What is a Sitemap and how do we create them?

When a web designer or marketing agency talks about Sitemaps, they are often referring to the XML file that contains every link on your website. The question we’re answering here is why is it needed?

A Sitemap helps search engines index your website, and tells the search engine your site is trustworthy. It is extremely important for SEO purposes too, but that’s another topic for another day. A sitemap is essentially your website’s infrastructure. It’s where you organize and clarify all the content that needs to be on your site.


Why do we need to use a Sitemap?

Clarify the site’s purpose and goals

Before designing or creating content for a website, it is important to figure out its purpose and goals. Without these, visitors will become confused when navigating through your site. It presents a poor user experience which will likely drive visitors away.

As you create your sitemap, you’re forced to consider the purpose of each page. This allows you to see whether any parts could be cut out.

Streaming your conversion funnel

You want to keep the steps from point A to point B to a minimum. The more steps, the more chances for your visitors to leave the site early. Review the Sitemap with your team to make sure you are avoiding wasted clicks.

Get everyone on the same page

Rarely is a website is done by a single person. There are always other people involved, whether they are designers, developers, copywriters, project managers, or marketers. It is important to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

The sitemap should be in a central location where everyone is able to view or make changes to it. Your sitemap will change as the project does, so it can serve as a tool to track the progress of what has been completed and what still needs work.

How do we create Sitemaps?

In the past our sitemaps were created on Google Sheets. It worked well for smaller projects. Now we have bigger projects that have more inner pages, so Google Sheets isn’t the best solution. It can be hard to show the user flow or hierarchy in Google Sheets.

In order to solve the problem we needed another tool that brought the Sitemap and content together, while providing a good visual hierarchy. The tool we decided to use is called Writemaps. It has a content collector built-in, so everything can stay in one place. It is great for allowing collaboration too. Everyone can be on the same page and follow a central checklist.

If you are looking for help creating a Sitemap or are wanting to take your Sitemap to the next stage, give us a call or stop by our marketing agency office. Our Vancouver team are here to help with all of your web design queries.