Sitemaps are essential tools for ensuring that your digital presence is well-organized and functions at its best.
The various sitemaps found in web design
Web design refers to many sitemaps, each serving a different purpose and audience.
- An XML Sitemap is a powerful tool to improve search engine visibility and SEO. It includes a list of URLs that search engines can crawl and index.
- An HTML sitemap file is less common than larger websites. It is a digital outline for a site’s URL structure and visitors. These static navigation tools are a quick way to find different pages.
- Visual sitemaps are a way to define the scope and structure of a website. They are widely accepted and effective methods of web planning between design firms. Visual sitemaps are similar to a flowchart and provide insight into the structure of a website.
The Key Factors That Will Make Your Visual Sitemap Sell Best
Your visual sitemap is an essential part of your B2B strategy. It must be built on solid foundations. If you start too quickly or don’t have the right preparation, your visual sitemap could lead in the wrong direction for your website’s content. By putting in the effort ahead, you can ensure that your structure supports your strategy and provides a simple and intuitive customer experience.
Start on the Right Track: Website Objectives & Content Strategy
Before you rush to create a customer experience or interface design, you must understand the role of your website. Also, evaluate how your website can best serve your B2B business goals.
This understanding can sometimes be used to prioritize key performance indicators. A website that generates leads and creates the most value will have content and navigation focused on that goal. If website value can be measured in product download, demo views, form completion, and other metrics, you and your team can match content and campaign that targets those areas.
Once your B2B goals have been identified and articulated, you can start to create content and an experience that helps them achieve their goals.
To Keep Your Primary Audience Focused, Leverage Buyer Personas
Your website redesign or refresh should be successful if you and your team keep your customers at the centre of your work. B2B tech companies should assess three buyer personas to assist the project team with defining its direction and considering key customer perspectives. These B2B buyer persons can be summarized in the following:
- Primary user: Typically, analysts, marketers and engineers will be the customer’s end users for the product or service.
- Decision Maker: Executive level stakeholders decide whether a product is purchased for their customer organization.
- Recommender: These managers connect the two groups by driving the need narrative for the Primary User and using it to combine with their insight and expertise to influence Decision Makers.
Your content must target these important roles in the B2B purchasing journey. Smart overlaps should be made at different points to maximize value for both parties. If time or budget constraints are a factor in your analysis, ensure you include the Primary User and Decision Making Personas in your content planning. You run the risk of creating a website that fails to deliver for both your company and customers.
To connect where you are with where you’re going, use a Content Inventory
Once you have identified your objectives and personas, it is time to dig into your content and evaluate how they support them. You can evaluate your content assets about your personas and objectives. Keep the most useful ones, keep those that can be kept, and rewrite, refresh, or archive what is not of value to your company or prospects.
Although it’s not always easy or simple, the benefits are far greater than simplifying the picture of your B2B customers and business. Neglecting or outdated content can hurt your SEO rankings and draw in the wrong audience. It is important to focus on the content inventory and then triage it. This will make it easier to implement the site redesign.
You won’t have to migrate product pages that you don’t use. If you can reduce the content on your website you don’t need, it won’t be a problem. You won’t have to pay the ongoing operating costs of managing and serving those pages long after your redesign is complete.
Important for reaching your prospects: Content structure and labeling
Connecting content to customers is more than just creating it and placing it on your B2B website. It is important to think deeply about how prospects will find and navigate the content that you have worked so hard to optimize.
As with content triage, it is the details that matter here. Your information architecture and supporting content labeling will make it easier for customers to find the right information quickly.