You may have noticed that we just launched chapter 2 of our digital marketing hub, Web Design and Development Strategy. The chapter details how to scope, develop and launch a web design and web development project. This blog post looks at one of the chapter’s topics in more detail, website sitemaps.
What is a sitemap?
A sitemap is a complete list of all the pages that will be included in your final website design. Your sitemap needs to be created before your website designs go to the web developer for the build and coding phase. A complete sitemap greatly assists the web designer, website developer and copy writer in completing their phases during the web development process. It ensures only the pages you require are coded and built. It will also drive the content development process as it tells the copy writer what content you need to create for the website.
Considerations to take into account
When developing your sitemap think about your target market. Your sitemap should be structured to meet their information needs, provide them with the best user experience and over time to convert them into long term customers.
Planning is key
A final sitemap needs to outline every page that you want to include in your website. The planning phase helps to create the sitemap structure by allowing you see what pages are relevant and how they relate to each other.
How do I create a sitemap?
Take your time while developing your sitemap. It is an important factor in your websites future success so rushing the process may lead to problems post-website launch.
Brain storming ideas
Start off with a brainstorming session. In the brain storming session you are looking for ideas. Gather your team members in a room and start generating ideas around your company’s products and services. You can use a whiteboard to jot down ideas.
Once you have created some top level ideas you will need to develop your list further. Use spider maps to help group relevant ideas. Spider maps will help you create the structure required for your sitemap.
Map out the structure of your sitemap so that you can see what your website navigation will look like. E.g. Home page / category page / product page.
For further reading on content categorization in your sitemap we recommend that you watch this video on Moz, “Teach Google About Your Entities by Using Topical Hubs – Whiteboard Friday”.