What is a Sitemap
There are two types of website sitemaps, html and xml. The html version is used to help people in case they get lost on your website, hopefully you don’t need this version. The sitemap I’m discussing in this post is the xml version. A site map is basically the skeleton structure of your website, including all of your pages and some key words and phrases. Which helps search engine robots crawl your website and properly index your webpages.
Why are they important
How many websites are currently on the internet? According to an article by Caitlin Schneider on mental_floss.com, there are about 1 billion. How do you get your website noticed and to the coveted first page on a search engine key word search? Every website is different and needs a unique strategy to promote it. Every promotion strategy should begin with creating a site map to submit to search engines. Submitting a site map to search engines gives them a cheat sheet of the content of your site so when someone types in a phrase to search and your site is relevant the search engine will pull your site up. Think of it as putting a big label on your site to help call attention to it when search engines are searching through the many many websites out there.
How you can create one
Creating a sitemap is not difficult, you just need to know where to find the tools. There are two ways you can create and submit sitemaps:
- Plugin – If you are using a CMS like WordPress, there are many plugins. You can do a search for sitemap plugins. The benefit of using a plugin is the work is done for you. Simply set it up and let it go. Some will even alert Search Engines to any updates that you do to your website
- Host Control Panel – In general there should be create a sitemap option when you log into your website host control panel. If it isn’t clear, just google your host name and “create a sitemap”