without furniture. It’s there, it’s functional, and it may even look pretty, but will anyone enjoy it? Website content is what makes visitors stay (“retention”), and effective content is what will lead those visitors towards the goal of your site.

Types of website content

The main types of content you’ll want to collect are testimonials, pricing, photos/graphics, and copy.


Woman with laptop reading testimonials on a website

Testimonials can be the most powerful selling tool on your website. Being able to see a direct account of your services from a real person can often turn a visitor into a conversion. Despite this, testimonials are an often-overlooked feature. if you’ve never thought to reach out to your best customers to ask for a review, do it now!

A common roadblock to obtaining a collection of reviews is that some business owners or marketing managers are just not sure how to go about bluntly asking for it. It can seem a little awkward at first, but don’t be shy – the worst that can happen is that they don’t respond. If you request testimonials from 100 clients and only receive one, that’s still one more than you had before!

In order to save time, you can use an email blast, text message, or social media post (or all three!) to easily reach a wide audience. Another option is to use customer satisfaction surveys with a service such as Typeform or SurveyMonkey. Not only can they help you improve, but any positive comments provided at the end can be turned into testimonials with their permission.

Try offering an incentive if you’re not having any luck collecting testimonials. A sweepstakes for a $50-100 prize is enough to collect at least a few. A coupon offering a discount could also be effective, especially when the offer is sent a few days after a customer has made or received their purchase.


Examples of website pricing tables and lists
Your website pricing page can be as simple or detailed as you need it to be.

One of the biggest reason customers visit websites is to look up pricing information. Customers usually like to shop around before making a decision. If you have many products or services, you may need a separate page to display this information. Businesses such as restaurants, gyms, salons, and recurring subscription services are good examples.

You can determine how important it is to have this information displayed by doing some competitor research. If you notice that most competing businesses have pricing info on their sites, it’s important that you do as well. If your website is the only one that doesn’t make that information easy to find, a customer may skip right over you and continue shopping elsewhere.

It’s also important to keep your pricing information up to date. If someone is doing business with you based on the rates you advertised, those rates should be honored. Incorrect pricing can result in a bad review and losing that customer for life. It’s not hard to keep these things up to date, however. With a Website Maintenance Plan, you can send a quick email or text message with a price change and your pricing page will be updated for you.

Photos & graphics

Woman preparing content for website

When having a website built, a common reason for schedule delays is collecting photos and graphics. Even if you have all the copy and design elements in place, a website can look bare without them. Without an appropriate amount of graphic elements, the overall design will suffer because it looks unfinished. The amount you need will vary on the type of website you have. Don’t worry – your web designer will go over this with you or give you a checklist.

The price of a custom website build usually doesn’t include stock photos and illustrations.= As part of the design process, samples (“proofs”) of suggested images will often be part of the mockup. If these proofs are copyrighted material, licensing fees will apply. Sometimes a website quote will include a separate line item or increase the overall total price for images. In other cases, they will not be in the final product at all and you’ll be required to supply your own images. If you’re not sure, it’s important to ask – using copyrighted materials without a license can cause legal trouble.

Stock images and illustrations are great for blog posts and other copy on your site. Keep in mind, however, that they should only make up a small percentage of your overall website design. There’s no substitute for authentic pictures of you, your business, and your product or service. Visitors like to be able to see real examples of your company and what you’re about. A genuine presentation of your business will make customers more comfortable spending money with you.

SEO-friendly copy

Copywriters optimizing for SEO

Copy is one of the trickiest elements to develop on some websites. Certain sites may have other content that’s self-explanatory and stands on its own. Search engines love copy, however, so it’s good to have even if there’s nothing that needs to be said. Having more readable content will also also improve website accessibility. A copywriter can help you fill out this content if writing isn’t your thing.

The more written content on a page, the better chance that a search engine will pick up a keyword. Keywords are commonly searched short phrases. They’re important because it’s how visitors find your website content “organically” (via search). Try to ensure that each paragraph contains a different emphasized keyword when possible. For instance, a salon’s service page might one paragraph for every service offered. Their first paragraph, under the “Manicures” heading, contains the bolded words “French set”. The second paragraph contains the keywords “balayage highlights” under a “Haircuts” heading, and so on. If you want to learn more, Ahrefs has a great article on how to use SEO keywords in your writing.

If you’re like most business owners, free time is hard to come by. You might not have the extra time in your schedule to copywrite for your website. Perhaps writing just isn’t your thing. Either way, it’s still possible to ensure a good content score. Hiring a copywriter is the best way to get expert written content for your website. A quick Google search will reveal many local copywriters and agencies that can help you for a reasonable fee.

Delivering your content

Google Drive is one of the easiest ways to share website content.

Once you have content ready, you’ll need to send it to your website developer. They may have their own method of collection that they’ll advise you of.

The most common method is cloud storage with a shared folder, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. You’ll be granted access to this folder where you can click and drag files from your computer to upload them. Cloud storage is a foolproof way to avoid lost email attachments or confusion. The developer can see right away when the files have been received and assist you with any issues.

All content on the website needs to be in place prior to launch. This allows the developer and you to preview every page on the website to ensure the content looks as it should. If the content isn’t received in time to implement before the projected launch date, the project may be placed on hold. After receiving all content, the developer can then reschedule a new launch date.

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