Most website owners have one goal in mind and that is to boost their search engine ranking. The good news is that there are many tips and tricks that can help them optimize their website and one of them is the site map. In this article, we will discuss the importance of an SEO site map, and how it can enhance the potential of your website to hit it big in search results.
What is an SEO Site Map?
As the name implies, a site map is a document that lists down the pages of your website. This makes it easier for online users to navigate your website, and for search bots to index your site pages. The site map serves as a communication tool between search engines and your website.
A site map shows Google the structure of your site, its sections, and the links between them. It helps the search engines understand the structure of your website while crawling it. Introduced in 2005, it is also known as URL inclusion protocols since they advise search engines on what to crawl.
Benefits of Having A Site Map
There are many reasons why creating a site map for your website is a good move. Aside from passing more data to search engines, the site map also offers the following benefits:
- It lists down all URLs from your website, and provides search engines with a list of discoverable pages on your site.
- It helps search engine spiders prioritize important pages. This way, bots will first focus on these pages.
- It provides temporary information. By adding two optional tags, you can give additional data to search engines so they can easily crawl your search engines. The tag lastmod informs spiders when the page was last changed. Meanwhile, changefreq tells how often the page is likely to change.
- It minimizes your reliance on external links that will make search engines locate your site. It also helps clean up messy links.
- Site maps help classify website content.
- Site maps helps get your pages indexed quickly.
How to Generate A Site Map
The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert programmer in order to add a site map to your website. There are a couple of ways you can generate a site map:
Use an online site map generation tool
Some apps and tools can create the site map for you! Check out these online site map tools to help you create a site map on your website.
Download and Install
Although a bit difficult for newbies, this strategy allows more control on the output. After downloading, you can install and configure the downloaded SEO site map on your website. Make sure that your server has Python 2.2 in order for the site map to work.
Submitting Your Site map
Upon creation of the site map, you need to inform Google that you have one on your website. To do that, you first need to create a Google Webmaster Tools account, and add your website. You would need to verify that you legitimately own the website, before you can submit a site map to Google.
Although it’s not considered the ultimate SEO solution, adding a site map to your website can increase the chances of your site to get discovered by search engines.