The best way to create a site map is to start by writing down all the content headings you want within your website. Once you have done that, and then start grouping them together: i.e. things like company profile, staff members, our process can all be grouped in a main heading ABOUT US.
Once you have done this, try and display it much like a family tree that shows all the main headings at the top and the sub headings branching off below.
When creating a site map it important to follow some basic rules to ensure that the site flows well and is easy to use.
- Always try and think about the usage of your site from a client’s perspective. What are they looking for and what do they want to see and what is a logical way for them to find it
- Give the headings and sub heading names that are easy to interpret and clearly define what that group of information is about. Try to make them help present the business for who you are; as and example - About Us could also be Who We Are, Get to Know Us or Company Information.
- Keep the main headings as a minimum. 7-8 are the maximum but 5 or so make the site easier to use. You can always have a second menu structure for other information at the bottom of your site.
- If there are many sub headings try and condense them into their own group of relevant information on the one page.
- Keep in mind the function of each page. There are different types of pages within a website and all have a different purpose. You can find out more on different page types here
- Try and keep clicks or the flow to a minimum. 3 stages or clicks are the ideal for getting viewer to where you want them to go.
- When reviewing the site map keep in mind the purpose or goal of your site. Does the site map and flow work in with what the goal of your site is? You can find out more on setting your websites goals and objectives here.