A visual sitemap is a powerful planning tool that helps you organize the information you’d like to include on your website. Put another way, it’s a map that outlines the number of pages your site should have and what should be included on each page. You can think of it as a blueprint or the foundation on which your website is built.
In this short guide, we explain five reasons why a visual sitemap should be the starting point when designing your website.
1. Avoid content duplication
A sitemap helps you to track what has already been done on a website, so you’re not repeating the same information. The ‘bird’s eye view’ of a sitemap helps you to avoid conflicting information or helps ensure when you update a topic on one page that you don’t forget to update all the other occurrences.
Once you’ve covered a topic and published the content on a specific page, you can always create a link to that page instead of repeating it. This will increase user engagement and ensure your site is not flagged for duplicate content by search engines.
2. Clarify the purpose of your website
Every successful website is created with a goal and purpose. Those created without the two in mind are often confusing and difficult to navigate. As a result, most lead to a bad user experience and ultimately achieve mediocre results.
A visual sitemap helps you to clarify your goals and intentions way before you can write the first code or create your first piece of content. It maps out exactly what your website should include based on your set goals, thereby setting up your online business for success.
3. Prioritize essential pages and content
By visually presenting your entire website on a flowchart, it becomes easier to decide which information and pages are most important towards achieving your business goals. A sitemap helps you identify and remove any unnecessary information that could distract and confuse your visitors.
4. Improve user-friendliness
One of the essential elements of a properly built website is how users interact with the available content. Sitemaps help to make your website more user-friendly by ensuring that information is well organized.
A good place to start is to include the fewest possible number of steps in your conversion funnel. If the process is complicated and needlessly lengthy, chances are high that most visitors will fail to complete the purchase process. Luckily, a sitemap helps you identify potential pitfalls so you can streamline your funnel and make it more effective.
5. Stay on budget
Creating high-quality content for your website is costly and resource-intensive. A visual sitemap enables you to plan all your pages so you can prioritize those that are likely to bring quick results. For example, if you run an affiliate website, you may choose to focus on revenue-producing pages at the beginning, and only create other content forms after the money has started streaming in.
This is particularly important if you’re operating under a tight budget. How else do you use a visual sitemap to help stay on course when designing a website? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!