Skip to main content

The Purpose and Advantages of Using a Sitemap in Website Design

person wearing beige sweater holding map inside vehicle

When we work with our clients on their new website, defining a sitemap is a step that is always toward the beginning of our website development process.

This sitemap is, in short, an outline of all the pages that need to be included within the site. This outline will provide not only a hierarchy of all pages but also a description of what should be on each of those pages.

A sitemap allows us to refine the website user experience better and will guide the content creation on each page. Learn more about sitemaps and how they will help create a purposeful website.

What Does a Successful Sitemap Accomplish?

A website’s sitemap will provide the following insight for both the web development team and the website owner:

  • Page hierarchy will be defined, which will show which pages are the most important and where other pages and content need to live.
  • Sitemapping improves the user experience, as it is created with your site’s goals and objectives in mind.
  • All pages that need to be developed will be clearly shown for both parties to approve.
  • A sitemap also gives a visual representation of all the pages that need to be created, and it could help you decide if more or fewer pages are required.

Here is an example of a sitemap we created in Slickplan, which is our go-to site mapping tool:

The Advantages of a Web Sitemap

Now that you understand what a sitemap is for, what are the benefits you can expect to see from creating one?

The Technical Side of Sitemaps

Once your site is live, there is another kind of sitemap that you can create called an XML sitemap. This is a sitemap that is not helpful for users, but is explicitly intended for search engines. When Google reads your XML sitemap, it helps them very quickly understand the hierarchy of your site and how the pages relate to one another.

In and of itself, an XML sitemap doesn’t help your rankings. However, the more you can help Google to understand your site, the better! We include XML sitemaps on every site that we build, and we work to make sure that Google can find them.

To create an XML sitemap, you simply need a plugin on your WordPress site to create it for you. Most SEO plugins (such as Yoast SEO or SEOPress) will do it automatically. Once it’s been created, you can add it to your Google Search Console account to make sure Google sees it.

While setting up the SEO plugin and Google Search Console can be a little tricky the first time, they’re both completely free to use! If you have any trouble getting either one going, please reach out, and we’d be happy to help.

Sitemaps serve as a very crucial early step in your website’s planning process for both technical and user experience reasons. If you need assistance with your sitemap or new website, contact GreenMellen today!

About the Author

Brooke Desmond

Communications Manager
With a passion for all things digital marketing, Brooke aims to give a unique perspective on the latest trends and ideas in this ever-changing space.

View Brooke's Profile

More from Our Blog

Leveraging Internal Links to Make Your Website Even More Powerful

Most everything we do when designing a powerful, effective website benefits two main audiences: a site’s users and Google. Internal and external hyperlinks within well-written…

Read More
cyclone fence in shallow photography

Think Digital Marketing is Environmentally Friendly? You’d Be Surprised

Many modern businesses focus on sustainability and being environmentally friendly because consumers are increasingly concerned about this. You may be familiar with the triple bottom…

Read More
low angle view of human representation of grass

Common Marketing Problem: Your Brand Doesn’t Properly Reflect The Business

Let’s explore a critical aspect of your business that might be flying under the radar: your brand.  While it’s easy to overlook amidst the hustle…

Read More
sad young ethnic lady arguing during video call

Free Download

Create a Homepage that Converts

Your homepage only has seconds to convert website visitors into loyal customers. How effective is your homepage? This free resource can help make your homepage work for you, not against you.