5 things to include on your company website, according to a business magazine editor

Want to get your business published in a magazine? Include this info on your website, please

Credit: Avel Chuklanov/Unsplash

Want to get your business published in a magazine? Make sure your site covers all of these details, please

Having a great business website is good for customers, good for sales and, most of all—OK, maybe we’re a bit biased—good for getting coverage in the media. Here at BCBusiness, we spend a hefty chunk of every day on the web hunting down new, unique and local companies to feature in our pages and online.

And I can’t speak for always calm editor-in-chief Nick, but I also spend a hefty chunk of every day glaring at my computer screen, desperately searching company websites for basic things like the founder’s name or where the heck the business is located.

So for your benefit and mine: here are five things you should include on your company’s website, according to a magazine editor (me). Happy businessing!

 1. The city and province where your business is based

For national magazines, a Canadian flag emoji in your Instagram bio might be enough to get you coverage—but for regional publications like BCBusiness, you need to be more specific. Including both your province and city could be a game changer when it comes to being published.

For columns like Inventory, for example, I’m looking for businesses from all corners of the province. We cover a lot of Vancouver companies because it’s a big city and that’s where we’re based (see how easy it is!), but we always get excited when we can spotlight folks from other parts of B.C.

I’m not one to shy away from a challenge—I’ve found out where businesses are located through everything from using Google Maps to checking the company’s LinkedIn page to stalking the founder on Facebook. But I don’t want to be creeping your 2015 vacation photos to try and learn where your company is based. Just tell me! 

Credit: Bloomier website

Sustainable florist Bloomier begins its Who we are page like this: “Welcome to our zero-waste flower studio in West Vancouver, B.C.” Perfection

2. Your founder’s first and last name

This one’s tricky, because putting your name out there can be complicated (especially for women and non-binary folks) and deciding how much privacy you want in our web-focused world is a personal decision.

Still, I assume you’re reading this because you want to be featured in a business magazine. Bye, anonymity! Including the full name of your founder is very helpful for journalists—it’s an extra step we’re happy to skip in our journey of learning about you, and it’s nice to have the proper name for email messages.

Oh, please include your surname, too. I can’t tell you how many company websites I’ve scoured that say something along the lines of, “When Blake and Kelly had their first child, that’s when they knew they had to start a baby fedora business.” Blake and Kelly who?

Credit: Raven Reads website

Kelowna-based Raven Reads’ website includes a letter from founder Nicole McLaren.

3. Your company’s story (be specific!)

We’re people people! A company’s story almost always focuses on the founder or team: their inspiration, their hardships, their successes. You don’t need to publish your autobiography online, but specifics are always appreciated. Here’s a bad example from our favourite fictional baby fedora business owners, Blake and Kelly.

Blake and Kelly founded their business because they saw a need in their community. Using their individual backgrounds and lots of research, they prototyped the perfect solution and then started selling their products. The first batch of inventory sold out quickly, and ever since then they’ve been doing what they love: business.

This is a joke, of course, but many “About Us” webpages look something like the above. An engaging paragraph or two about who founded your company and how it started could be the difference between a writer reaching out or deciding not to bother. Include details like how the founders met, any life events that influenced the birth of the business, and what makes your company different from others in the same market.

Credit: Skwalwen website

Skwalwen Botanicals’ website shares founder Leigh Joseph’s memories of connecting food and culture as a young girl in her aunt and uncle’s kitchen

4. Contact information

This might be an obvious one, but I’ll go a bit further here by saying you should include an actual company email on your website. Not one of those embedded forms that visitors can fill out. This is my personal preference as someone who likes to include a lot of information when I’m reaching out to a business.

For example, if I’m emailing you about including your company in a column, I’ll send a PDF attachment of a previous instalment to give you a visual idea of what the column looks like. I’ll hyperlink similar web stories, too. An online form usually doesn’t allow attachments or hyperlinks—sometimes it doesn’t even let you put spaces between paragraphs and has a limit on the number of words.

Hot tip: you can still include an online form for customer inquiries. For example, Blake and Kelly could have an embedded email form at the top of their “Contact us” page, followed by a line underneath saying “Media inquiries: blakeandkelly@bossbabyfedoras.ca.”

Credit: Karibu Soaps website

This is what we like to see, courtesy of New Westminster–based Karibu Soaps: there’s an email form but also a direct address

5. Big, beautiful photos

This isn’t a must, but having high-res imagery (and making it easily available) is a big plus on your company’s website. If it catches our eye on your webpage, chances are it will catch eyes in the pages of our magazine, and that’s always a good thing.

You don’t necessarily need to hire a photographer or have a fancy camera—although that’s an excellent investment if you have the funds!—because most phones made after the year 2013 take photos that are good enough for the web. Include a mix of plain product and lifestyle photos to give media an idea of what assets might be available.

Credit: Flax Home website

Flax Home has very pretty online imagery of its linens and homewares