Guide to Sitemap Design
It is important to create a sitemap if you are building a website or redesigning your current one. Your website will definitely have web pages and a sitemap is simply a lot of your web pages. Some website owners only have a simple sitemap which includes a text list of their webpages, but there are others who what to give site visitors a better experience so they have a more structured sitemap which contributes positively to overall site planning.
Below are some things to consider in setting up your sitemap.
You can make your sitemap manually or you can also use tools if you don’t want to experience hassles doing it; one such tool is Slickplan. Different website owners have different ideas on how their sitemap should look like and some want their webpages listed in alphabetical order while other divide their pages into categories.
The design of the sitemap is dependent on your niche, the amount of content you plan to add, and how user-friendly you want your site to be.
You need to have a website where web crawlers are able to crawl from your homepage down to the pages in your sitemap listing so that every page can be covered. Your pages will not be included in search engine page rankings if spiders don’t crawl some of your pages. So for SEO purposes, your site map should be linked to your homepage.
Too many pages is a no-no for sitemaps. You can be penalized and banished if search engines will think that your site map is a link farm.
Your sitemap should be checked for broken links because this will definitely make your visitors annoyed to find a 404 in the link that was supposed to give him the information that he is looking for. This will not happen if all your links go to the pages that they are supposed to go to.
Make your titles key-word rich for SEO purposes. It is also important that short descriptions are included in your sitemap links. When you do this, your visitors will have an easier time looking for specific information about products they are interested in.
The relationship between pages in your sitemap should be clear, that your sitemap has a cohesive design. The HTML template should be the same for all pages, and make sure that you think in terms of consistency and unity for all the design elements of your website.
With a well designed sitemap, you can be sure that your visitors will have ease of use on your site and webpages. There is much to benefit having a well created sitemap which is yours to enjoy.