Some people refer to this as an aspect of Information Architecture Design.
Study your direct competition and the industry leaders inside and outside your local area. It is very important to research both of these because you don't want to be looking at part of the picture. Making a spreadsheet of your competition can be very useful because you can rate the usability of your competitors websites on a scale of 1 to 5 and refer back to the best ones when you begin outlining the pages on your website. If you want, you can also rate the design of your competitors and set a goal to achieve a certain level of quality for your graphic design. You can take this a step further in your spreadsheet by averaging your rating for the usability and the design for an "overall" rating for each competitor. I suggest researching at least 100 competitors. For my company, I researched roughly 5,000 competitor websites. If you want to research 100 competitors, then this can be done effectively in a couple hours. You might also want to go back and spend a little extra time studying the sites that you gave a higher rating.
After you have a confident understanding of what everybody else in your industry is doing, both good and bad, it is time to start making your list of potential pages on your site. For organization purposes, it is a good idea to make this list on a new page in the same spreadsheet that has your research information. Your list should include everything that you can put on your website;
This is the step that most people, including many web design professionals, make the mistake of starting with. In this step, you will make an outline of your website categories. You will want to keep your brainstorm list and your research data readily available because you will need both of them in this step. If you have this information in seperate spreadsheets, now would be a good time to copy and paste your data into one single spreadsheet file.
Simply copy and paste items from your brainstorm list onto your page outline. Be sure to group your information into appropriate categories. For instance, you should put all of your services pages in the same category and label it "services." A good website navigation will have 5-7 main categories with relevant sub-categories under each main one. The following flowchart shows this:
The diagram aboce is a solid example of categorizing. Notice how I placed the Company History Page, Meet Our Staff Page, and Employment Inquiry Page under a single category called "About Us."
See how your outline stacks up against the websites that you rated the highest in your competition research spreadsheet. Does it share organizational aspects of the websites you rated highest? Is it noticeable more solid than the websites you gave poor ratings? Go back and look closely at your industry leaders. If your website outline is a hybrid of the best of the best, then the information architecture of your website will be solid and your website will have a foundation for being easy for your vistors to use.
Let's say you are selling professional consulting services in your local metropolitan region or city. Since most of your customers will want to meet with you before purchasing your services, you will want to your target market to be within reasonable driving distance.