- 1. What is a Sitemap?
- 2. What Does a Sitemap Do?
- 3. Who Should Use a Sitemap?
- 4. How to Upload an XML Sitemap File to a Website?
- 5. What are The Different Types of Sitemaps?
- 6. How to Generate a Sitemap For Google?
- 7. Does Google Have its Own Sitemap Generator?
- 8. What are The Things to Consider When Generating a Sitemap?
- 9. What Should not be Included in a Sitemap?
- 10. What Is The Best Tool To Create a Sitemap?
- 11. How Do Sitemaps Affect SEO?
- 12. How to Submit a Sitemap to Google?
What is a Sitemap?
Sitemaps for websites are created to ensure search engines and users are able to easily navigate and understand what a webpage is about. This type of map refers to a sort of blueprint file of a website, it is there to outline the different pages, files and links that appear on your page in a way that is easy for search engine crawlers and bots to read. A sitemap is arguably one of the most important features of a webpage and they hold valuable information about the different elements that appear on a webpage.
Along with providing invaluable information about every element of your website and the web pages within it, a sitemap also labels the pages that you think hold the most valuable and relevant information, search engines take this information into consideration when ranking your website SEO on the search engine results page. With this valuable information being provided to the search engine sitemap crawlers, a web page is far easier to go through and crawlers are able to quickly and effectively make their way through your web pages and website.
What Does a Sitemap Do?
A Sitemap provides essential information about a website, and things like the most important pages, latest updates and even different languages that are offered are all provided within this sitemap. These maps are essential for SEO and they ensure that crawlers are provided with accurate and up to date information about a website, and they ensure that crawlers are able to move easily throughout the different pages. Without this map, search engine crawlers would not have the necessary information to be able to label and work through a website, making it harder to get high rankings on search engine results pages. This can be detrimental to your SEO and the amount of organic traffic that makes its way through your website.
Who Should Use a Sitemap?
Anyone who owns or manages a web page should make sure that they have a sitemap loaded onto their page. Sitemaps are extremely important parts of the SEO process and in order for search engines like Google to be able to correctly and quickly make their way through and crawl a website, it is important that you have a sitemap laying out your website and the various pages that are connected to it. Without one, you are sure to rank lower on search engine results pages. This lower ranking leads to fewer organic traffic leads and fewer people making their way to your website. In particular, if you have a very large website with many subpages and different links, it is even more necessary to have a sitemap that lays out where everything is and what the most important pages are. If your webpage has a lot of rich media content, like videos or images, it is also extremely important to have a sitemap.
While the smaller web pages that have fewer pages and less media content may not necessarily need to have a sitemap, it is always recommended that you do have one, just to ensure that crawlers are able to move easily through your webpage and that you are keeping track of updates and changes. Building a map of a website now could be easier than having to create one when you have many pages and lots of media, so rather build one up as you go than having to structure and create one when you have a lot of content to manage. In short, if you have a website it is always a good idea to have a sitemap!
How to Upload an XML Sitemap File to a Website?
After you have created your sitemap page, you will need to upload it to your website. This process is very easy to do and will not even take you long! There are many tools that automate this process, making it easier than having to load it yourself, and some websites come with built-in sitemaps, one example of this is the websites that are created on certain platforms. For those who do not have an automated or built-in system, the process is very easy to do! The following is a step by step list of how you can easily upload your sitemap file to your website:
- Once you have generated your XML sitemap, you will need to download it.
- Once it has been downloaded, it will need to then be uploaded to your HTML folder, assuming that the domain is in your name.
- You will then need to use an FTP (File transfer protocol) to upload your sitemap as an additional document connected to your webpage.
It really is as simple as that! It is important to remember that your XML sitemap will not be a visible page on your website, it is placed in the background and can only be seen and read by search engine crawlers who are indexing your website.
What are The Different Types of Sitemaps?
There are two different kinds of sitemaps, HTML sitemaps and XML sitemaps. These two different types of sitemaps each have different strengths and weaknesses, and it is important that you understand exactly how each one works before deciding on which would be the better format for your website.
HTML sitemaps are mostly there to guide users through a page and they have little effect on SEO rankings. One of the easiest ways for a user to navigate through a website and see the different pages is to make their way through the various links provided. These links typically appear on the bottom of a web page and they give users information about what makes up a website and what the different subpages are about. HTML sitemaps used to be extremely helpful and before header links and navigation came about, they were the easiest and quickest way to find what you were looking for on a webpage. Today, they are typically just a redundant version of the header navigation that is found on most websites, so many choose not to include them. in our opinion, it can’t do any harm having one and it does slightly improve your SEO, particularly if you have different pages that do not appear on the header links, which would then otherwise be lost. There are many different HTML sitemap URL generators that will help you to create and upload these kinds of sitemaps onto your website.
XML sitemaps are generally associated as the sitemap that leads the search engine crawlers through a website and they are invisible to your standard user making his/her way through a web page. XML sitemaps make information easy to read by the machines who are responsible for making their way through your website and they convert the text into language that the machine and search engine crawlers are able to comprehend and understand. XML sitemaps convert this information by using different tags that point out certain types of data, there are many different tags that mean different things.
While XML sitemaps provide a good amount of information for crawlers to read through and this information is presented in a way that crawlers can understand, there are some hindrances to using XML sitemaps. These types of sitemaps cannot guarantee that a page will be indexed as they only suggest a few URLs to crawl, this means that not every page will be indexed and this may affect your SEO rankings. Another issue with these kinds of sitemaps is that they do not pass link authority, meaning that links you have from good and reputable websites may not be included in your rankings, decreasing your chance of ranking highly on search engine results pages.
How to Generate a Sitemap For Google?
There are many unique sitemap tools for google that can be used to generate good sitemaps that are easily registered and crawled by search engine bots. Whether you plan on using one of the sitemap templates or are hoping to manually create one yourself, generating using sitemap software will ensure you create a fully functioning addition to add to your website. To make a sitemap for google, you will need to generate your own sitemap using a sitemap generator, there are many different kinds of generators and tools that can be used to do this.
Does Google Have its Own Sitemap Generator?
One of the easiest ways to create a sitemap for google is to use the plugin google sitemap generator which allows for users to create and manage their sitemap easily. Along with this type of tool, there are many other automatic and manual generators that will be able to create a sitemap for you to upload onto your website.
Google XML Sitemaps
For those who are hoping to create a Google XML sitemap, the easiest way to do this would use one of the many tools to generate and create the perfect sitemap. Many different websites often have built-in sitemaps, and websites that are created on certain platforms generally do not have to worry about creating and uploading one. The Google XML sitemaps tool is one that is highly regarded as one of the top sitemap tools and it is used by many users and across many different websites.
What are The Things to Consider When Generating a Sitemap?
There are two major reasons why having a sitemap is a great idea, the first is that it greatly improves a users experience and ensures that a page is labelled well and structured to ensure easy progression through a website. The next reseason is that it greatly impacts how search engine crawlers are able to work their way through a page and index your website, without this you may not rank well on search engines which will affect the overall amount of organic traffic that makes its way to your web page. The above reasons are important to consider as you create your sitemap structure as these are the reasons why having a sitemap is so important.
When designing your sitemap, make sure to include a brief description of each of the links This helps booth users understand what the page is about and it ensures that search engine crawlers are able to easily index a page. Adding these links is not just impactful when it comes to your users getting a better understanding of your page, but it is also important for your SEO. Having small descriptions may help increase your ranking, particularly if you make sure to use keywords when describing these pages.
It is important to stay up to date with updates over time as the changes made may impact your sitemap and its structure. This will ensure that search engines like Google have the most up to date versions of your webpage and that users trying to find your page will be able to do so on search engines.
What Should not be Included in a Sitemap?
One of the biggest mistakes that many website owners, managers and website designers make is including non-indexable pages in a sitemap. Non-indexable pages refer to web pages that cannot be found on search engine results pages and therefore they do not need to be included in a sitemap. Any page that you do not wish to be indexed or included should also not be placed on your sitemap, this could include pages that have less than 200 words of unique content and error pages that may appear should also not be included.
What Is The Best Tool To Create a Sitemap?
Screaming frog is an SEO tool that has many different features and functions, one of the most popular being its XML sitemap generator. This generator is easy to use and free for those who plan to generate less than 500 URLs. The easy process is set up with guidelines to ensure that users produce the best sitemaps and are able to load them onto their websites quickly and easily! Screaming Frog is one of the most diverse and well-equipped SEO tools around and the sitemap generator feature is one of the best around!
This sitemap XML tool is offered to users with both a free option and a paid-for subscription, but users can generally get by using the free tool, so long as you are only generating under 500 URLs. The free tool generates a sitemap in 4 steps, ensuring that the process is quick and simple. This tool also offers a number of other features that could help a webpage improve on its SEO, some of these include a competition analysis and a search engine results page checker.
Slickplan is a sitemap planner tool that can help users create professional and unique sitemaps, all generated and created through an easy to navigate and user friendly system. This system ensures that each user is able to create a unique sitemap, with different colours, styles and images that can be chosen by the user. This tool is great if you are looking to present your sitemap ideas in a meeting as the tool comes with a scaleable vector graphic to use. Along with being a great tool to use to generate sitemaps, it is handy when planning out your website and there are many other ways that this tool can be used.
Inspyder Sitemap Creator
For those who are looking to purchase a sitemap generator that will automatically create and upload their sitemap onto Google, the Inspyder sitemap creator is the perfect tool for you! This tool also allows for users to generate mobile sitemaps and even image sitemaps, ensuring that you are able to generate a sitemap for any kind of webpage or website. This product is purchased and installed on your desktop for a once-off price.
How Do Sitemaps Affect SEO?
Sitemaps and SEO are two elements that walk hand in hand. Thanks to the fact that sitemaps are a large contributor of information and provide a guide for search engine crawlers, who scour your webpage to determine how high or how low a webpage is ranked on search engine results pages, a sitemap is an aspect that greatly impacts your SEO. When it comes to search engine crawlers making their way through a webpage, how easily they are able to find and read information contributes to the effectiveness of your page and can go a long way in increasing your SEO and search engine ranking.
A search engine crawler works by making its way through your website and reading all of the relevant information, tagging the important parts and indexing them as it makes its way across your website. As these different pages are tagged and indexed, your website is rated and scored, all of which impacts how well a page is ranked. When you have a sitemap that is helping a search engine to correctly read and analyse the information across your website, you are ensuring that you have highlighted the most important pages and provided the search engine crawlers with the most valuable and insightful information.
Another important feature of sitemaps is that they allow users to understand and comprehend each of the pages of the website and navigate easily through it. This is especially true when it comes to HTML sitemaps. Google, and other search engines, take the user experience into consideration when ranking a page, and things like easy navigation are a definite plus when it comes to how high you rank on a search engine results page.
How to Submit a Sitemap to Google?
Once your sitemap has been created it will need to be loaded and submitted onto Google. When submitting a sitemap to Google you are able to do so by going directly through the Google search console. Before you are able to load the sitemap onto the Google search console, you will have to verify the domain of the page as this will ensure you are verified as the website owner. Once this domain verification is complete, you will be able to find your website on the homepage of the search console. The following steps will then need to be taken in order to submit your sitemap to Google:
- Click on the crawl tab
- Click on the sitemaps tab
- Click on the add/test site map tab
- Type in ‘site map.XML’
- Click on the submit site map tab
Once the final step has been completed, your sitemap will be submitted onto Google!