Tech Tip Tuesday: What is a sitemap & do I really need them for my site?
All Aboard! Tech Tip Tuesday, Captain JonJon will be highlighting every week technical SEO issues & FAQ’s we come across with you…
“What is a sitemap & do I really need them for my site?”
Last week we talked about site architecture, this week we will be diving in about the importance of sitemap and indexing!
Benefits of a sitemap and what sitemaps are for…
Sitemap for short equals a site’s mapping, routing, directions… and it categorises in two forms – HTML and XML. Having a XML sitemap uploaded, alerts search engines that your website is ready for a crawl by them. The work is broken down for search engine spiders that crawl your page, making it easier for them to identify all the pages in your website. Through this they will acknowledge which pages are priority pages and to how often they are updated frequently. Let’s take a look at what the characteristics of each of them are and the importance of them.
An HTML sitemap is an actual physical page on your site that lists the pages of your website. An example, check out this sitemap. The primary intention of this sitemap is for our use and not robots. A good designed and planned site architecture shouldn’t require users to go through the sitemap in order to locate the page they are looking for. But for some instances, sitemaps in general will make a difference if you are in the midst of knowing roughly what page you are looking for and locating the page through a sitemap will eliminate having to load additional content before arriving to your desired page. If you do notice that a significant amount of traffic is coming through your implemented sitemap, majority of the time the reasons for this is that your site architecture is not working for your visitors and perhaps you will need to consider a redesign or structuring of how the content is presented.
An XML sitemap is purely for search engine spiders to crawl on, allowing them to process each individual link between pages and understand the pages more, in order for your pages to index (here is an example XML Sitemap). Having an XML sitemap creates a platform for search engine spiders to understand more on how your websites architecture works for example: if you have a new page with very little to no links linking to them, or if your site has dynamic content, it will be beneficial to have those pages indexed.
The more pages a site indexes and gains the likes of search engines spiders, means in general that your site is more trusted and a worthy site that offers beneficial information. In general, the more pages indexed the better.
There are vast amounts of ways in creating an XML sitemap, here is a link which shows how to create a XML Sitemap.
Having your site crawled by search engine spiders and gaining multiple volumes of pages being indexed is a beneficial point for your whole website, don’t underestimate the value of having an XML sitemap now..
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