Navigating A Site With A Map
The Virginia Beach Angler’s Club website, www.virginiabeachanglersclub.com, needs some work, and I am currently in the process of coming up with a strategy to redesign it.
The links on the site play a major role in what can be picked up by search engines naturally. Creating a sitemap not only gives the designer an idea of what links are on the site, but it also allows the designer to come up with a visual layout of the navigation bar.
Before creating a sitemap, I used the site, www. Dynomapper.com, to conduct an analysis of the site by crawling it for links and then setting them up as a visual sitemap. Given my knowledge of the club, the sitemap was not shocking at all – many of the club members know a website is important but don’t know why and put little effort into it.
The result was a parent – the website address – with several children – the links the craw found. There were no grandchildren below the children. So when you picture a navigation bar, just imagine a bunch of links going across the bar and beyond without any dropdown menus.
I did a side-by-side comparison of what was found and what was on the site, and modified the sitemap to reflect the site accurately. Using a tree diagram, here’s the result.
On aside note, I found several broken links and that the top navigation bars differed from page to page. This exercise forced me to deep dive into the mechanics of the site.
After rearranging the sitemap to reflect the current setup accurately, I took it a step further by rearranging the items based on what made sense. Some items were consolidated, others were moved into one big category. The result was a navigation menu with at least two levels of dropdowns. I could probably take it a few more steps further, but this was a start.