One important step that many developers/marketers miss when creating or optimizing a website is creating a sitemap that contains links to all the content on the website. A sitemap usually consists of an XML sitemap that can be sent to Google Webmaster tools where you can preview important information on all the content of your website. Most dynamic websites such as blogs, ecommerce related, and CMS (content management system) websites have modules and plugins available that automatically generates a sitemap for you.
If you have a static website the easiest method when designing your sitemap is creating a basic flowchart that lists all the pages and sub pages of your website. This flowchart should also display how the content relates to each other. When creating flowchart like this, use Microsoft Word or Excel.
To give you an example; If you have a hardware shop and you want a 15 page website, start out by listing all the answers your visitors might ask when looking for you online or while browsing your website. These questions related to your hardware shop can include:
- What makes your hardware shop special and unique?
- What is your pricing?
- Why do I need your products?
- Where are you located and your shop hours?
- Are there any jobs available at your hardware shop?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can then start listing out the flow of your sitemap.
Creating a website sitemap
- Start creating your sitemap by listing all the pages you are going to include in your sitemap. Avoid using funny names for your pages and use names that will describe the content of the page. The home page of your website should always answer who you are and the services and products that you provide. Your services page can include more information regarding your services, your about page can have content related to your business history including your mission and vision.
- Group all the pages together that covers the same topic and that are relevant to each other. You can then order these pages according to how people will look for the information.
- The sequence of pages you present should also match your best sales process.
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