SEO Tools | Sitemaps
Sitemaps helps search engines find the most important pages of a site. A lot of users, even the most basic ones, have heard the word "sitemap". They know that it's important for SEO, even if they don't know why. Wix auto-generates sitemaps for users and automatically submits them to Google if they connect to Google Search Console through our platform. But it's never been mentioned in the UI before. We wanted users to know that they have sitemaps and to understand why they're important.
"Making Changes to Your Sitemap" was our second highest feature request, with 3,100 total votes. Clearly it was a top issue for our users. Majority of these votes, though, actually came from people who weren't aware they had a sitemap and/or just wanted to update Google about changes on their site (rather than changing the sitemap itself).
Earlier in the year, we made a change to the sitemap file, optimizing it for best practices. It went from 1 sitemap to a sitemap index with several sitemaps. The sitemap index really confused users, because it looked like their sitemap was empty. So we were also receiving tons of complaints about this.
The most pressing issue was to explain the new sitemap index. We decided to make a very lean product, basically just exposing the sitemaps and explaining how the new sitemap structure works.
To get this out as quickly as possible, we decided to wait until V2 to allow actual editing of their sitemaps.
We also wanted to guide users to the SEO Wiz, where the sitemaps would be automatically submitted for them.
Lastly, we always try to give our users additional help and education with our SEO Tools. So we added a "Helpful Tips" widget to the page.
In the quarter before Sitemaps was released, there were 439 votes for this feature request. In the quarter after, there were only 30 votes. That's a 93% decrease. We can assume 2 things from this:
It's clearer to users that they have a sitemap and it's kept updated, which was the real reason most people voted for the feature.
The new sitemap is an SEO best practice, so experienced SEO users feel less of a need to make changes.
In the 5 months since the product was released, the number of views for the article "Understanding Your Sitemaps" has decreased by 20%.
This feature was incredibly lean, and the sole purpose of it was to explain to users about their sitemaps. So, more than ever, it was truly all about content. Besides writing the text, I also:
Named the product
Researched sitemaps, sitemap indexes, XML files and SEO best practices
Reviewed user support tickets and worked with the product support lead to get a better understanding of what confused users the most
Decided which KB articles would be in the Helpful Tips widget
As always, I was also responsible for QA'ing the content, sending it to localization, and overseeing the resolution of issues (i.e., responsive buttons and size of modals) raised during the localization process.