Scouring through cyberspace, Google has managed to cough up a gazillion articles on wireframes and mockups but not much on sitemaps. We thought it was time to give you a taste of what the humble but potent sitemap was capable of. At Creately we’ve used all the methods below with great success, and we thought it would be useful to let you in on some unconventional knowledge using a conventional tool (Note, some of these benefits may be some you have never heard of).
1. A skeletal storyboard
You may have got a story brewing in your mind. What better way to pen it than to put it down on paper? In this case, your story would be your website; consider a sitemap to help you structure your site the way you want.
2. Pages - One more or one less?
A sitemap would ideally tell you how many pages you should have (or shouldn’t). It all depends on the type of site you are putting out. Consider our site, as an example. One of our main aims is to be a diagramming bank of sorts, where you can access all the information you could possibly require on mindmaps, flowcharts, org charts, wireframes, web mockups, sitemaps amongst many others. Likewise you can use construct your sitemap to cater to your own specifications.
3. Sitemap = Basic requirements
In our view, the silliest thing to do is to jump straight into a wireframe and a mockup without considering a sitemap. While we do favor doing up a sitemap and wireframe in tandem, the former is certainly mandatory to ascertain whether you have got all your basic requirements covered. For instance, starting with a sitemap will help you see how many basic pages you need, and whether these pages need to be broken down as well.
4. Sitemap for the Sake of Conversions
Any company with a website is concerned with conversions. Needless to say, a funnel analysis is required to see how effective your site is. While most would track a funnel via a flowchart, many would end up tracking conversion rates on an uninteresting sheet of Excel. It’s way cooler (and more visually informative) to track these rates on a sitemap. Imagine the time you can save here!
5. Choose your Perspective
We believe that sitemaps and wireframes are mutually beneficial (even dependent) on each other when it comes to the exchange of information and the comparison of perspectives. This benefit has been explained in one who post, find it here.
6. Sitemap for the Sake of SEO
A sitemap is crucial when it comes to SEO. As you are aware, SEO is directly related to the conversion rate and this is where you can use a sitemap to do an analysis on the amount of keywords being used per page.
7. A Partner for Life
Dare we say it, a sitemap may actually be far more important than a wireframe or a mockup. Why? The latter two deal with all things colorful and jazzy but a sitemap really illustrates the thinking and logic that has gone into your website. Keeping this in mind, it is imperative that you visit your sitemap at least once a month in order to tweak it. Why? Because as cyberspace landscape changes along with market needs so too should your site.
8. Do away with a Poor Internal Link Structure
If your site is like ours, where you have quite a few pages, then you need to make sure that you do not have a poor internal link structure. You can easily use a sitemap to ascertain the link backs to important pages. Here is a very simple example, if a potential consumer visits your site and finds himself in the FAQ page, surely you would need to have a link to the purchase page. Making a purchase easy and convenient is one criteria you must CONSIDER.
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