Most people are familiar with sitemaps in the context of websites. A sitemap is simply a listing of all the pages and content on a website. This list can be used by both visitors and search engines to navigate the site.
Search engines also use sitemaps to help them crawl and index websites. By submitting a sitemap to a search engine, webmasters can ensure that all of the site’s pages are properly indexed. This can be especially important for websites with a lot of dynamic or newly-added content.
Sitemaps are typically structured in one of two ways: as a hierarchical list or as a flat list. Hierarchical sitemaps are organized like an outline, with the home page at the top and subsequent pages listed beneath it in a hierarchical fashion. Flat sitemaps, on the other hand, simply list all of the pages on a site without any sort of organizational structure.
Both types of sitemaps can be helpful in different ways. Hierarchical sitemaps can make it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for on a website, while flat sitemaps offer a more comprehensive view of all the site’s content.
When used correctly, sitemaps can be a valuable asset for both website visitors and search engines. So if you’re not already using one, be sure to create a sitemap for your website today!
Sitemap Benefits for a Website-
There are a number of benefits to having a sitemap for your website:
Sitemaps can help ensure that all of the pages on your website are properly indexed.
Sitemaps can be a valuable asset for both website visitors and search engines.
Sitemaps can help ensure that your latest articles are properly indexed by search engines.
Sitemaps can help ensure that your mobile site is properly indexed by search engines.
Sitemaps can be used to create a sitemap for your website today!
Types of Sitemap
There are two types of sitemap:
This is a page on your website that lists all of the other pages on your site. HTML sitemaps are typically used for navigation by humans, not search engines.
This is a file that contains a listing of all the pages on your site. XML sitemaps are designed for consumption by search engine crawlers and are therefore more useful for SEO purposes.
In addition to pages, XML sitemaps can also include information about images on a website. Image sitemaps can help search engines find and index images that might otherwise be missed.
Like image sitemaps, video sitemaps can help search engines find and index videos that might otherwise be missed.
News sitemaps are a type of XML sitemap that are specifically designed for news websites. They can help ensure that your latest articles are properly indexed by search engines.
Geo sitemaps are a type of XML sitemap that contain information about the physical location of a business or website.
Mobile sitemaps are a type of XML sitemap that are specifically designed for mobile websites. They can help ensure that your mobile site is properly indexed by search engines.
How to Create a Sitemap?
Sitemaps can be created manually or generated automatically using a variety of tools. Once created, they can be submitted to search engines via their respective webmaster tools portals. There are two ways to create a sitemap: manually or using a tool.
Create Sitemap Manually
If you choose to create a sitemap manually, you’ll need to create a separate file for each type of sitemap (HTML and XML). For HTML sitemaps, simply create a new page on your website and list all of the other pages on your site. For XML sitemaps, you’ll need to create a new file and add the following code:
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
Be sure to replace the example URL with the actual URL of your website. You can also add additional <url> tags for each of the other pages on your site. Just be sure to update the <loc>, <lastmod>, <changefreq>, and <priority> values for each page accordingly.
With the use of Sitemap Generators
If you’d prefer not to create your sitemap manually, there are a number of tools that can help. Google offers a free tool called the Sitemap Generator, which can be used to create both HTML and XML sitemaps. Other popular sitemap generators include xml-sitemaps.com and Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider.
How to submit a sitemap to search engines?
Once you’ve created your sitemap, you’ll need to submit it to the major search engines via their respective webmaster tools portals. Google, Bing, and Yandex all have free webmaster tools programs that you can use to submit your sitemaps.
It’s also a good idea to include a link to your sitemap in the <head> section of your home page. This will help search engines find your sitemap even if they don’t have access to your webmaster tools account.
<link rel=”sitemap” type=”application/xml” title=”Sitemap” href=”/sitemap.xml”>
The above code will tell search engines to look for your sitemap at http://example.com/sitemap.xml.Which pages should be in your XML sitemap?
Your XML sitemap should include all of the pages on your website that you want search engines to index. This includes your home page, as well as any other important pages on your site. If you have a large website with thousands of pages, you can create multiple sitemaps and submit them to search engines via their respective webmaster tools portals.
Which pages to exclude in your sitemap?
There are a few types of pages that you’ll want to exclude from your sitemap:
- Pages that are difficult to navigate: These are pages that are hard for users to find or that require too many clicks to reach.
- Pages that are duplicate content: These are pages that contain the same or similar content as other pages on your site. including multiple versions of the same page (e.g., www vs. non-www).
- Pages that are blocked by robots.txt: These are pages that you’ve specifically told search engines not to crawl via the robots.txt file.
As of now, you know what a sitemap is and how to create it.Once you’ve created your sitemap, the next step is to submit it to search engines. This can be done via each engine’s respective webmaster tools portal. For example, if you want to submit your sitemap to Google, you’ll need to add your website to Google Search Console and then upload your sitemap under the “Crawl” tab. Once submitted, search engines will periodically crawl your sitemap and index any new or updated pages.
Sitemaps can be an extremely valuable asset for both website visitors and search engines. So if you don’t already have one, be sure to create a sitemap for your site today!