sitemap planning

Develop a Sitemap

Virginia Marketing Tips

A site map is a list of pages used as a planning tool for web design that is organized in a hierarchical fashion.

Before you begin to develop a sitemap, you should be clear of your offering. Do not put undeveloped items into a sitemap. What I mean is that you plan to offer a retreat next year, but haven’t developed any of the details yet, it should remain unpublished until you do so.

I recommend doing keyword research at this stage to select the most commonly used terms for your services.
Typically, every website has:

  • Home
  • About
  • Products/Services/Events
  • Contact

Pages on the hierarchy should be listed in order of importance. Sitemaps should be user friendly and intuitive. I do not recommend going three pages deep on any sitemap. If you have a third tier, link it within the body content of the relevant second tier.

Between Products and Contact can be a number of pages. I recommend the first three bullets be listed in that order, and the Contact page is always listed at the end.

The real question is how to set up your Product/Services/Events. In my opinion, the answer is in how much you write about it. Let’s take products as an example.

Scenario One: six services – one paragraph each

I would recommend one product page and lists all services (with photo and blurbs) on the same page. Having visitors click to get one paragraph is not user-friendly. And, in one view, the visitor can see the various options.

Scenario Two: six services – 200 word detailed descriptions each

With a 200 word description listing all services on the same page would be overwhelming. In this case, I would create a page for each service or group services in a couple of pages. Taking this hypothetical further, let’s say the services are:

  1. Crystal Reiki
  2. Distant healing
  3. Reiki Workshops
  4. Sound Healing
  5. Aura Photos
  6. Intuitive Readings

Now there are a number of ways to list these services, but I would not recommend listing them individually on the menu because it would cause the menu to wrap into two pages. Grouping them into categories will help, and if there is enough space on the menu bar, they would not need a parent. This is what I mean:

Reiki Services

  • Energy Healing
    • Crystal Reiki
    • Distant Healing
    • Sound Healing
  • Intuitive Readings
    • Aura Photos
    • Intuitive Readings
  • Reiki Workshops

Now you have gone from six menu categories to three menu categories. The reason why I wouldn’t put Reiki Workshops under Energy Healing is because it is a training, whereas the services listed in Energy Healing are to receive energy healing services, not to learn them.

If you didn’t understand what I mean about putting on the menu with no parent, here is the expanded sitemap. Numbers one – six are the menu bar.

sitemap example

  1. Home
  2. About
  3. Energy Healing
    • Crystal Reiki
    • Distant healing
    • Sound Healing
  4. Intuitive Readings
    • Aura Photos
    • Intuitive Readings
  5. Reiki Workshops
  6. Contact

In addition to the pages I mentioned, some add informational pages such as:

  • FAQ’s
  • Blogs
  • Benefits
  • Services explained (i.e. what is Reiki)
  • References

When I initially begin to work with a client on planning their website, they have big dreams. But once we start to dive into the work, they realize that they should start with the basics and grow. This is a smart decision because as you are developing or fine-tuning the additional pages, your basic pages are live.

Don’t worry, you can always change your sitemap. The point of the sitemap in the planning stage is to give you focus, and if you are contract a web designer, it will help them understand the amount of work you need.

Need help to develop a sitemap? Mystical Marketing can help! Contact us now.