SEO sitemaps can help all of your website get indexed and in some cases, with some web designs you have to have a sitemap.
Sitemaps help your site get indexed quicker, which can achieve traffic quicker.
What is a seo sitemap?
A sitemap is a representation of the architecture of a website. It is a bit like a family tree. The home page is at the top which links down to 2nd tier web pages that can normally be found in the navigation bar a home page. Then 2nd tier pages link down to your 3rd tier pages either through a similar inpage navigation or with text links within your body content.
This system keeps the seo spider happy and your human visitors in control without feeling they are getting lost.
How a seo sitemap helps your website?
The benefits of having a sitemap improves search engine optimisation as it insures all your web pages are found, indexed and ranked in search engine results. No point building a 200 page website if the search engines only index 50 of them. You could be losing huge amounts of free traffic.
By no means will having a sitemap increase a websites rankings it just makes sure you are in the rankings and not lost in cyberspace.
If you use Macromedia Flash menus that do not include html links it is very important to use a SEO sitemap as spiders can not read or crawl flash.
SEO spiders from most search engines will only follow a certain amount of links from a web page, if a site is very large, a site map may be required so that search engines and visitors can access all content on the site.
The SEO Sitemaps Job
The sitemaps job allows you as a webmaster to inform search engines about URLs on your website that are available for indexing.
The sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for a site.
It also allows webmasters to include additional information about each URL like when it was last updated, how often it changes and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the website.
This then allows the SEO spider to index the website more intelligently. Most CMS systems have sitemaps automatically built in making life much easier than manually updating every time you make a change.
You must always have a sitemap when
- users cannot access all your web pages through a browseable interface.
- If users cannot access your web pages through html links, then neither can the spiders.
- You may have a very large website that is badly linked or not linked at all. This happens when webmasters may use a search forms on their website.
- Where you or your web designer is using Ajax or Flash, this stops search engine spiders navigating through your website, it is unable to index your content which is important when trying to rank high in search engines.
The SEO sitemap would contain all accessible URLs on the site and then you can submit it to search engines.
The Big Four
Google, Yahoo, Bing and ASK use the same protocol. So, by having a sitemap would let the biggest search engines have access to all your pages. The only four that actually matter.
Having a sitemap does not guarantee that search engines will use them at all times as it is only an added extra that supplements the existing crawl-based mechanisms they have in place.
By having a sitemap and submitting it to search engines you are only helping spiders do a better job and speeding the process up.
Your SEO Sitemap Format
The file name for your sitemap should be
and this is where you will place all your accessible URLs and other optional tags.
Or you can just have a plain list of all your web pages as html links.
The file name for your plain text sitemap would be
and you can have a list of all the URLs on this page. This is a simple process if you have no idea about XML files.