10 content templates to help you build your website

Content templates give your website pages a logical structure. Otherwise you're just aimlessly throwing elements together with no ultimate plan.
Jun 30, 2020 • 12 minute read
Kym Dunbar @whiteshepherd
Technical Co-pilot
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These 10 content templates will inspire your website build

Content templates are handy for writing website pages. It is a simple document that contains the elements you need to write each web page. A content template helps the writer consider what the most information will capture a visitor’s attention. 

A content template will have at least: 

  1. A page title.

  1. Subheadings that break the content down into chunks of easy to read information.

  2. A short description for each block of content. The description will include:

    1. The purpose of the content.

    2. Formats you can use such as a bulleted list, paragraph, table, multi-level list, screenshots, images and so on.

Why you should use content templates

Content templates are particularly useful for one-off pages such as terms and conditions and policy pages. They are also handy when working with pages that need similar information such as services and product pages for consistent presentation.

So how do content templates help? Use them to demonstrate exactly what you need for each page. Content templates:

  • Help you collect the information you need quickly as you give the writer an easy structure to follow.

  • Speed up content development as they produce reliable first drafts that are easy turn into final copy for the website.

  • Increase the consistency of the final web content.

  • Expose any gaps between the content planned for the website and what you need before going live.

How to create content templates

Before you create content templates, know what content you need to create for each page.

Creating a basic content template

Here is a basic content template you can customise to fit different pages.

Start by asking yourself the following questions before creating a template for each page:

  1. What is the aim of the page?

  2. Who is the target audience?

  3. What part of the buying cycle does the page address?

  4. What are the three main points you want to communicate?

  5. What are the keywords or keyword phrases for page SEO?

Page Title (heading 1, bold)

The page title needs to catch people’s attention, capture the essence of the information on the page and include your main keyword or phrase.

First paragraph

The first paragraph should only a few sentences and needs to capture what you want the reader to take away from reading the page. It should also include an action that links to a call to action (CTA).

Subheading (heading 2, bold)

This paragraph summarizes the first benefit and should contain a keyword. 

The content block backs up the first paragraph with supporting information. It can also include:

  • Bullet points 

  • To highlight points

  • For additional information.

Subheading (heading 2, bold)

This is another block of content to summarize another benefit or important piece of information that flows from the previous paragraph.

You can use numbered lists where it is necessary to:

  1. Inform users of information in an order of importance.

  2. Steps to complete an action for a particular outcome.

Subheading (heading 2, bold)

Another block of content to summarize another benefit or important piece of information that flows from the previous paragraph. It should also include a keyword or phrase. 

Add a CTA in bold linked to where they take the action. 

Add an image for visual effect and add keywords to the alt tag.

This is a basic content template you can apply to writing the following pages.

10 handy content templates to have on hand

There are a lot of websites that offer content template generators. Some are free and you pay for others. But it is really simple to create your own. Here are the 10 most common pages you need to build your website with tips for building your own template. 

About Us

Every website should have an about us page. About us is the opportunity to tell your story to your target audience. What you do. Why you do it. What you can do for them. What makes your company unique? Is it your services and products? You? Or your people? 

An about us page is a quick summary of you, your business and its purpose. It is all about creating consumer trust and loyalty. 

Basic information your about us page should cover is why, how and who founded the company. Explain what makes you stand out from your competitors. 

Here is a quick checklist to use as a template for an about us page:

  1. Portray your brand identity and purpose.

  2. Share your vision and mission.

  3. Are you going to write in the first or third person?

  4. Add interesting images.

  5. Keep it short and to the point.

Samples of great About Us pages

The World Wildlife Fund keeps it short and to the point. 

content templates to help you build your website

Trader Joes takes a completely different approach to telling their story and how they present their value to customers.

Contact Us

A Contact Us form is valuable as its purpose is to generate leads. It allows people to contact your company, sign up for a free download or to your newsletter or to just give you feedback.

Contacting you should be simple and easy to find. For a well-designed Contact Us form, your template should have:

  1. Introduction. A contact page has a short introduction with a CTA that invites visitors to contact you.

  2. Single column layout. A single column layout keeps it simple for people to read and fill out. When form fields are inconsistent, it can cause people to second-guess whether they want to fill it out at all.

  3. Questions in a logical sequence. Ask questions in a logical sequence so there is a smooth flow for the person filling out the form.

  4. Input fields big enough for the information. Make sure the input field is wide enough for the information you require. Users need to see the information they input or they can wonder if they have input the correct data. 

  5. Minimal fields. Do not ask unnecessary questions. Keep the information fields to a minimum. Asking too many questions can put people off and they may abandon filling out your contact us form.

  6. No placeholder text. There should be no placeholder text in the input fields as it disappears as soon as someone clicks in the field. Instead use a floating label where the placeholder text fades and moves above the field.

  7. Obvious required fields. Where you need optional fields, make sure required fields are clearly marked.

  8. Error messages that inform. Make sure it is clear to the user what parts of the form need correcting when there is an error message. It is frustrating if there is an error message that does not highlight the error.

Contact Us page examples

Pixpa keeps its contact page simple and uses a call to action to invite people to contact the business. 

content templates to help you build your website

The Marvel app keeps is super simple and fun. 

content templates to help you build your website

Privacy Policy

Privacy policies are statements about how the website handles, collects and processes the data it collects. It tells users whether they will sell or share the information to third parties or keep it strictly confidential. 

A privacy policy is essential when you collect personal information. Even if you do not collect information, add a privacy policy that states this fact. A privacy policy builds trust in your company and you may be required to have one by law. Privacy laws vary from country to country and region and region. So make sure you know what laws apply to you.

The main reasons for publishing a privacy policy include:

  • It is a legal requirement.

  • Third party services require you to.

  • It increases your transparency and builds trust.

Privacy policies usually have a link to them in the website’s footer so they are easy to find. Check out the freelancer.com privacy policy for a good example. 

A privacy policy content template should contain the following:

  1. Who owns the website. 

  2. What information you collect and how you collect it.

  3. What legal basis you have for collecting the data. This relates to the GDPR and the privacy laws in the EU but can also be a legislative requirement in other countries.

  4. How you are going to use the information; for example, marketing or analysis.

  5. What third parties you have access to the data you collect. 

  6. Do third parties such as social media buttons collect personal data when?

  7. How you safely transfer data overseas or to other countries safely and in compliance with the law. Australian and EU law require this clause under their legislation. 

  8. What rights do website users have? Can they request a copy of the data you collect about them? Can they make changes or ask you to delete the data? (This is mandatory under EU law.)

  9. How you notify users about changes to the privacy policy.

  10. The date the privacy policy takes effect. 

You need to understand the privacy laws in your country and how they relate to your website. It is also necessary to understand your target audience and what pat of the world they come from. If you have users from all over the world, then your privacy policy needs to comply with their laws.

Samples of good Privacy Policy Pages

Twitter’s privacy policy is well laid out and comprehensive

content templates to help you build your website

Terms and Conditions

While a Terms and Conditions agreement is not a legal requirement, it is an agreement that sets out the terms for using the website. In short, it is the terms all website users must agree to when using your website. Most websites add a link to their terms and conditions in the footer.

Your terms and conditions content template should include:

  • Guidelines for using your website. Guidelines can include what action you take if users abuse, spam, post defamatory comments or attempt to infect your site with malware. 

  • Content ownership. Let users know that you own all content, images, logo and the website design and is protected by international copyright, intellectual property, patent and trademark laws.

  • Terminating user accounts. The termination clause is for websites that allow users to create accounts. Under this clause you reserve the right to terminate any user account that breaches your terms and conditions. 

  • Liability limitations. Liability limitations are usually included in the terms and conditions as a warranty disclaimer. Its purpose is to limit the liability of the website owner from any errors in the website content.

  • Laws that govern the website. This is the governing law of the country and region where your business is registered. If your business holds registration in California, US then Californian laws govern the terms and conditions. 

Terms and conditions can be complex to write especially if you have a large, complicated website. You may find it simpler to use a terms and conditions generator and customize it to meet your needs.

Product pages

Your product pages are where you offer information about the products you sell. Setting up a template for products is a good idea. It keeps the presentation of products consistent for all product pages. 

A product page template should have:

  1. High quality images. High quality images are vital to selling your products online. They should be at the top of the page to encourage consumers to buy.

  2. Product descriptions. It is important to have a short product description near the top of the page to support the image/s. Add a more detailed description at the bottom of the page for people who want more information.

  3. Display clear prices. Prices should also be in the top half of the page. Do not hide it. People do not want to hunt down what your products cost. Make it stand out using a different font and color and highlight discounts. Add an “Add to cart” button near the price.

  4. Create a compelling call to action. A CTA is a button that compels a user to take action. For example, “Add to cart” and “Buy now” are CTAs. The button should be big enough to click, a contrasting color and near the top of the page and the price.

  5. Leverage reviews. Shoppers want to know what other consumers think about your products. Always include your star rating at the top of the page near the product title so it is easy to see.

  6. Add product recommendations. Product recommendations help to keep customers shopping and can help to increase each sale. They create a more personal shopping experience. You can do this using:

    1. Suggestions for similar items.

    2. Recommending top picks.

    3. Lists of what other customers also bought.

Examples of great Product pages

Pandora’s product pages are sumptuous, well laid and with clear prices.

content templates to help you build your website

Apple’s product pages are in a league of their own.

apple.com services page

Source: apple.com

Creating a blog

A blog is a section of your website that has blog posts relevant to your business. The latest blog post appears first.

Adding a blog is an affordable marketing tool and you should use it to your advantage. Your blog drives traffic and sales leads to your website. It also gives you a voice. It is a place to share your knowledge to engage your target audience. Blogs help you build a loyal following as they learn you are a subject matter expert in your area of expertise.

Today a blog is good for your SEO. But it is not good enough to write blogs without any real meaning. You need to consider why you are starting a blog and plan the content of each blog post. Quality is far more important that quantity.

It is also important to write blogs using a conversational tone to engage readers. 

For SEO and shareability, longer in-depth blogs outperform shorter blogs without much substance.

Your blog should be the centrepiece of your content strategy. Consider the following for inclusion in a blog post template:

  • Write blog posts based on questions asked by consumers.

  • Have a list of keywords and/or phrases to include to boost your search engine ranking.

  • Add internal website links to relevant information on your website.

  • Write high quality content that connects with your target audience.

  • Set a word count for each blog post of around 2000 words.

Homepage

Your Homepage is the single most important page of your website. It is the landing page that gives a first impression to visitors. The quality of the homepage can make the difference between whether a visitor stays or clicks the back button in the first three seconds. 

Your Homepage content template should include:

  • A clear, simple, powerful headline.

  • Sub headlines to break up each section of content.

  • A short description of your business and what it does.

  • A brief summary of your goods or services.

  • How you can help potential customers.

  • Primary CTAs of no more than five words placed in strategic areas of the page. These have a link that directs visitors to information such as “Download free”, Sign up” or “Make an appointment”.

  • Use an image or video to support your content.

  • Content that outlines the benefits of using your business.

  • Secondary CTAs to direct visitors to supplementary information.

Keep you Homepage content template simple but you can customise it to fit the website you are writing content for.

Services page

The Services page details the services you provide. You only have a few seconds to capture and hold a visitor’s attention. Most people scan a page to see if you provide the service they are looking for. So make good use of headings and lists to make it easy for people to scan quickly. 

The page should begin with a summary of the services provided. Where there are a lot of services with long descriptions, consider dividing them into sections.

A service page content template should include:

  • A brief overview of the services offered highlighting the potential benefits and advantages to prospective clients.

  • Address visitor’s pain points and offer services as solutions.

  • Discuss who the ideal clients are for your services. Include examples of at least three different types of people who use your services.

  • Add prices where appropriate. Most people want to know what a service will cost and if there is not a price, it can drive them away. Where it is difficult to price a service because it is quote based, add a contact us or get a quote CTA.

A Services page should provide enough information so people can decide whether a company is a good fit for them. 

Examples of good Service pages

Achievers promotes the value of their services very effectively

content templates to help you build your website

Domo uses segmentation to define its service pages.

content templates to help you build your website

FAQs page

A FAQs page makes it simple for website visitors to find the answers to their questions. It saves you time answering the most common questions every time someone asks you. 

FAQs should answer questions honestly, be to the point and contain CTAs to persuade potential customers to take the next step to buy.

Your FAQs content template should:

  1. Incorporate the key selling points of the business.

  2. Address any objections people have that can prevent a sale.

  3. Answer common customer service questions.

  4. Link questions to your main pages, where relevant.

  5. Use good grammar, punctuation and spelling.

  6. Use CTAs such as contact us.

  7. Group FAQs under main headings where there are a lot of them.

Press/News Page

A press or news page is where you add links to articles written about your business, videos, commercial accomplishments, product releases, company news and trends, and press releases. The purpose of this page is to encourage the media to contact you about your business and what you are doing.

Add links to downloads, pdfs, videos highlighting your business and a press kit if you have one. The News page allows the media to learn more about your company before getting in contact with you.

It should also either have a phone number and email address to make it easy for the media to contact you directly. Journalists are unlikely to fill out a form so avoid linking to your contact page.

Final thoughts

Creating content templates help you plan the content for each page of your website. A template keeps your content consistent and allows you to build a voice for your brand.g

Start with a simple template you can customize for each page. They guide the content and make you think about what information your website pages need to highlight. Templates also help you consider what the most important messages are to help convert visitors into paying customers. 

You only have a few seconds to engage visitors. So your content needs to capture and engage people’s attention before they hit the back button and keeping looking elsewhere.

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