The Importance of a Clean Sitemap

Author: Lois Nilsen

This blog is from a presentation at the We Are Digital Commons event on October 29, 2019. 

Managing how new content is incorporated into the website is the single most important task of the website manager.

A clean sitemap helps your site visitors by clarifying the structure of the website. They may enter your site on any page, and it should be apparent what content is related to that page.

Clean sitemaps also help you, by helping you see the big picture of your site. You can more easily assign pages to the appropriate subject matter expert.

Clean sitemaps also make your website more searchable. 

A graphic showing a clean visual sitemap of four menu items of a website and, the levels that proceed each of those menus.

Over the years, it’s easy for websites to become messy, with placed pages out of the menu structure. This happens when:

  • the agency is in a hurry to get content up
  • when they want a short URL and don’t realize the redirect allows them to place item in the menu and have a short URL.
  • when publishers publish new pages and don’t tell their Website Manager. Publishers don’t have the ability to place items in the menu and should not be allowed to publish new pages.
  • the content owner does not want to collaborate with those who have related content.

A graphic of a sitemap represented by four menu items and the proceeding levels below it; but with other pages represented outside of the structure.

We Can Help

We've crawled your sites and now have sitemaps that show which of your pages that are out of sync with the menu.  See Tidying Up for the Big Move for how to get your agency's personalized site map.


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