A sitemap is a guide to your website and consists of all the links of different pages of your website which can be made accessible to users and website crawlers. Learn the advantages of a sitemap and see how you can make your website more structured, user-friendly and search engine friendly at the same time.
A lot of people often undermine the importance of sitemaps in their websites. It may be due to their lack of knowledge but the fact is, sitemaps are an integral part of all websites. So, why exactly, should you consider creating a sitemap for your website? Have a look at some reasons listed below and you might find the answer to your question:
Sitemaps come to the rescue when visitors get lost
A lot of times people browsing your website are searching for some particular information, and they may find themselves lost between numerous pages of your website. A sitemap acts as a reference which can guide them to the correct page they are looking for.
Sitemaps convey the theme of your site
Sitemaps give an overview of the site. The visitors and crawlers can easily find the gist of your site by quickly going through the sitemap. It helps the search engine bots to identify the theme of your website so they can list it whenever a person searches for related themes.
Sitemaps help web crawlers to index and rank your pages
With a little forethought and planning, you can intelligently include some important keywords while designing your HTML sitemap. The fact which is most interesting and useful for you is, that when a search engine bot lands in your sitemap, it follows links listed on it and therefore all pages of your website have the potential for indexing!
Implementation of sitemap
You can use HTML or XML style depending upon your choice and preferences. Make sure that you use text links in your map. Though Java and Flash links tend to be more appealing to the user, they are usually unreadable to the search engines.
For bringing your sitemap to your SEO advantage, you can try grouping the page links in categories to make it more relevant at the same time enhancing the strength of links using keywords.
Also make sure that your sitemap is placed close to the root directory so that it is easily searchable. Header and footer links to a sitemap are most effective and make them easily accessible to the search engines.
Sitemaps are not only useful for users and crawlers but they are also beneficial for you. Since a sitemap presents a hierarchical format, it will become easier for you to make any new changes by just having a glance at your sitemap.