An important tip to remember every now and then is that people visit the site checking out for some information. These Surfers can be an unforgiving lot. Once they found things useful for them in a site they would definitely visit every now and then.
The reason why site maps are indispensable is due to its helpfulness in letting the surfers understand the site program and plan and therefore, speed up the way to onset to what the site will be showcasing. This is a part of the website created where the edifice of a web site can be visible to a surfer or visitor. These visitors can choose the link to where they want to surf with just a touch of the mouse of keyboard.
Here are Significant key pointers of a good site map, which helps visitors at finding information faster on a web site:
· The site map should be the simplest page on the web site.
· Keep the name "Site Map" so those visitors won't be having a hard time looking for it.
· Always avoid "dynamic" site maps. Those in which the visitors have to find their way easily to get hold of information.
· If the site map is list of text links, use the TITLE attribute of the anchor tag and include keywords inside it.
· Putting a sentence describing the page contents below the link for that page on a site map is always good.
· It should not be the primary navigation on the web site it should complement it.
· It is very important that there is a link to the site map page and all pages should carry this link. The site map link can be combined with other links in the main menu on the web site or placed at a section on the web page from which is it clearly seen.
· Other important factors on a web site should complement site maps. For example, the link color for visited links should be different from that of not yet visited links so that visitors have a clear idea which pages they have already seen and thus, save time.
In addition to the advantages a site map showcase to "living" surfers, it is also significant for robot surfers from search engines . As a web developer should be aiming to get all visible pages on the web site found in the search engine database. As expected a site map, from one page to another, should carry links to all, it is an ideal form to submit to search engines . Submission of the site map to a search engine might help in getting all web pages indexed quickly by the search engine. I may be incorrect since I have no data to support this point but it just seems logical. However, on a similar note, there is still a limit to all the information that a search engine could provide a visitor. For example, if there’s a page which is not found in the directory program of the web site, it will not be detected other search engines. With this in mind, another importance of a site map it tells the search engine instantly to go to a specifc page rather than scouting through the links.
Two important questions:
1. Will the website appear as it was planned even for robots?
2. Are the pages exact and effectively designed?
Having a site map assists the creator in planning the site before he can even start creating it. Once the pages have been decided, the whole thing becomes simpler and the web pages designs are easily matched to the creator’s ideas.
There are 5 important tips in making a good site map:
Good Site Must-Have 1
The logo should be linked to the website homepage.
Good Site Must-Have 2
The Site map must be place either on top or on the upper left, under the header. Unless everything’s in order already and sure about the design, never try to alter or make changes for a while.
Good Site Must-Have 3
There must be a congenial way to go around searching the web site. Do not place the site map in a location that is different from one page to another, like if it is placed horizontally on one page, it should be placed horizontally on the rest of the other pages. However, the case is different if it is a navigation system for a homepage. This could differ in homepages.
Good Site Must-Have 4
Additionally, the logo of the homepage should be linked with a “HOME” or any equivalent sign for easy work around or navigation. There should also be a “contact us,” “about our site,” pages to be visited.
Good Site Must-Have 5
The golden rule for a good site map is that the number of a visitor’s clicks should be leading him every step of the way and not jumping to other pages. It is required that the move should be as easy, reliable and above all, very user-friendly.