Sitemaps are files that give a complete list of every webpage hosted on a website. Usually, other information is included as well, such as when the pages were last updated. There are two different types of sitemaps. The first is XML, which helps the search engines understand the site’s structure. The second is HTML, which provides visitors with a readable directory.
Who Needs a Sitemap?
According to Google, sitemaps are helpful for large websites, new websites, websites with rich media content and websites with content that is not well linked. In other words, most websites should have a sitemap! Having a sitemap won’t hurt your website (and you can’t be penalized for not having one) – there are only benefits to gain.
Why are they Important?
Sitemaps are important for several reasons.
- When the search engines crawl your website, sitemaps help them understand what your site is about. This way, they can generate accurate results for searchers. For visitors, sitemaps help them find the pages they’re looking for without having to dig deep.
- Content updates. To maintain higher placement in the SERPs, you have to continually modify your content. This tells the search engines that your content is relevant and up to date. A sitemap alerts Google when your content is modified.
- Content categorization. Sitemaps are great for organization, as they allow you to place web pages under specific categories. This way, pages that are most valuable will be crawled first.
- Site monitoring. It’s important to monitor your sitemap reports because they tell you a lot about your visitors. Also, errors are displayed so you can address them, improve content and attract more visitors.
- Be visible. Sitemaps are highly recommended for new websites. A sitemap helps your content get discovered quickly so that Google can recommend you to searchers. Even if your site is established, a sitemap ensures that new, fresh pieces of content are delivered at the right time.
How Sitemaps are Made
Submitting your sitemap to Google doesn’t cost a thing! There are different ways to create a sitemap, but not all of them are practical. For example, manually programming a sitemap on a large website would require you to input thousands of lines of code! We have a feeling you don’t have time for this.
Luckily, there are a number of tools, plugins, modules and software available to generate sitemaps. These tools crawl through your website and create a sitemap based on your pages. Not all sitemap creators are created equal, so it’s important to do your research and compare features, price and more.
To ensure that your website is indexed properly by all the major search engines, contact Magna Technology today.