Planning a website or app sitemap can be a daunting task. If you have never planned or built a website before but it’s an important part of a successful site for your business.We have found that one of the most common problems that occur with startups and sometimes clients who are redesigning a website is how to map out and plan a website properly.
What is a sitemap
A sitemap is all of the pages on a website mapped out in a logical way. A little bit like a family tree but instead of people we use pages and anything related to these pages is connected and branches off. This helps copywriters, designers and developers form a user journey when planning and designing a website.
We thought we would give you our tips and advice to help you get started for creating a general sitemap.
1 Know your audience
Knowing your target audience is crucial in helping you understand the type of content they might want to see when enquiring about your business. Putting yourself in your customer or client’s shoes will help you understand them and the information they might want to read in order to make an inquiry or purchase.
2 The obvious page
We won’t go into too much detail as to what is needed in terms of content here but this will be at the top of a sitemap and your starting point for the rest of the map.
3 About you and your business
Having an area on your website where you can let clients or customers find out more about you or your business and your team helps build trust. You can create sub pages here for things like our values and meet our team.
3 What services do you offer or products do you sell?
A breakdown of these is a big start in creating the main online proposition for your business. List these and create a hierarchy with your main services at the top and any services that come under that main service would follow. The exact same idea applies to products and the categories you would place them in.
4 Future planning
Will you be offering new services in the future? Do you need an area for pricing of your services/products? Knowing these in advance can help when you come to the design and build as you can plan for a second phase of the website.
5 Keep customers in the loop
News and Blog areas are good if you would like to let your client base know whats going on within the business and touch on industry related subjects. This consists of an index page which lists out your posts and then filters down into a more detailed page.
6 Get on touch
Call to actions should be a big feature across a website in general but the biggest one of them all is the contact us area. This is great if you have a physical location so customers can find you. It’s also where you will leave things like business opening hours and contact details.
7 The not so important but still very important
There are some handy tools that will help you map your site out in a visual way. Octopus offer a free visual sitemap builder that is easy to use. You can create and account and save your sitemap, create notes and share with others which is useful for feedback.
Figma is also another great way to visualise a sitemap. It’s also a great tool for design and collaboration.
This is a plan for a small website/app but it’s a great starting point if you would like to build for the future and proper planning from the start will help your website be a success.
Once you have this in place you can begin to plan your content and how that will be viewed on each page.
Do you have a more complex project that you need some help with?