So, you’ve decided you need a website. There are a lot of exciting stages ahead, finalising designs and planning content, but one of your first ports of call needs to be your pages.
Before you get started, have a think about what the goal is for your website. Don’t just skip straight to sales! Is your website there to educate people about what you do? Make your products seem exciting and fun? Guide them towards an application? Every page needs to be contributing to that goal.
Once you’ve worked out the purpose of your site, it’s time to get planning.
If you’ve got an existing site
With an existing site, there’s a good chance that you’ve collected a lot more pages than you need along the way. Therefore, you need to start with a review before you begin adding more pages on top of the ones you have. That’s a quick way to a huge site that’s got more information than you need.
See what you’re currently working with
List out the main navigational pages that you have on the website at the moment. That means everything on the main menu and footer menus. At the moment, don’t worry about product pages and blogs; those can be organised later.
Keep, Merge, Bin
Look at your list and organise it into three categories: keep, merge and bin. Try to consider them from the perspective of your site, which was defined earlier.
Let’s say you’ve got 15 suppliers, each with an individual page on your current site. Is understanding suppliers key to your final goal? If yes, it’s sometimes worth having a dedicated page filled with great content, to make sure that you can rank well for their keywords. If it’s useful, but never the place that a potential buyer would start, maybe its time to merge those 15 pages into one page with a paragraph for each supplier instead. If those pages are just taking up space, it’s time to get rid of them for the new site.
Tools like Google Analytics can be your best friend in tasks like this. Use it to see which pages are getting traffic and leading to goal completions, so you know your best performing pages.
Anything that’s not covered?
Got new services or missing links? Add those to your page list as well. Still consider whether the information you need could be added to an existing page, or if it needs a dedicated page.
If you’re starting from scratch
There’s nothing like a blank page to make starting a new plan difficult! Our strategy here is similar to the above: you’ll need to know exactly what your website goal is, so that you can make sure that the pages you have support that goal
Work out your content pillars
There’s a little theory behind the best way to plan out your content. It’s known as Content Pillars; a way to organise your most important content and organise what will become your site structure.
Let’s use Zinc Digital as an example. We do lots of things, but they can be categorised into clear categories. We start by splitting our services into Marketing, Creative and Support. Then, under each pillar we’ve created sub-pages of the most important services within those categories. This means that we’re able to show a prospective client exactly what we do as a top level option, and then drill down into the key services within that at a glance. Beneath those, not on our navigation, are deep-dive pages for when people really want to learn more! However, they’re not on our navigation, because a person who just knows they want Digital Marketing doesn’t want to delve into the minutiae of Conversion Rate Optimisation until they’re further along the journey. Even then, they often prefer to leave it to the experts!
Even if you’ve used Content Pillars as a plan, it’s still worth a fresh pair of eyes to make sure that there aren’t pages that aren’t really needed as a full page. It’s the same process as if you’re looking at existing site pages – think about how it serves that customer journey and whether it’s important enough to be a standalone page.
There you have it! Zinc Digital’s tried and true guide to choosing pages for your new website. If you’re in need of more help, whether it’s a siteplan, content writing, or data-driven decision making, speak to our experienced team. We love helping businesses make impact online.
If you’re a new business who wants to talk websites, Zinc is here to help. We design, build, and work to your goals the whole way.
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