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What is a Sitemap? Top Reasons You Need it

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It requires a lot of time and effort to create an effective sitemap for your website. You must make sure that all the links that are added to it are crawled and indexed in multiple search engines. Every web owner needs to have comprehensive knowledge about what is a sitemap and how to submit it to search engines before creating one for the site. Sitemap is extremely important for every website, as search engines use automated web crawlers who discover webpages from it, investigate if these are error-free, and then index it in the search engine’s result pages. You can easily list your web pages in search results by creating an effective sitemap for your site.

What is a Sitemap?

It is a .xml file extension that contains every webpage of your site or blog so that these are crawled and indexed in the search results easily. It helps in increasing your site’s search engine rankings and driving more traffic to it. This file acts as a map of your website which guides search engines to locate specific places in it. Google also requires a sitemap of every website so that every link can be indexed properly. Those websites that have arranged sitemaps gain more visibility and rankings in search results as crawlers can easily understand their website structure as compared to other sites.

Types of Sitemap

You must understand clearly about what is a sitemap and its types before creating it for your site. These are classified into two types XML and HTML sitemaps. Both of them have numerous advantages that are explained below:

1.  XML Sitemaps

It is an XML file that contains necessary pages, videos, and other important files for Google and other search engines to discover while crawling the whole website. This file also provides numerous details to search engines to know about last updated pages, and pages available in other languages. You can mention more details about the type of content such as videos, photos, and news-related content in an XML sitemap. You can specify the video’s length, age limitations, and more on the sitemap. It contains multiple entries that you can add to the sitemap such as the title of the article, image’s location, published date, etc.

Read Also: Best Blogging Tools for Beginners

2.  HTML Sitemaps

Google can easily understand HTML sitemap as it contains a structured list of web pages present on your site. You can also add text by defining what these pages are for. This sitemap can help you index your web pages on search engines if you align all the links in a structured manner. It gives a unique and organized overview of the website’s structure from which users can find the content they are looking for.

Benefits of Creating A Sitemap

Sitemaps help search engines to crawl and index your web pages in search results which results in achieving a huge volume of traffic, increasing the online visibility of your suite, and building trust among visitors. Many web owners do not know about what is a sitemap and what are its benefits which results in ignoring it for their sites. You must make it well structured to gain these benefits from sitemap. Here are some great benefits of using sitemap in your website:

1.  Effective Crawling and Indexing

There are multiple schedules of crawling and indexing for multiple websites and content types to index webpages accordingly. This process sometimes takes days, weeks, or months for search engines to discover new web pages on your site. Google can find and index your web pages faster if you have created your XML sitemap in a structured manner.

2.  Easily Discover Orphan Pages

Orphan pages on your site are those web pages that do not have any links indicating to it or are difficult for search engines to access. You can crawl these pages by linking them in your sitemap and make it easy for search engines to locate and index in its search results.

3.  Helps Eliminate Duplicate Pages

There are multiple business websites that contain duplicate pages for example an e-commerce site can have a lot of duplicate pages for the same product such as product images with multiple colors. Search engines might get confused about which page to index and which do not. You can assign a version to each link in your sitemap to help Google understand which page is the main one and which are its subpages. This approach helps search engines in indexing the right pages.

Top Reasons you Need a Sitemap

1.  Early Indexing of Web Pages

You can manually submit your sitemap to Google and other search engines to save your time which helps in the early indexing of your web pages as compared to waiting for them to index them themselves. If your website contains time-sensitive content such as news, or other seasonal content, you must create a sitemap for it. it is recommended to submit the sitemap manually to multiple search engine’s webmasters as it helps in the early indexing of all your links on them.

2.  Easy To Navigate

Creating an HTML sitemap helps users quickly find the content they need. You can list all your web pages in a structured manner that helps users in effortless navigation. It is extremely important for you to implement this sitemap in your website otherwise your site will suffer from high exit rates. It also improves your SEO by ensuring that all pages are indexed properly on search engines.

3.  Gain Effective Reporting from The Google Search Console

You can get effective profiting and the current status of your sitemap by submitting it to the Google Search Console. It provides effective reports on how many y pages are crawled and how many pages have issues that need to be solved. You can get more details on each page and its errors which helps in solving them accordingly. You can also resubmit it for crawling after solving the errors so that it can be indexed next time.

Conclusion

Sitemap makes it easy for search engines to find and crawl your links easily in its search results and increases the online visibility of your site. You can create a manual sitemap which gives you a full control and you can add links to it manually according to your own preference. There are also many tools available online from which you can create a sitemap easily. Creating a sitemap does not mean that it will increase the online traffic of your site. It is just a little step to increase your SEO and indexing efforts. You need to implement multiple SEO strategies and create high-quality content in order to drive more traffic from search engines.

Fawad Malik
Fawad Malikhttps://www.webtechsolution.org/
Fawad Malik is the founder and CEO of WebTech Solutions, a leading digital marketing agency based in Pakistan. He has started digital marketing in 2013 and transformed the company into a reliable and trustworthy digital marketing landscape with his extensive digital marketing knowledge and skills.

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