Building a website is an exciting journey filled with design choices, content creation, and user experience considerations. Before you dive headfirst into the design and development process, there’s a crucial step you shouldn’t overlook: creating a sitemap. This handy tool will help you seamlessly arrange your website content, ensuring visitors have a delightful browsing experience.
The Blueprint: Sitemaps
A sitemap is a visual representation or outline of the structure and organization of your website’s content. It acts as a blueprint that outlines the pages, subpages, and how they connect to one another. Just like a map guides you through uncharted territory, a sitemap guides you and your visitors through your site’s sections and pages.
Think of it as the backbone of your site, keeping everything organized and accessible. For example:
Keep It Simple: Determining the Number of Pages
Now, you might wonder, “How many pages should my website have?” Well, the answer depends on your business’s nature and the content depth you wish to present. Remember, simplicity is key! Strive for a clean, focused user experience, keeping your core information easily accessible.
Start by listing the main pages your website will include. These are typically your Home, About, Services, Products, Blog, and Contact pages.
Then, think about the subpages or categories that will fall under each main page. For example, under Services, you might have subpages like Consulting, Design, and Development.
Connecting the Dots: Logical Page Hierarchy
A well-structured website follows a logical page hierarchy, creating a smooth navigation flow. Start with your main pages and then branch out to subpages as needed. Ensure that each page is connected logically, making it intuitive for visitors to explore your site. For example:
- From the Home page, users can navigate to About Us, Services, Blog, and Contact Us.
- Within Services, users can explore specific service offerings.
- Blog posts can be accessed from the Blog page, allowing readers to dive into topics of interest.
- The Contact Us page is easily accessible from any page, providing a convenient way to connect with you.
Utilize Sitemap Tools (Optional)
You can leverage various online sitemap tools or website builders that provide sitemap generation features. These tools simplify the process and allow easy revisions as your website evolves.
You do not need to use any tool; you can write it down with pen and paper, in your phone’s notes, or whatever is easier for you. Sometimes, the simplest tools are the most effective.
However, if you feel more techy, here are some options to consider:
- Lucidchart: Lucidchart is a versatile diagramming tool that allows you to create sitemaps and other visual representations with ease. It offers drag-and-drop functionality, various shapes and symbols, and collaborative features, making it ideal for team collaborations.
- Slickplan: Slickplan is a dedicated sitemap and website planning tool. It offers intuitive drag-and-drop functionality, allows for creating interactive sitemaps, and provides content planning and collaboration features.
- Canva: Canva is a free, user-friendly interface with a wide range of design options without extensive experience. It’s a convenient tool that combines visual aesthetics with practical website organization.
Plan Your Pages Content
Use the sitemap as a guide to plan your website’s content. Determine what information or elements will be included on each page and how they will be organized. Consider the goals of your website and how the content can best serve your audience.
In this step, you can also think of any specific functionalities or features required for each page and add them to your website planner’s list of features and requirements.
Write your website’s copy
Now you are ready to write compelling and engaging copy for your website. Always remember your target audience and website goals to write strong headlines to grab your user’s attention. Clearly communicate your website’s value or benefit and entice readers to explore further.
Pro tip 1:
To improve your website’s visibility in search engine results, consider incorporating relevant keywords naturally into your copy. For keyword ideas, you can use free tools like answerthepublic.com and semrush.com free trial.
Pro tip 2:
Take advantage of AI-powered writing tools like chatGPT or Copy.ai to assist you in crafting compelling copy. These tools can generate ideas, provide suggestions, and even help you refine your messaging. They can be valuable resources to enhance your writing process and optimize your content. But be careful! Search engines do not crawl AI-generated content, so use these tools wisely.
We will discuss how AI-Generated copy affects SEO ranking in the following weeks.