Displaying the Site Map on Every Page
Dr. John Morkes

Q: Someone on our website redesign team wants to include a list of 100+ links at the bottom of every page (to mirror Salesforce.com’s approach). Are a lot of companies including essentially their site map on every page?

Most sites don’t put their site maps on every page, and certainly not 100+ links. Doing so clutters each page and makes the content hard to scan and read. It also increases scrolling, which annoys some users.

Our advice instead is to perfect the information architecture, navigation and terminology in your site, and make the site map easy to access (if you are convinced you need a site map).

Why do some sites list a bunch of links on every page? For some companies, it appears to be search engine optimization (SEO). However, our experience shows that these lists often do not provide high value to users. If SEO is a big concern, then you might try it, but keep in mind that search engines are pretty sophisticated these days and don’t give much weight to extra “keywords” on the page.