I’ve spent a lot of time working with people on their websites over the last week or so – and creating a website that works is so much easier when you start with the site map – or plan.

With one of my clients we established that there were six elements to co-ordinate – and in this particular instance they were all being carried out by different people; no wonder she was stressed! The elements were:

  • The brand development
  • The website site map
  • The design for the page templates
  • The copy
  • The build – that’s the technical code bit
  • Search engine optimisation
  • The come in roughly that order too, although some can be carried out concurrently – and SEO really runs right through from the copy onwards.

    If the site map isn’t developed up front it makes writing the copy virtually impossible and SEO even harder as pages need to be optimised. The designer can’t create a template with the right menu buttons and the developer can’t build the site. It’s the key to a successful website that takes the visitor on a journey that keeps them interested and presents your products and/or services in the best possible light.

    Every page must have purpose and also a call to action – if you just say lots of encouraging things and don’t ask for action, some visitors will leave!

    Don’t leave it to your web designer to plan your site – that’s your job and nobody knows your business better than you (or, at least, they shouldn’t) – think about what you want people to do and plan your site with that in mind.

    Two tips:
    1. Don’t send anyone to your About page first; let them find out what you can deliver BEFORE you introduce yourself.

    2. Find out what people really want before you try to give them what you think they should have!

    Good luck!
    Visit our sister website at www.insidenews.co.uk for more information on what we can deliver for you.