Illustration of a websites sitemap being planned out

Importance of a Site Map Within Your Web Design

Goals are vital for all healthcare practices, so it should come as no surprise that your website should be designed with goals in mind. A sitemap is essential for a number of reasons and can be vital to the success of your website. Search engines are often the route by which prospective patients find you. The sitemap provides a link from your website to the search engines. Keywords like “medical website design” or “chiropractic websites” may have brought you here in your quest to create or improve upon your website thanks to the website crawlers used by search engines. Optimized360 taps into the power of the sitemap and ensures keywords and phrases are incorporated to bring people your way who are searching for the services you provide.

What is a Sitemap?

A sitemap operates in much the same way that a table of contents or index functions in a book. It helps visitors and search engines navigate your website. Quality website design for dentists includes the creation of a superb framework so search engines can find links, prioritize pages, and determine the frequency of updates. Websites are comprised of individual webpages that each have their own URL. A sitemap is an XML file that is reminiscent of a card catalog in how it organizes individual URLs so they are easy for search engine crawlers to locate.

Simply put, XML is a machine specific language that makes the internal aspects of your website’s content visible to search engines. Once upon a time, a site map was just a list of links but they have taken on a larger role in website design over the years. Now they are key components for search engines and the humans that visit your website. A well-designed sitemap naturally guides visitors to your high-quality content as they explore your website. When a part of the medical website design includes detailed descriptions for each section and subsection, it improves the effectiveness of your sitemap. Visitors are able to navigate more efficiently and search engines give more “credit” to easily navigable sites.

Why are Sitemaps so Important?

 

"Search Results" with various internet graphics in background

 

A quality sitemap should be one piece of larger medical and dental marketing strategies. Online visibility is crucial with today’s technological advances. When a sitemap is employed, your website is more visible. As changes are made on your website, the sitemap provides immediate connections to search engines. The algorithms that determine your search engine ranking and online visibility look for regular updates, so when a sitemap gives them access, it is clearly beneficial.

Sitemap links help your website rely less on external links to improve visibility and bring more prospective patients to your website. In fact, a well-constructed sitemap can help redirect searches when internal links are poorly made or have been accidentally broken. Of course, it is better to make sure damaged links are fixed, but a sitemap can improve navigation even if there are undetected errors.

As website crawlers index all of the URLs on the internet, sitemaps will continue to become crucial to website success. With new websites and websites that have been recently updated, you will want to be sure the sitemap is submitted to the search engines. The concept of prioritizing the use of sitemap programs is relatively new to major search engines, so this is a part of marketing plans that will continue to grow. Each time search engine algorithms are updated, sitemaps will improve the indexing of their websites. Since a sitemap uses the broader scope of search engines to classify and rate pages as opposed to one designer’s sorting ability, your website ends up being visible to more people for more reasons.

Clarify Your Website’s Goals

 

Designer drawing website design wireframe

 

Chiropractic websites should have clear goals. If the site is disorganized, you are less likely to convert visitors to patients. Confusion is the bane of any website. Likewise, high-quality website design for dentists will make the purpose of the website crystal clear to visitors. When prospective patients are confused by a website, they will go find a more user-friendly website to explore. Content should be easy to find and it should not be a dead-end for visitors. A sitemap that is present and easy to use will help keep visitors on your website long enough to convert them to patients.

It is wise to determine your goals before the design process begins so all of the pieces of the puzzle come together for one purpose. A sitemap that is planned in advance of implementation helps you determine if each page will reinforce those goals. You will have an opportunity to cut pieces that do not actually lead to patient conversion or education. Conscious design choices can save you a significant amount of time and money when you avoid the need to overhaul a website that is not performing as expected.

Overview

Sitemaps are beneficial to the people visiting your website and the search engines that are bringing those people to you. Updates to your website are made immediately available by the sitemap and are therefore indexed by the search engines more quickly than they would be on a static page. External links are important, but with a sitemap, they are not the end all and be all of your online visibility. New or redesigned websites benefit from the visibility provided by sitemaps. Sitemaps help search engines classify the content on your website. Now, it may not be done exactly as you expect, but regardless, it will help bring more of the right people to your website. Remember, Optimized360 understands that sitemaps are not just lists of links. It is a complex piece of your medical website design that will help you convert visitors to patients because those visitors will actually enjoy exploring your website. The sitemap puts important content in reach and it promotes your credibility as a professional in your field. When people feel like you have put the time into your website, they see it as an indicator of your commitment to your patients.

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