Before having a website designed and developed, you will need to have planned your content that will be on the site. This includes a sitemap.
If you're not sure what a sitemap is, it's essentially the list of pages and subpages that will be on your website, and it's a fundamental element to any site. This is because it dictates how users travel around the website, what content they have available to read and how easy it is to access your key information.
So what pages should you include on your website's sitemap? This will vary depending on your industry and the angle you're taking with your site, but there are a few which we would recommend are included on any website.
This is probably the most obvious one - the home page is the page your users will see when they go to your website address. It should be this page which is linked to from other websites, your social media profiles and various media and marketing outlets - this page will be a visual landing page which will be used to direct and signpost users around your website.
Typically, a home page will feature large images or videos at the head of the page as a visual aid, as well as call to actions to the most important parts of your website. There is often very little text on a home page; just enough to keep the user enticed and peaking their interest which would result into them delving deeper into your website.
About us page
The about page is an important place for users to find out more information about you or your company. This page is not typically about the services you offer, but more about the company and people behind those services. You should make sure this page includes your keywords as this will be a great resource for search engines.
As well as a general description, you can also go into more detail about your company by including other information such as your history and team. Depending on how much of this content you'll have, this can sometimes warrant sub-pages to split these sections up.
When a user is visiting your website, there will sometimes be the need for them to contact you.
You should include your contact details on a dedicated 'contact' page at the very least, and should include one or more of the following:
- Contact form
- Email address
- Phone number
- Fax number (not as widely used anymore)
- Postal address
- Social media profiles
Blog or news page
This isn't as vital as the aforementioned pages, but a blog or news page can be a great asset. There are a number of benefits to having dated content of this nature on your website - search engines love it and it's good for user engagement.
Search engines like Google love it when you have a regular stream of dated news articles on your website - it proves to them that you are still actively practicing your profession and it's also a chance for you to get more keyword optimised content on the SERPs.
There's also the added benefit of more readable and interesting content for your website visitors. Interesting content will keep your users around for longer, and having it published on a regular basis will keep them coming back for more.
There are also pages that you may be a requirement based on your niche and industry. Here's a quick breakdown of some you may need to consider.
- Terms and conditions
- Cookies policy
- Complaints policy
- Returns policy (for e-commerce websites)
- Access statement (for accomodation based websites)
- Basket (for e-commerce websites)
- Checkout (for e-commerce websites)
- Shipping/delivery information (for e-commerce websites)
Have we missed any? Let us know by tweeting to @Cosmic_UK! If you have any more questions about websites and the solutions we offer, please get in touch today and our team will be more than happy to help!