co Why You Should Make A Map of Your Website |

Do you have a map of your site somewhere? It’s a good idea to take the time to make one, preferably on paper and big enough to be on the wall for planning sessions. If you have a big whiteboard, that can work, but those things are easy to erase accidentally. Here’s why this is a good idea:

You can see if your site makes sense.

A logical site structure is a pleasure to explore. You can find what you want and see if there are other things you might be interested in, or that stuff works the way it’s supposed to. It’s lovely.

A site that isn’t well-structured is not a pleasure. In fact, if you have lots of visitors and they all leave quickly, it probably is an indication that something isn’t working. Why stay on a site that makes you irritated?

You can see the big picture.

Having a big map makes it easy to see how things work together. If you don’t see the big picture, it’s hard to see where the problems are or why those problems exist. I think it’s like zooming out on the GPS to see where I’m going. It doesn’t help to only have some directions because I don’t have a context for those details. Once I have the big picture, the details can make sense.

Designing a site is similar because the details have to link together into a cohesive whole. Some of the details might be how to categorize your content; should it have its own page or be grouped with other stuff? If there is enough for a page, you have a great reason to give it a page because search engines index pages. Give it a SEO-friendly URL and solid links to related content on your site.

You can make sure the dots connect.

Having a big map of your site on the wall means you look at the whole thing. Here’s where you can visualize how it all links together and highlight what needs to be done. Website design and search engine optimization are interrelated because the design site affects how the search robot crawls the site. The page has to make sense to the search engine in order to be ranked.

But the page being ranked has to be in a logical context in order to be of any use to the searcher. You need both, and a tool like a site map you see on the wall helps keep site structure in mind and triggers ideas for improvement.