Dave Rogers
Head Of Services and User Experience

The Importance of SiteMaps in SEO

There are many SEO tips that help in optimizing a site but one of those- the importance of which is sometimes underestimated- is Site Maps. Site Maps are pretty much what they say on the tin- they create a map of your site so users and search engines know how many different pages your website contains and what routes you take to find pages.

An up-to date Site Map is good practice for both your users and for search engines. Site Maps are an important way of communicating with search engines, by doing so you can tell search engines where you would like them to go on your site.

It is necessary to know that there are two types of Site Maps to use on your site, a HTML Site Map and a XML Site Map.  Although both are important, if you are concentrating on SEO alone then XML Site Maps are what you should be interested in.  HTML Site Maps are links used for human visitors to help navigate around the site where as XML Site Maps are URLs with optional meta data used for bots and spiders.

For SEO purposes, it is essential that you keep it up-to-date in order to help improve crawlability and ensure that all the important pages on your site are crawled and indexed. XML Site Maps give the search engines a complete list of the pages you want indexed along with information about those pages.

If you launch a new site, a redesign or a large update, submitting a Site Map is a great way to alert the search engine to the new pages and potentially get these pages indexed sooner than if you just waited for the spiders to find them. Combined with the Google webmaster tools/search console. (This tool can give you valuable information about how the search engines see your site and help diagnose any potential problems) this contributes to greater success in your sites ranking on search engines.

 

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