At Iceberg Web Design, we take a content-first approach to web development as part of our proven process. That means we tackle your site’s content before we add graphics, logos, beautiful colors, and design. This starts with a well-planned site map.
What Is a Site Map?
The first task is to plan your site map. A site map is a blueprint of your website that helps search engines find, crawl, and index content. Some people think the site map and the menu are the same, and often they look very similar.
There Are Often Things In Your Site Map That Aren’t In Your Menu
These might include landing pages, individual blog posts, or content you want to link to without having it in the menu.
There Are Often Things In Your Menu That Aren’t In Your Site Map
These can include links to third-party integrations and other external links that you want immediately available to your site’s users.
The important thing is that we want your website to be easy to navigate for your visitors and Google’s bots for user experience and SEO purposes. We achieve this by using a well-thought-out menu and intelligent linking within the site.
Here Is an Example of a Site Map
Pages one, two, three, seven, and eight on the menu are top-level pages. These are pages you will see without even clicking on the menu. Pages four, five, and six are second-level pages. Depending on your menu design, you may have to click on “Services” to see those menu items drop down or fly out. You can then click on one of them.
- —Service 1
- —Service 2
- —Service 3
Protecting Your SEO In a Website Redesign
Sometimes a client will come to us with a website about to undergo a massive redesign. Along with design changes, this may involve adding, removing, or changing services. Considering how those changes could impact the pages’ SEO is essential. If we just start changing URLs, Google’s bots (and potentially your visitors) will ask, “Where did this service page go?” or “Is this duplicate content?” while they have difficulty finding new pages.
We recently had a project like this. There were 48 pages on the website. The client wanted us to remove many of their services because they were no longer offering them. We consolidated some services onto one page and added new service pages. As we made these changes, we looked at the URLs and decided whether to preserve the URL or redirect visitors and bots to another page.
Preserving URLs During a Website Redesign
For pages where the content will still match the keywords in the URL, we can update the content while preserving the URLs. This keeps the traffic flow to that page strong, and you don’t have to worry about visitors encountering broken links from external sources or from within the site itself.
A 301 Redirect For Site Map Changes
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that sends the user to the redirected page with the same ranking power as it would have had if the user went to the page directly. This is also known as full link equity. Because of this full link equity, the 301 redirect is usually the best method for implementing redirects on a website.
Iceberg Web Design Can Make Your Site Map Work For You
We want your business to get traffic from your new website. That’s why we put a lot of effort into planning your site map and ensuring it works for your business. So contact us at Iceberg Web Design if you want a successful site map plan and a gorgeous website! We are web designers who answer the phone!