We know that map is a visual representation of an entire region or a part of a place, it present information about any area in a simple, visual way. In this article we are going to learn about maps, no not a geographical one!! It’s all about a map of a website i.e. sitemap.
I am sure you are having lots of questions in your mind right now what is sitemap, why we need it, how to use it and many more. So, let’s go through it one by one.
What is sitemap?
Sitemap is a list of all web pages in a website which guide users and search engine (crawler) for the navigation purpose.
In SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a sitemap is a visible or textually prepared version of a web pages and content material that allows the users to navigate through the website to discover the records they are searching out, just as a traditional geographical map allows people discover places they are looking for within the real world.
Why we need sitemap?
This is an important question, is it mandatory to use it? Now we will see the importance and uses of the sitemap
- Shows a short and quick, smooth and easy to follow overview of your web site.
- Provides a path for the search engine robots (crawlers) to follow.
- Provides text hyperlinks to each web page of your website
- Every links and pages included on sitemap are get indexed by the crawler and store in the search engine database which makes your website more likely to come up in the search engine results whenever a user performs a query.
- Sitemap is important because it tells the search engines like Google, yahoo, etc that the content which you have to your website and how frequently it’s updated.
- Sitemap is very helpful in case of website is dynamic, it has non reachable pages like flash and Ajax, when web pages are not well linked to each other ,when website is new.
As we come to know the importance of sitemap and if you want your website to come up in the search engine result page let us discuss more about it like its types and how to generate it for your website.
Types of Sitemap
Sitemap is of mainly two types
- For search engine
- Using xml sitemap web crawler extracts all the pages and its related content of a website easily and quickly and index it.
- For user navigation
- HTML sitemaps are created for the website visitor to present them a table of contents of a website and helps user to find a page on your website that they are searching for.
How to generate sitemap
Generating a sitemap for a website is very easy task. There are a number of tools and methods are available for it, we will see the simplest method which will take only a few minutes.
Use XML sitemap generator tool, a free online Google sitemap generator tool which is use for generating sitemap in XML, HTML format.
3 simple steps to generate sitemap:
Step 1: Open XML sitemap generator tool (www.xml-sitemaps.com)
Step 2: Refer the image Step 2 and follow the instructions given in it.
Step 3: Your sitemap is ready! Download XML and HTML sitemap file and follow steps given
In image Step 3.
(Sign in to Google Webmaster account >Add Property>Crawling>Sitemap>Add /Test sitemap> Submit)
Easy right!! I said previously Sitemap: A guide of your website as it guides user and search engine (crawlers) throughout for navigation to all pages and content in your website. I am sure this basic information will help you to improve your site performance on search engine result page.
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