How to Sitemap in 3 Simple Steps
How to Sitemap in 3 Simple Steps
If you’re in the market for a new website, or are looking to refresh the main navigation of your existing website, then it’s important to fully understand the concept of site mapping. If you’re unfamiliar with the term sitemap, it’s actually just like it sounds: site mapping is when you outline the content of your website. You may be thinking that you won’t need to go through this exercise, and not everyone will, but it can be a determining factor when it comes to the information architecture of your website.
The purpose behind site mapping is to enable users to find content more easily and better understand the message that your company is trying to communicate to its audience. That is the intent behind your website, after all, right? Whether you’ve never done this type of exercise or are in need of a refresh, below are 3 key steps to help you create a new sitemap.
- Dive into Analytics
The first key for creating a sitemap is to consider where your users go when they visit your website. What page do the majority of your users land on? What pages have the most views? What pages might be suffering due to a lack in traffic? These types of questions are good to consider, as their answers will provide insight into how your users interact with your website. After gathering this information, you should be able to determine what pages are performing well and which ones could use a bit of help. Keeping these page analytics in mind while outlining your sitemap will help address any performance issues.
- Focus on What’s Important
The second key for creating a sitemap is to consider what is important to your users and your company. What areas of the site would you consider to be crucial for your users? What other information should they know about you that may impact their decision to learn more and take action? These types of questions will allow you to hone in on the key areas of your website and enable your users to easily access those areas, as well. Including this content in easy to find (and logical) places of your sitemap will certainly benefit both your users and your company in the long run.
- Keep it Simple
The third, and final, key for creating a sitemap is to keep things simple. How could you simplify as much as possible when organizing content within your sitemap? There is absolutely no need to get fancy, especially with the wording of sections, as this is more likely to confuse the user rather than help them find what they’re looking for. Keep the navigation clear but concise; challenge yourself to take a minimalistic approach when it comes to outlining your content (especially since most sites have a limited amount of space in the header to begin with). Being straightforward with the content you have to offer will allow users to better understand what they can expect from each area of your website.
Diving into analytics, focusing on key content, and keeping things simple should certainly help guide you and your company in the right direction when it comes to drafting a new sitemap. Regardless of whether you’re looking to revamp your website’s architecture or are in the process of conducting a complete redesign, it is most important to consider the end user throughout the entire process.
To help you brainstorm, you can check out our sample sitemap template to get started. Feel free to make a copy of the template for your own use and share it with your colleagues. Happy site mapping!
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