Okay, so you’ve bought your web template and you’re ready to go. Homepage, check. Shop, check. Killer content, check. But let us make it clear, behind every great website there are pages that sadly, everyone, forgets about.
Creating an effective sitemap isn’t rocket science It just requires the perfect mix of research, planning, commonsense and fairy dust. So, grab a glass of wine and start by answering a couple of important questions.
- Customer: Who is your ideal customer? What is their demographic, what are their likes, dislikes, habits, characteristics? In order to create an effective sitemap you need to think like your customer.
- Goals: What is the core objective of your website? Are you selling product online? Building brand awareness or trying to generate leads?
- USP: What is your USP (unique selling position)? How does it compare to your competitors? Is it the experience you are creating for your customers? Or the inventory and prices?
- Information: What information is your strongest? Is it the company history? The product info? What information is your weakest?
- Growth: What changes are you looking to make over the coming months and years? And how would these work within your website design.
Okay, so you’re ready to take on the sitemap (YAY). Let’s start with the primary, top level pages. These are the ones that usually sit in your site’s main navigation menu. These bad boys are going to follow your customers around like a cute and adorable but very lost puppy. So make sure they are direct and relevant. If I see you have your T&Cs sitting on your main navigation bar, the FF cabin crew will personally come to your office and slap you round with cold sausage. You want to create an easy, refined user experience. We are living in a generation of now, now, NOW! So don’t make the important links hard to find because people will lose interest and move along to the next site. You want streamlined navigation that gets your customers from point A to point B in the minimal number of steps possible.
Next, you have your secondary pages, these are commonly used as dropdowns or exist in the footer, and typically act as either a more detailed, specific version of their parent page, or as a lesser important page. These are possibly the most abandoned pages of all, because everyone, and I mean, everyone forgets about these poor guys. Yes, these pages are an absolute snoozefest and you’ll probably fall asleep writing them but needless to say, we cannot stress enough how important utility pages are. These pages might include, privacy policies, disclaimers, legal information and shipping and return policies. Carve out a little spot in your footer and slide in those oh-so-fun documents.
The planning doesn’t stop there. Just because we all know how much you love a good excel spreadsheet, we’ve create a template just for you. You’ll want to write a brief description of what each page will include and run down of copy ideas to include throughout the page. Think about imagery you’ll want to feature on the page and create your unique call to action (CTA). Now you’ve got a foolproof plan that will make your life a million and one times easier when developing your website.