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You might be looking for a way to update your Real Estate Association’s website, but it’s not in the budget for a redesign right now. Or maybe you are in the process of redesigning your real estate association website and need some tips on how to structure your content. Wherever you find yourself right now, you can give your site a new look and feel by simply freshening up your navigation and content. Having a solid structure for your website using information architecture—the organization of helping users navigate where the information they want is—will only benefit your association.
When it comes to working on your navigation, you will want to start with creating a sitemap to organize where content will be displayed on your website. You don’t need to have a tech background to create a sitemap, you just need to think like someone who is visiting your website. If a member is looking to pay their dues, where would they find that information? How quickly can they find what they’re looking for? It’s best practice to help a visitor get to the information they are searching for in 3 clicks or less. A carefully crafted sitemap is also beneficial for search engines like Google that display the most relevant information when a person submits a search query.
We have surveyed Real Estate Associations around the country to provide you with most commonly used navigation topics to help build your sitemap (this free downloadable document is below). These curated categories will help you in planning or updating your association’s sitemap for your website.
First, let’s take a look at an example of a completed sitemap. It all starts with your Real Estate Association’s homepage. From there, you can see we have 6 different top-level or main navigation categories. It’s best practice to have 5 to 7 different categories in your navigation.
Some Associations opt for a mega menu which is an expandable, two-dimensional dropdown layout. This preference is great for accommodating a large number of options or for revealing lower-level site pages. Here is an example of a mega menu from Greater Nashville REALTORS®.
Having a visual organization of your sitemap will help you and your team determine the hierarchy of your pages and content. If you’re looking to get started on defining or updating your navigation, we have a Free Downloadable Sitemap Tool created specifically for Real Estate Associations. Download this free interactive document packed with category options that are most used and recommended by Real Estate Associations. When you open the Sitemap Tool document, please go to File > Make a Copy to access the drop-down categories like seen in the screenshots throughout the blog. If you need help in this process, feel free to reach out to our team at Accrisoft at any time.