A sitemap is a file that contains a list and links of all the pages on your website. There are two types of sitemaps: XML and HTML. XML maps are designed for search engines and when you design them properly they will deliver important information about your site that will help you in perching at the top of the search results page.
Some of the important information that the map has the potential of showing include: when your site was last modified and how often you modify the site.
Fresh content is of great importance in SEO; therefore, when search engines see a report of your fresh content you are ranked high in the results page.
HTML sitemaps play a huge role in helping users to easily navigate your site. By simply following your links the users are able to find all the content that they want.
How To Create A Sitemap
The process of creating a sitemap is easy and straightforward. If your site has just a few pages (less than 100) you can manually create the map in a HTML document; however, if your site is large and has many pages it’s easy to create the map using software programs such as XML sitemap, XML sitemap generator, simple WP sitemap, and HTML page sitemap.
You should note that the various programs are ideal for different types of sites. For example, you should use a HTML page sitemap when your site is built using a content management system such as WordPress. A simple WP sitemap is ideal for sites that have blog content. For ideal results you should do your research and use the software that is ideal for your site.
Sitemap Dos And Don’ts
To create a great sitemap you need to consider a few dos and don’ts:
Links: you should ensure that your map is linked to your home page. Linking like this ensures that search engines are able to easily find your content and follow it. If you have a small site, you can include all the pages in the map; however, if your site is large, you don’t have to include all the links.
This is to prevent the search engines from seeing your site as a link farm thus penalizing it. Remember that more than 99 links on a page makes search engines suspect your site.
Optimization: you should optimize the sitemap for search engines. For example, you should include a clickable anchor text.
A sitemap is not only ideal for search engines, it’s also important for a great user experience. You should regularly maintain it and ensure that all the links are working.