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Use free tools for wireframing, sitemaps and analyzing headlines to get the 30,000 feet view for your projects

Tools to Use

This is the time of year we begin to evaluate our business and the tools we use. It is also close to the time we see Black Friday and Cyber Mondays launched.

In the November edition of tools roundup, we discuss creating a how to create a visual sitemap, a wireframe, and how to write better headlines using tools that are free to begin.

Create visual sitemaps with GlooMaps

Sitemaps are a necessary piece of information for search engines. As Jessica Kandler explains in this article on SEM Rush,

Sitemaps are a core piece of a website and critical to search engine optimization – xml sitemaps allows search engines to easily crawl a website and index each page so that it appears in search engine results.

So having the ability to create one visually can be a big help when looking at a website from 30,000 feet and explaining to your clients.

Powered by HotGloo, GlooMaps is an online application to quickly make visual sitemaps. It operates very easily and creates easy to use sitemaps for your website project.

GlooMaps Visual Sitemap Tool
GlooMaps Visual Sitemap Tool

In a perfect world, once you have finished your sitemap you would export it straight to HotGloo’s prototyping software. HotGloo has a robust wireframing and prototyping tool to help create UX designs. You can also export as a PNG, PDF, or XML. This makes it easy to share with your client or work within other settings.

You can make various changes to the look of your boxes and you can see your sitemap in one of three views, Map, Matrix, and Outline.

Create a simple wireframe with Wireframe.cc

Wireframing is another way you can see a website at a high level, especially a web page. The good thing about using a wireframe is it lets you decide on what you want on the page without getting specific. For example, if you were to put together a special page for Black Friday, a wireframe would be a great place to start.

By now you are finished with your Black Friday page. However, maybe you are working on a new campaign for the first of the year and you need a new landing page.

Landing pages or new pages are projects where the focus of the page is on one thing and concerted attempt to get the user to convert. Whether you are building a landing page or a custom page, you may need to decide how you are going to lay out that page.

Wireframe.cc wireframing tool
Wireframe.cc wireframing tool

This internet-based wireframing tool, Wireframe.cc, can let you do this without being distracted by the specific design elements.

It is nimble and easy to create boxes using the drag and drop UI. The wireframe page includes grids and your objects can snap into place.

With the premium version, you can export your wireframes. The free version allows you to have a public facing URL that you can bookmark and share. The premium version starts at $16 per month and includes unlimited projects and revisions.

Write better headlines with the Sharethrough Headline Analyzer

Headlines are always something we need to work on creating. They are the gateway for readers to read the rest of the article. They are crucial.

There are a number of headline analyzers available including the one by Co-Schedule. Recently, however, I have been using Sharethrough for my headline analyzing.

Stanford University graduate students Dan Greenberg and Rob Fan started the company in 2008. Sharethrough helps publishers and advertisers connect with its native advertising platform.

The headline analyzer gives you feedback for what makes an engaging headline. The analyzer uses a sophisticated algorithm including 300 variables.

Sharethrough Headline Analyzer
Sharethrough Headline Analyzer

The Headline Quality Score is based on a multivariate linguistic algorithm built on the principles of Behavior Model theory and
Sharethrough’s neuroscience and advertising research.
The algorithm takes into account more than 300 unique variables, including EEG data and Natural Language Processing, enabling your native ads to capture attention, increase engagement and deliver a stronger impression. Sharethrough

Sharethrough has an interactive page that digs into the science of native advertising. In this day and time, users are certainly becoming blind to normal ads, so native advertising is becoming a more noticeable option by publishers.

Wrapping it up

There are several tools available for creating visual sitemaps and wireframing web pages. It is always good to dip your toes in the water to try something out. Seeing things at a high-level view helps us to clear out the details and wade through the noise so that we can see things more clearly.

These tools are helpful for doing this when it comes to planning a website and planning out a web page. In reality, you can use anything you like.

I must also caution using a headline analyzer. I use them because it helps me make sure I use certain elements that make them more readable. To find out if they are foolproof, take an article that it has lots of shares and reads and copy the title into your headline analyzer and see how it is graded. Sometimes other elements cause an article to be shared and read.

What tools do you use for high-level planning?

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Todd Jones
Along with being the resident writer for MainWP and content hacker at Copyflight, I specialize in writing about startups, entrepreneurs, social media, WordPress and inbound marketing topics.
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