Are you looking to improve your website’s rank in search results with SEO? Wondering if a sitemap will help?
On this page, we’ll explain what a sitemap is, why it’s important, and how sitemaps impact your overall SEO strategy.
What is a sitemap?
A sitemap is a file that lists URLs for a website, along with metadata about each URL, such as when it was last updated and how important it is in relation to other URLs.
In other words, sitemaps spell out your website’s central content, showing both search spiders and humans where to find information on your site.
Traditional sitemaps are static HTML files that indicate the first and second level structure of a website. However, today it is recommended that you use an XML sitemap, which provides a link dump for search spiders to index. It’s important to note that XML sitemaps are feeds specifically designed for search engines, while an HTML sitemap is a page on your website designed to help visitors navigate your site.
Good sitemaps show an overview of your website, provide a pathway for search robots to follow, include text links to every page on your site, and quickly show visitors how to navigate your website.
Do sitemaps improve SEO?
Now that you understand the purpose of sitemaps, let’s take a look at how they can improve your overall SEO efforts.
Sitemaps help search engines more intelligently crawl your website and discover new pages. And when your major pages are included in search engine databases, you have a better chance of appearing in search results.
While sitemaps do not guarantee that your pages will be crawled and indexed, they certainly help.
Tips for optimizing your sitemap
Let’s take a look at some tips for optimizing your sitemap for the best SEO results.
Link sitemap from the homepage
First, you want to make sure that you link your sitemap from your website’s homepage. This will help search engines find your sitemap and follow it through your website. Linking your sitemap from other pages may cause search spiders to find a dead-end quickly before indexing all of your pages.
Don’t include every link in your sitemap
While smaller websites may be able to include every page on their sitemap, SEO experts don’t recommend that larger sites do the same. Including a long list of links on your sitemap can look suspicious to search engines, who may assume you are a link farm.
In fact, most SEO experts recommend only including 25-40 links on your sitemap.
Submit sitemaps to search engines
After you create your sitemap, you can submit it to search engines. This will improve your chances of having your pages indexed and boost the likelihood that your pages will appear in search results.
Submitting sitemaps to search engines is a fairly easy process. For example, you can simply sign into your Google account and submit your sitemap using Google’s Webmaster Tools. Then, the search engine will know your sitemap exists!
Update your sitemap
Finally, it’s important that you keep your sitemap updated and include all major pages on your website. If you add or remove pages on your website, make sure the changes are reflected on your sitemap.
This will help search spiders crawl and index all of your important pages. And it will ultimately help you appear in search results for targeted keywords and phrases related to your business.
SEO plans from WebFX
WebFX is an award-winning SEO agency.
When you choose to work with WebFX, you’re choosing an unmatched team of Internet marketing experts, ranked #1 in the US for organic search engine optimization by Heardable.com, the independent authority on SEO vendors and pricing.
We’ll take the time to get to know your business, and we understand what it takes to drive results for companies in a wide range of industries. We work with everyone from jewelers to restaurant owners and construction companies.
We also publish our SEO pricing online to help you make the most informed decision and to help you choose the plan best suited to your business goals. Don’t see a plan that’s right for you? We’ll work to create a custom SEO plan tailored to your business.
Interested in learning more?
Want to learn more about how sitemaps can improve your SEO efforts and get your website indexed by search engines?
Contact WebFX today. Our team of SEO experts understands how to design and implement a sitemap that will take your SEO efforts to the next level.
We work with hundreds of businesses across the United States, and we’re excited to work with you!