Place A Site Map

One of the biggest challenges of creating your site is to arrange your content into meaningful segments. What about those segments that will depend on the content of your website, and its purpose, but you could carve your website up into:

  • Product names, product types, or brand names.
  • Audiences, such as sellers and buyers.
  • Areas of interest, such as technology news, environmental news, and book reviews.
  • Classes of content, such as games, stories, and videos.
  • Activities that website visitors can undertake, such as downloading, reviewing or shopping.

The main thing is that the grouping makes some sense to your prospective visitors. It should be easy for visitors to find what they need without having to click on all the different categories to hunt for it. If someone were reading a page about the laptop you sell, they would not anticipate having to go to two separate categories to see videos about it and read reviews on it. So, in this case, it would make more sense to arrange all that content in a single section dedicated to that laptop.
If your content is mixed, or you have a large stock of products, you can also use subcategories, too. You can make a top category of laptops, with subcategories for consumer laptops, semi-professional laptops, and professional laptops. Or you might have a main category for laptops, which contains subcategories for different brands of laptop.

Think Like A Customer

It is easy to forget that your customers do not use technical terms like you do, or might not be familiar with your website’s content. A lot of companies create websites that closely mirror how their business divisions are organized, but that often makes no sense at all to the customers. Visitors do not know where to begin looking for what they need.
Always try to use straightforward language to describe each section. If you cannot do that, then think about rearranging the sections, or making subcategories to minimize complexity.
As well as describing how the content is separate, you need to have an understanding of how the sections are related to one another: which content of yours need to be on the homepage, for instance, and what content should be pushed a few clicks away from it.
A developer usually creates a site map, which shows the way the sections are related and linked to one another, same like the way that a road map might show connected neighborhoods.
It does not matter how you make this. One of the approaches is to write the section names on the sticky notes, and then organize them sequence wise which makes sense, drawing lines between them to show hierarchy and connections. You can easily remove then add and then reposition sections by moving the sticky notes around.

In this paragraph, we will give you two different sitemaps for a brand site, mostly based on the same kind of content, but placing a different emphasis. So, for example, the first website has the music shop as a major section. The second provide free music on the homepage and sell music through a section.
The site map does not require to include every link on your website, nor every content. It is just an overview of the major paths people can take to get between the main content areas. Do not think that you have to show every single page of the website.

Asking Your Customers To Help

You can ask your clients, customers or target audience to help you out through card sorting exercise. You provide them a bunch of cards with the names of the various content areas or pages on them. After that they can arrange them into groups that make sense to them, they can also suggest some category names too. Moreover, you can also ask them that how they think the categories should relate to one another. Always make sure you use a presentable sample of potential customers if you carry out this practice. Remember, do not rely too much on one person’s view.


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