This is Part 1 of a multi-part Series on "requisite pages" for your website.
This article introduces what these pages are, why they are 'required' and answers the inevitable question:
"Who makes these 'rules' anyway?"
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Did You Know...?
There are 'mandatory' pages your website MUST include !
What pages are 'mandatory' and...
who says so???
If your are new to this whole 'website-ownership' thing this may be news to you! And, you may be thinking right now:
"What? More regulations? Now what?"
That's what this article covers, so let's dive right in!
You may not realize it, but having a website, you are not exactly the "Master of your Own Ship," as hard as that may be to accept!
This is an especially-hard lesson if you have read & concur with my Manifesto. I completely agree, but that doesn't negate there are other entities that create some of the rules...
Who Makes the "Rules?"
- Google -- as the de facto #1 search engine! This should come as no surprise to anyone; Google considers "reader experience" as one of the top ranking factors in determining the relative "quality" of any given website... As you undobetdly know, ranking in Google (in the search results) laregly determines if anyone will ever find your website in organic search... (free, without resorting to PAID ads)
- Your readers! They are the reason you HAVE a website in the first place! They are the ones you are creating content for and who you are trying your best to impress! After all, these readers are your potential future clients & customers! They definitely have a vested interest in your overall content plan, so you can certainly understand their importance!
- Regulatory organizations -- It gets somewhat complicated here, as there are many of these and they are dependent upon geo-physical location, government regulations, etc. What you need to know is what jurisdiction you are bound by, starting with country of your business, local regulations, etc. The "internet" is global and you can no longer only "think locally" as if you had a single store front in a small town.
There are typically 5-6 "requisite" pages, with some others being 'optional.' Here's the "short list" with a brief description and explanations about why they are required...
Your HOME Page
This is one of the most important and most-visited pages on your website. It's expected by your readers and by Google! It's critical for both SEO & to tell your readers they've landed on the right website!
This is where you "tell your story" and provide readers the opportunity to get to know you -- and your team, if applicable -- more intimately. What are your values, why are you in business? This is an opportunity to establish trust with your readers, and show why you are qualified as an expert in your field.
Gives your reader a dedicated place to reach out to you -- for a question, or an estimate, or just to say "Hi!" It's safe for you since your email address is not "public" and open to spammers! This also further establishes the critical trust factor, since you are actively seeking a dialog with each reader.
TOS Page: Terms of Service
The TOS contains an explanation for your site visitors under what conditions they are bound while using your website. It is typically determined by your industry & your jurisdiction, so you likely will need to get qualified professional assistance with the contents or if you need this page. It protects you from potential legal action by website visitors so take this one seriously and get proper professional advice.
Learn exactly what to include on each of these requisite pages in future posts in this Series
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