A sitemap is exactly what it sounds like: a map of the pages on your website. You need to create this so that you know how many pages your website will need, what those pages will be named, and how they will be organized.
Start by thinking through what your business does (your services), where you provide them (locations), and who you do them for (industries served). This will help with your initial layout. If you get stumped it’s always a good idea to look at your competitor’s websites. How do they organize their website? If you were their customer, how would you improve their navigation?
A good rule of thumb is that you need a homepage, about page, contact page, and a page for each of your services. Other common pages are a blog, photo gallery, and testimonials. To create the sitemap, think about what customers will be looking for when they go to your site and how they will find it.
The less time it takes someone to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to make a call or fill out a contact form on your website.
Here are a few sitemap examples based on different industries.
- About Us
- Well Checkups
- Sick Visits
- New Patients
- Schedule an Appointment
- About Us
- What We Believe
- New Here?
- Our Ministries
- Kids Ministry
- Youth Ministry
- Adult Ministry
- Upcoming Events
- Contact Us
- Our Firm
- Our Attorneys
- Practice Areas
- Family Law
- Business Law
- Estates & Wills
- Schedule a Consultation
Your website sitemap is very important and should be unique to your business. It’s important to try and get inside the head of your customer as you prepare for this step – think about the pages that would be most interesting to them and would provide a solution to their need.
Fill in Your Website Sitemap by Writing Engaging Content
Once you determine which pages you will use on your website it’s time to write the content for those pages. To get started, look at the sitemap you created and think about the information that should go on each page—you should focus on information your clients will be looking for. To get you thinking about what to include on each page, ask yourself the following questions:
For the About/Our Company/Our Leadership pages:
- What is a 2-3 sentence summary of what my company does?
- Have I received any awards or recognitions?
- What memberships or associations am I part of that clients will find important?
- What is our team’s combined years of experience?
- What is the most basic information about my company – year founded, number of employees, geographical service area, focus industries
- How did I get started? What is my “story”?
For the Services pages:
- How would I concisely explain this particular service to someone who is not familiar with my industry?
- For someone who is familiar with my industry and may be considering my competitors as well, what do I need to mention?
- How do I stand out from my competitors with respect to this service?
- Why do people need my services?
- What solutions do I provide?
- Is there any insider information I can include that would help consumers make an educated decision regarding my services without also offering competitor’s knowledge of my approach?
For the FAQ/Resource pages:
- What common questions can I answer on this page?
- Suggestions for topics – process of working with me, pricing questions, delivery timeline, experience
- Tip: send an email to your full team and ask them to submit questions they are most often asked by customers. Your receptionist will get asked completely different questions than your technician.
For the Contact page:
- After someone contacts me to begin using my services, what are the next steps?
- Which email address, phone number, and address do I want my website users to contact?
- What call to action do I want to use, such as “Call for a Free Consultation”
The answers to these questions will help you determine what you should include on each page of your website. As you think through the answers to these, it will be helpful to turn your notes into paragraphed content inside of a Word document.
Need a Few Pointers to Get Started? Try These:
- Write in a way that reflects your company (it’s called your “company voice”). Are you professional and formal, casual and informal, or something different or in-between?
- As you decide how to write your content, be sure that it matches your primary client. If you are primarily dealing with professionals and C-level people, it would be wise to take a more formal approach. However, if you are a coffee shop you have a lot more flexibility in the playfulness of your writing.
- Keep your customers in mind. What would they want to know? Will they understand the terminology you use? How can you keep your customers engaged? Try not to be too sales-y or too focused on your search engine ranking. Your clients can see right through these tactics, and it will leave a bad taste in their mouths.
- Make your copy skimmable. We rarely read every word on a webpage. Instead, we skim to find the points that are most relevant to us. You can help your customer find the most important information by using short paragraphs and sentences, bold headings, and bullet points to break up the text into digestible chunks.
- After you’ve written the content, go back and review the page and evaluate what stands out to you.
- Use the right amount of content – too little content and your customers won’t have enough information to make an informed decision. Too much content and they won’t read it all. We recommend writing 300 to 400 words per page.
- Read through your content when you are finished and scan for grammatical or sentence structure errors.
Partner with M&R Marketing
If this process becomes overwhelming, we will gladly handle it for you! Our team will meet with you to talk through your website sitemap and ask questions to determine what content you want on each page. Afterward, we will put together your website sitemap and write engaging, professional content for your website. We divide this process into several steps and seek your approval before moving forward. Are you ready to get started? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!