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From a usability perspective, this is not necessary. The mega menu dropdown on all pages makes it extremely clear how to navigate to the relevant services we offer.

However, I am wondering whether a lack of a www.example.com/services/ page would confuse search engines, who otherwise will see www.example.com/services/exampleservice etc. for each of the service pages.

My thinking is they should be intelligent enough to know what's going on, but don't want to significantly harm our SEO if for some reason they really need to see a page for every URL slug element!

UPDATE: We do actually have a /services/ page, but it is not linked to anywhere and has no content on it. I suppose you need one if it has its own folder?

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    While you may not have a link to such a page, users do expect them and will look for them regardless of existence, link, search, or anything else. I advise that you do create the page and list the services you provide. This is another opportunity to capture search users and please users that are looking for a summary of what's available. That aside, it is always advisable that a directory always have a default HTML page or a redirect to another page for security. – closetnoc Jan 3 '17 at 23:50
  • Thank you, I will probably add one, though as far as SEO is concerned it's not likely to affect things by not having one, right? And sorry, I'm not quite sure what you meant by your last sentence.. – zakgottlieb Jan 4 '17 at 4:22
  • SEO? It is a missed opportunity. SEO requires maximizing opportunity. So yes. Adding one, if done well, will increase search users. You and I are like so many people. Do I need this or that? We write and create minimally because we are honest people. We are not hucksters. However, SEO is marketing and opportunity and maximizing the message. It requires a retrain of the brain. It requires maximizing the opportunity. I still struggle sometimes. We all do. Cheers!! – closetnoc Jan 4 '17 at 4:28
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As a rule of thumb you should not have any blank pages that can be accessed online. If the /services/ page it not linked to in anyway then there should be no chance of a crawler going through it as crawling is based on links and sitemaps. There is no real need to have a /services/ page if all links lead to service specific pages, but as @closetnoc suggests take advantage of the additional marketing potential by having that page link to all your service details pages and providing a brief view of those services. You can also do cross selling in the /services/ page buy grouping similar or complimentary services together as a way to encourage a potential customer to purchase a group of services from you where in the current setup they may just purchase one service from you.

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Short Answer: Yes, you need an umbrella page.

Long Answer: I agree with the comments and answers already supplied so let me try to expand upon them.

What @closetnoc is referring to is (depending on server configuration) that the URL

http://example.com/ by default displays http://example.com/index.html

and

http://example.com/services/ displays http://example.com/services/index.html

So it's always a best practice to ensure that requests to any directory render a page.

UX/UI research has shown that when a drop down menu (context menu) opens on hover or click, most users won't click the parent item (they assume the sub-options are their only choices)...but some users will.

Omitting this page or leaving it blank is a wasted opportunity. Some users will (try to) visit it via navigation; some users, like me, will (try to) visit it if the deeper pages doesn't satisfy what they are looking for.

But more importantly, for users and search engines, this is an opportunity to create a page of content with contextual, keyword rich links to the services pages of your site.

While every link, on every page, of your mega menu might contain a link to Sexy Service Foo on this page you can add a contextual link to Learn More About Foo-ing Your Bar.

A specific, contextual link like that might be worth more to your SEO than the links to that page that you have in your menu sitewide.

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