You wouldn’t construct a building without sound architectural foundations. And the same diligence applies to the first stages of web development. Online, it’s referred to as information architecture (IA); the visual component of which is the site map.
Whether for new or existing sites, the ultimate aim of information architecture is to categorise all content components into a coherent structure. Then, fine tuning an intuitive naming convention – often best achieved via planning workshops – means the subsequent navigation is more easily and quickly understood by all users.
It’s final form very much impacts the effectiveness of any search engine optimisation (SEO) intent, which is why high-ranking keywords should be considered as names for important pages and sections.
Information architecture is easy to get wrong and unfortunately hard to fix, that’s why it is crucial to get it right from the start. Our clients agree. The pay off for getting this right, upfront? Much better SEO and user experience.