5. Map out your site
Mapping out your site is incredibly important. Your site works like a family tree; the parents (your home page) are at the center and the children (different pages) branch out from there. So, you need to know how to move site visitors from one page to another.
Site maps are also necessary for the designer as they need to know the depth and structure of the site. Once the site map is drawn, the designers can refine it and make sure the navigation makes sense.
While site mapping can be time-consuming, it’s essential to the development of a smart website that’s easy to navigate and that your customers will find easy to use.
Regardless, it’s a good idea to have a home page and a “contact us” page. Beyond that, your site map will depend on the goals that you identified earlier in the process.
Here are some ideas to get you started in your website creation process:
- A “squeeze page,” which encourages the visitor to enter their email address, possibly to access downloadable content or receive a discount code
- A lead capture page where people enter their name and contact data so that you can contact them with more information
- Product or service information pages can be added to your website with Mailchimp stores and appointments
- An “about us” page with information about your company
- A page for customer testimonials and reviews
- A pricing page, which is important for businesses that have subscription or service levels
You can also create landing pages that coordinate with specific marketing campaigns. For example, if you run a campaign to promote a particular product category, you can create a landing page for that category and feature the items you’re promoting. You can even add promotional pricing.
With Mailchimp, you can publish an unlimited number of webpages for free, so the sky’s the limit in terms of your site structure choices. You have free rein to decide what kinds of pages you want and how you want people to be able to navigate from one page to the next through personalized website navigation.
Page design planning
Now that you have the bones of your site mapped out, it’s time to start planning the layout of each page. Will the page have graphics, columns, videos, or even testimonials?
Each page should be thought through and designed using a website wireframe. A wireframe is like a schematic for the page. It serves as the basic structure of the page, allowing you to ensure the customer can navigate through your website easily.
6. Select a web design that fits your brand
Your website is one of the best tools you have for establishing your brand. It highlights all of the major elements of brand identity:
- Written content
Your website look blends each of these elements—yes, including packaging, as long as you have some kind of products or services page with images. Together, they showcase the personality of your brand.
Your identity has to be consistent, especially when your business is new and you're building your brand. A consistent look helps attract new customers to your brand. People feel drawn to different brand aesthetics, from the graphics style to the color scheme. You’ll even connect with different people depending on whether your brand is formal or informal, contemporary or classic, and so on.
When you build your website through Mailchimp, you can select from a broad range of template designs, designer-approved fonts, and color palettes. You can also customize the font and color scheme to match your brand aesthetic.
Pro tip: Keep the color, font, and graphic style the same across all of your landing pages. You can still vary the layout and image choices, but your brand identity will stay consistent this way.