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Sitemap Optimization: Enhance Website Navigation & SEO
Uncover the power of XML & HTML sitemaps for robust user navigation & SEO boost. Learn to test the efficacy of your sitemap with our practical guide. 

# Boost Your SEO and User Navigation with Optimised Sitemap Strategies

Website sitemap is a pivotal element in SEO strategy and enhancing user engagement. This writeup discovers the nitty-gritty of website sitemaps, various types and how you can evaluate their effectiveness. 

## Decoding the Meaning of a Sitemap

A website sitemap does more than just listing the pages, videos and files your website possess. It mirrors the intricate web of relationships between these elements, aiding search engines like Google in discovering most parts of your site. This fueled discovery assists in bettering SEO performance and positioning you higher up in gloal search results. Dive in to learn about the varied sitemap types and methods to evaluate their proficiency. 

### Profiling XML Sitemaps
An inclusive list of your website's subpages, their prominence, and their update frequency forms an XML sitemap.  XML sitemaps pave the way for efficient indexing in search engine databases, revealing insightful details about your site structure. 

### Profiling HTML Sitemaps 
While HTML sitemaps encompass the same elements as XML sitemaps, their main task is to facilitate user navigation. HTML sitemaps acting as an intuitive and user-friendly interface, help users locate the desired content swiftly on large websites.

### Infusing Both Sitemap Types for Maximum Impact
Embed both XML and HTML sitemaps into your system. XML sitemaps ensure efficient indexing with Google and HTML sitemaps enhance user navigation. 

## Locating your XML Sitemap
Your XML sitemap can be found right after you append "/sitemap.xml" at the end of your website's URL. If your website is voluminous, you require several sub-sitemaps sorted by page categories - an acceptable and efficient practice. Tools for sitemap generation vary based on the CMS platform used. 

## Evaluating Your XML Sitemap
It's crucial to conduct regular assessments of your sitemap post its creation. Utilize resources like Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, or SEMrush, to keep track of your valid URLs and "orphan pages", the ones not linked internally on the website. These unlinked pages can potentially compromise your SEO game. 

Reach out if you require help with sitemap audits, correcting orphan pages or to better calibrate your sitemap to satisfy search engines' prerequisites and user demands. Connect with our adept SEO team today!

How Effective Is Your Sitemap?

To draw in new users and keep visitors engaged, your site needs to have an intuitive layout - both on the front end and back end. A website sitemap is an important part of helping search engines like Google understand how your site’s pages interact with each other and serve up the relevant page to users. In this blog, we’ll dig into what a sitemap is, the different types of sitemaps you should create, and how you can test the effectiveness of your sitemap.

What is a Sitemap?

A website sitemap lists the pages, videos, and other files on your website, as well as the relationship between them. By properly linking your site’s pages and creating a sitemap, search engines can discover most of your site - which can support your SEO efforts and help you appear higher up in search results. There are two main sitemap types: XML sitemaps and HTML sitemaps. Related: Understanding Your Search Engine Results Rankings

XML Sitemaps

An XML sitemap contains a list of every subpage of your website, each page’s importance, and how often the page is updated. These types of sitemaps are important for ensuring your site is properly indexed, meaning it will appear in a search engine’s database of websites. XML sitemaps allow search engines to learn more about how your site is structured.

HTML Sitemaps

HTML sitemaps also list each subpage of your website, but their main purpose is to support user navigation. While XML sitemaps are mainly for search engines, HTML sitemaps are mainly written for users. That’s why HTML sitemaps are usually found in the footer of a website and typically resemble a navigation bar. HTML sitemaps make it easier for you to identify internal links, find ways to improve your site’s navigation, and help users find what they’re looking for more easily - especially if your website is large.

Do I Need Both Types of Sitemaps?

Best practices dictate you should have both. XML sitemaps are important for communicating with Google to ensure proper and efficient indexing, while HTML is useful for user navigation.

Where Is My XML Sitemap?

Most XML sitemaps can usually be found by adding “/sitemap.xml'' to the end of your website’s URL. When viewing your sitemap, you may notice there are different folders containing sub-sitemaps based on page categories. That’s perfectly fine! When you have a large site, you’ll typically want no more than 15,000 URLs in each sitemap. Google will crawl each folder separately just as easily as one larger folder. XML sitemaps are generated differently depending on what CMS platform you are using. If you’re not sure how to generate a sitemap on your CMS, we can help!

How do you test your XML sitemap?

Once you create your sitemap, it’s important to regularly assess your sitemap and ensure each page is properly linked. Google Search Console allows you to submit your sitemap and will tell you how many valid URLs have been found. Other tools like Screaming Frog or SEMrush will let you know if you have any “orphan pages.” Orphans pages are pages in a sitemap that are not internally linked on the website. When your site has many orphan pages, your entire SEO strategy can suffer. Are you wondering how your website sitemap stacks up? Our SEO team is well-versed in conducting sitemap audits, correcting orphan pages, and adjusting your sitemap to better meet search engines’ requirements and users’ needs.

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