You may not realize how important your website’s sitemap actually is to your search engine optimization purposes. The difference between a website ranking well for certain keywords and one that isn’t is often because of a poorly designed or infrequently updated sitemap. Search-engines such as Google and Yahoo reward sites with fresh and new content. Your sitemap allows them to quickly find those pages recently added to your site.
Once a sitemap is created, create a link for it on your homepage. The next time your site is crawled by the search engines, they will find the sitemap and have easy access to each page of your site. Search engines can still crawl and index each page without a sitemap but that also means your site must have a comprehensive and perfectly designed structure. A sitemap leaves no doubt that all of your pages will be properly indexed. While it is not necessary, try naming the sitemap either sitemap.html or sitemap.php. This helps the search-engines recognize that the file is indeed a sitemap.
Another great benefit of a sitemap is that it also gives users a place to find a particular section or category they are looking for without getting lost within the website’s many pages. Let’s face it, you can design a great looking and easy to follow internal linking structure, but sometimes users will have a difficult time finding exactly what they are looking for. An updated sitemap helps users understand the website layout, and gives them a quick access tool for all of the pages contained within the site.
Brad Anderson is the Executive Director and Founder of Fruition. Brad’s focus is supporting Fruition’s team to enable sustainable growth and excellent client satisfaction (EBITDA growth). With a strong statistical background, Brad built Fruition’s in-house software that is used to manage client success.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President & Founder, Family Travel Association