Creating a new website can be a great task and it becomes even more complicated by the volume of information which sometimes needs to be organized and incorporated.

Every website should have a goal and a purpose. There was a famous research in America many years ago, which told people something important about the website. It is said that websites without these are often unfocused, hard to navigate, and present poor user experiences.

The visitor is left wondering, “what am I supposed to be doing here?” You never want your visitor to be confused when navigating your website or interacting with your content.

What is a sitemap?

A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for Web design, or a Web page that lists the pages on a Web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.

There two popular versions of a site map. An XML Sitemap is a structured format that a user doesn’t need to see, but it tells the search engine about the pages in your site, their relative importance to each other, and how often they are updated.

HTML sitemaps are designed for the user to help them find content on the page, and don’t need to include each and every subpage. This helps visitors and search engine bots find pages on the site.

Why should you have a sitemap for your website?

A sitemap can be an effective planning tool that can help you clarify what your site’s goals are before you start designing or creating content. By deciding exactly what you want from your site and then mapping it out, you can ensure that every part of your website is reinforcing your goals.

Then it is possible to eliminate unnecessary pages that aren’t directly tied to the site’s purpose before they become an integral part of the site’s architecture.

As is often the case, we may have many duplicating content on our website which is a waste of time and resources. If you’ve already included something on one page, why not just link to that page from another place that needs the same information? If you don’t have a sitemap, you may not realize you’re duplicating content.

You’ll just create pages as you need them, without tracking what’s already been created. This can eventually lead to conflicting information on your site, as one page is updated but another is not. Simplify things by making sure duplicate content is combined into a single page, linked to from wherever the content needs to be referenced.

Without a sitemap, your website may full with unnecessary pages and you have to spend a lot of time tiding up the mess. Meanwhile, search engine like google will have a hard time finding your website. So a sitemap is good for the search engine optimization of your website.

It’s worth taking a couple of days to sit down with the website engineers responsible for creating your site’s content and figure out what’s necessary, how pages are interrelated, and what can be cut from your site, before you start designing. It is the reason why there are so many good websites that have sitemaps.