Sitemaps are an important part of a website. Not only is it a map of your site, it is a communication tool between your site and search engines. Sitemaps also adapt your site for SEO.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a marketing strategy that allows search engines to find and rank your site in their search results. Sitemaps are a way for your site to communicate with search engines such as Google, MSN or Yahoo.
The Importance of a Sitemap
The importance of a sitemap goes hand in hand with the importance of SEO. SEO is essential to generating website traffic and revenue. On the other hand, sitemaps are essential to getting those search engine “spiders” to search, index and rank the content of your site.
What is a Sitemap?
A sitemap is essentially a map of your website. It is a single page on the site, which provides the structure of the site by listing its:
Benefits of a Sitemap
- If you take a look at SEO do’s and don’ts you will notice that 2 sitemaps are recommended. One is for the user and the other is for search engines. The importance of a sitemap is twofold.
- It helps the user to navigate through and understand your site.
- It helps search engine “spiders” to crawl through your site.
Sitemaps for Users
- Large sites tend to have sitemaps for users.
- Users can view the sites sections and links on one page.
- The theme of the site is understood.
- Makes the site more user-friendly.
- Enhances navigation.
Sitemaps for SEO
- Sitemaps provide a path for search engines.
- If you only use one sitemap this is a good choice.
- Navigation is enhanced.
- The site becomes more visible to the search engine “spiders”.
- Search engines will index the pages of the site.
- Search engines are informed of any changes to the site.
- Following changes, search engines can index the pages quicker. Take note indexing is not done immediately, but, sitemaps accelerate the process.
- Sitemaps mean that external links are not relied on to bring search engines to the site.
- Search engines follow the links on the sitemap, thus indexing all the pages of the site.
- Search engine “spiders” crawl through the site and index the pages.
- Placing the sitemap on the home page makes indexing faster.
HTML and XML sitemaps
- HTML sitemaps are used for the look of the website.
- XML sitemaps are used for search engines. Google developed XML, but, other search engines are starting to make use of XML.
A Sitemap is Important
A sitemap is an important element of any website. Although creating the sitemap may take time, it is time well spent. In light of the importance and benefits of having a website, you should optimise your site. If “spiders” do not crawl through your site it will not get indexed and content will not be ranked. This means that your site will not be visited by users. As a result the site will not generate traffic, advertising or revenue.
Now that you are aware of the importance of a sitemap it is time to create or adapt a sitemap for your site. Optimus, in association with Veritas Prime, are SEO specialists that can help your site’s SEO. Sitemap analysis is part of their service. Contact Optimus for more information on their SEO services and SEO packages.
The importance of SEO and a sitemap should not be overlooked. It is an essential part to getting “spiders” to index your site. Take the time to optimise your site through the use of a sitemap.