What is a sitemap?
Sitemap is a model of hierarchy of pages with links. It is designed to helps both users and the crawlers to navigate through the website. Sitemap is of two types:
- HTML Sitemap: It is helpful for the users to navigate through the website.
- XML Sitemap: It is used by the crawlers, an XML instruction document for the search engine crawlers and bots.
Sitemap is one of the important on-page factors. It is mainly used to instruct the crawlers about the links of the website. Sometimes, we cannot connect every URL of the website from homepage or any other pages. As a result some of the pages are not being crawled or indexed by the search engines. In such case, sitemap is a clear instruction to the Search Engines about all the pages of the website.
How to Create a Sitemap?
There are few sitemap generation tools available on the web. It is pretty easy to generate a sitemap using the tools by passing the website URL. Also, there are few plugins available for WordPress websites. You can add them to your website so that the sitemap generates automatically when a new page is added to your website. This is also called as Dynamic sitemap.
After generating the sitemap using the tool, you need to upload it to the root folder of your website. And then notify the Google about its instance by submitting it on Google webmaster.
Benefits of Sitemap:
Implementing a sitemap on the website passes more information to the Search Engines about the site. There are few benefits listed out below:
- The list of URL’s in the sitemap makes easier to the search engines to crawl and index the pages of the website.
- It helps to specify which pages of your site is highly prioritized and which are low prioritized. Thus, bots focus on the high priority pages.
- The two other optional tags such as “Lastmod” (last modified date) informs Search Engines that when your website is last modified. And “Changefreq” (change frequency) tells about how often the website is updated with the new information.
How Does Sitemap Impacts SEO?
Sitemaps help Search Engines to crawl all the pages that you want them to be crawled. The more pages indexed on the website, the more the website gains trust in the Search Engines. It all means that the website has more information to offer.
The purpose of having a sitemap is to make sure that all the pages of your website get crawled. XML sitemap are only for Search engines whereas HTML sitemaps are easy navigation for users.
It is important to have a sitemap on the website. If not updated yet, update it now and get all your pages are notified by Search Engines.