Oh the resources page... Perhaps the most under-utilized page on doula websites, usually consisting of no more than a list of linked resources for pregnancy and birth. But isn't that what a resources page is SUPPOSED to be, you ask? Well yes, and no. Yes, you want to provide great resources to site visitors and clients, but the typical format is both overwhelming and, frankly, boring.
Five tips to help you make the most of the your resources page >
Know your clients.
I invite you to consider your typical site visitor or client. How do you want your resources page to serve that family? What types of information and services are they seeking? Your resources page should be carefully curated. Each link should be added with a sense of how it will be helpful for that family. Quality over quantity! That said, a doula resource page with only 3 links just isn't worth it.
This is such a great opportunity to meet site visitors' needs even Before they hire you as their doula! Be sure you take full advantage of it. Starting building that relationship with a lovely introduction paragraph at the top of the page talking about how you have carefully selected these resources just for them. You can also describe the nature of your collaborative relationships with other local practitioners as a doula.
Highlight local communities.
Do you serve families in two or more local towns or cities? Those of you with a lot of surrounding towns in your service area should definitely consider making individual resources pages for each town. This will give your SEO a boost for families searching for local pregnancy and birth support, and help you establish yourself as an expert resource for local families. Also, be sure to include a street address & phone for businesses that have a physical location - helpful for site visitors and good for your SEO!
Keep it organized and readable.
What design elements will help them make the most of the information you are providing? Definitely include sub-sections for different areas such as midwives and doctors, prenatal yoga and fitness, childbirth classes, postpartum support, etc... If you have a lot of resources to share, consider using an accordion feature as seen here to help keep things organized. With an accordion, clients select which tab to open, preventing overwhelm. If you're on WordPress, here's a link to my favorite accordion plugin. By including simple design elements such as photos, space between listings, and a different color for linked text your content will feel approachable.
One more thing - keep it up to date! Sadly, each year a number of local businesses will close their doors. Others may change their website URL or delete a page you had linked to. At least once a year I encourage you go through each and every link on that page & check for broken links. At the same time you can add in a few new fabulous resources discovered in the past year. Go ahead and actually schedule this on your calendar as an annual "resource pages review".
Share your expertise.
How can your resources page help potential clients get a sense of your practice style and expertise? Each link that you include serves as a clue to site visitors, telling them about your depth of connection within the community and your knowledge of helpful resources. Why not include a brief commentary on each link that you provide - i.e. why you love Julie's prenatal yoga classes, and how she has helped your clients. As a site visitor I'm way more likely to click and learn more about Julie's classes with your personal recommendation, and Julie will hopefully notice more traffic coming from your site!
Keep them on your website!
This is such a simple but important step for any resource page. When you link to another business, please make SURE that the link opens in a new tab. All too often I see doula resource pages that send their valued site visitors away from their site when they click. Your goal is to keep them on your site for as long as possible, not to get them lost in internet resource land... Also consider featuring links to blog posts you have written with a local focus on this page to encourage them to continue discovering all that you have to offer.
Here are a few favorite local resources pages from my website gallery for you to check out:
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