Insights

Tech company website sitemaps: The good, the bad and the ugly

A sitemap is the list of pages you have on your website, mapped out to show hierarchy and subpages. 

Before you begin designing/redesigning your website, choosing images or copywriting, planning out the sitemap is vital. If you were to set out on a camping trip without planning the route, you’d likely get lost and have to turn back. The same applies to website creation. Well-structured sitemaps also play an important role in SEO.

site example

For larger, more complex sites, sitemaps can be drawn out in a diagram, like the above example. For simpler websites, a bullet point list will suffice. 

Over the years of working with tech companies, I’ve seen sitemaps in all shapes and sizes, the good, the bad and the ugly. Let’s take a look at this example sitemap:

  • Home
  • Ontercon 2000
  • Potecon 3000
  • About Us
    • What makes us tick
      • Our Vision
        • Our Values
      • Our History
    • Leadership Team
    • Partners  
    • Our Offices
      • Contact Us
    • Request a Quote
  • Careers 
  • GDPR Policy
  • News
    • Industry news
    • Products
    • Team appointments 
    • Resources
    • Careers
    • Whitepapers
    • Downloads

As I am sure you’ve realised, this is an example of a bad sitemap. Let’s look at some of the issues:

  1. What on earth is Ontercon 2000 and Potecon 3000? It turns out that this is the name of the two products that the company offers. This is obvious to the business, as they work with these products day in, day out. But to a new prospect, the’ll have no idea what these links mean, so won’t be enticed to click on them. 
  2. Have you ever seen such a poorly structured and boring list of About Us subpages? Other then a new candidate looking to ace the interview process, no one is going to bother reading all these pages about your business. You should be able to summarise your business on one About Us page. I’d also recommend a ‘meet the team’ page if possible.
  3. The main lead generation call to action pages (request a quote and contact us) are hidden within the About Us subpages menu. These are likely to be missed. They should be more prominent on the sitemap. 
  4. Do the Careers and GDPR Policy pages really need to be in the main menu navigation? Low traffic or low priority pages should be moved to the footer.
  5. Hovering your mouse over the News page to reveal a long drop-down menu of options is confusing and overwhelming. These subpages should instead be considered as categories within the main news page.

Now let’s look a better example:

  • Home
  • About Us
    • Meet the Team
  • Our Products 
    • For Individuals
    • For Businesses
  • Pricing
  • Testimonials
  • Blog
    • Various blog articles
  • Book a Demo
  • Contact Us

Positives about this sitemap:

  1. It’s concise and to the point without overwhelming or confusing the visitor
  2. The structure is clear and balanced. This is a benefit for users and SEO.
  3. The call to action pages are on the main menu
  4. All pages are clearly labelled so the visitor has a good idea of the content they will find on this page

When creating your sitemap, it’s easy to go overboard and include as much information about your company and tech as possible. Keep in mind that a “less is more” approach is often effective for tech companies. Leave a little off the table to entice contact enquiries.

If you would like to discuss how to create a sitemap for your tech business, book a call with me today.

SaaS web design and sales/marketing materials for fast-growing, ambitious tech companies.