Somewhere out there, someone is planning a website. They’re organizing possible pages into an outline or a flowchart. In other words, they’re making a sitemap. They are about to make a dozen little decisions that will have a huge impact on results. What are they thinking?
Let’s hope it’s the second option. If it is, this is how they’ll balance sitemap keywords with visitor perception. Here’s an example of how to make a sitemap that gets both traffic and conversions: Carl’s Historic Archery Centre.
First, let’s look at four types of pages that will make up the website navigation and how they work with human visitors and search engine robots:
|Page / Section||Visitors’ perception||Keywords (SEO / Robots)|
|1||Home Page||“I see what you do.”||Primary Keyphrase|
|2||Blog Posts||“I see what you think.”||Tangent / Lifestyle Keyphrases|
|3||Service / Product Pages||“I see how you do it”||Secondary Keyphrases|
|4||‘About’ Section||“I see what you believe.”||–|
|5||Contact Form/ Checkout||“That was easy!”||–|
Carl’s Historic Archery Centre sells bows and arrows to people who love to recreate medieval battles. You can see how various pages on Carl’s sitemap are doing different jobs, appealing both human visitors and to search engine robots.
You can see how various pages target various phrases that are more or less relevant to Carl’s business. Although some phrases (and pages) are less relevant, they can still be powerful magnets for traffic.
Now let’s take a look at how these pages work together, attracting visitors and guiding them toward becoming leads and customers.
This sitemap actually looks like a sideways funnel, with search traffic coming in from the left, and visitors converting into leads on the right.
Not all pages will rank and get search traffic. That’s fine. Many will. That means that not all of the visitors start on the home page. When many pages are optimized to rank, there are many entry points into the site.
“Your home page is just another landing page.” -Lee Odden (click to tweet)
A well-planned website attracts visitors with helpful, informative content (blog posts), then engages them with content that solves specific problems (product/service pages), and finally guides them toward the contact or checkout form (conversion page) and the thank you page.
On a great sitemap, keywords and usability work together to attract visitors and guide them through the site. This is why at Orbit, we research keyphrases before making a sitemap.
Next time you find yourself planning a website, aim that bow at both visitors and keywords. Traffic and conversions both begin with the sitemap!