What is a Site Map?

A sitemap is a model that provides information about pages, videos, and other files on your site, such as the hierarchy and relationships between them. The site map helps add direction to your project by outlining your site’s goals and purpose, such as increasing online sales.

There are Three Main Types of Sitemaps:

  • XML: This sitemap is created to aid search engine crawlers in reading and understanding your website. The more the crawlers comprehend your site, the more easily Google can send search engine users to your web pages.
  • HTML: An HTML sitemap has an anchor link connecting to every webpage on a site and specifically helps users navigate your site more easily.
  • Visual: This type of map can compare to a hand-drawn map or flowchart. It displays the site’s hierarchy and is often a flat, 2-D rendering. It shows how users will navigate the site to help determine site organization and design.

While sitemaps are not required for search engines to effectively crawl your web pages, your site can only benefit from one. Sitemaps help make content more digestible for both crawler bots and humans and can increase web accessibility and user experience in the process. They are especially helpful for websites with lots of content that isn’t well linked or has rich media content and large or new websites.

To Create a Good Sitemap:

  1. Analyze the structure of your web pages
  2. Code your URLs with XML tags
  3. Verify the codes with sitemap validation tools
  4. Add your sitemap to the root and robots.txt folders
  5. Use Google Search Console to submit your sitemap

If Google hasn’t indexed some of your web pages, organized, updated sitemaps can be an excellent source for making that happen. While sitemaps are not the only requirement for having a page indexed and rank well on Google, it can definitely help improve traffic flow to your web pages.

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