What are Sitemaps and how to use it, to boost your SEO Ranking?

What are Sitemaps and its significance

What are Sitemaps and its significance and how it can boost your SEO performances? Good question!

What is Sitemaps.xml?

Sitemaps are just a map of your site – i.e. tells search engines about the one single page you show the organization of your site’s content.

They are an important way of communication with search engines. It notifying them to new or changed content very rapidly and helping to confirm that the content is indexed quicker.

While in robots.txt you convey to search engines which parts of your site to eliminate from indexing.

They are also important for SEO because they make it easier for Google to find your site’s pages means Google ranks web pages, not just websites.

Sitemaps are exclusively important if:

  • Pages on your site created actively
  • Site is not structured or linked
  • Site has few external links or is new
  • Site is large and/or has lots of archived content that may not be linked

Why Use a Sitemaps?

Easy navigation and enhanced visibility by search engines are the advantages of Sitemaps but these are not the only one. Sitemaps tell search engines instantly about any variations on your site.

These changes will be indexed faster, compared to when you don’t have a Sitemaps.

Here is some importance why you should use Sitemaps-

  • It can even help with disorganized internal links – for example, if you by chance have broken internal links or orphaned pages that cannot be reached in another way, so you can fix your errors than relying on a Sitemaps.
  • If your site is new or if you have a major number of new pages then using a Sitemaps can be dynamic to your success.
  • It also helps in classifying your site content, though search engines

Advantage of Sitemaps

  • Faster indexation & crawling rate
  • Indicate yourself what really matters
  • Lower server load

Other importance of Sitemaps includes:

  • To help in crawling of original content
  • To help in identifying difficulties or raise trouble flags

Criteria for a Good Sitemaps

  • Ensure the overview of your site is short and clear
  • Design a way that search engine robots can follow without any trouble
  • Add a text link pointing to each page of your site
  • Instantly show your visitor where he can find specific information
  • Use keywords in the anchor text of the link directing to the resultant page
  • Add a link to your Sitemaps on your homepage, so that search engines instantly know they are on the right path
  • You should include each page in the Sitemaps for smaller sites, but for large sites, this would lead to bulky lists. SEO specialists recommend including between 25 to 40 links on your Sitemaps. Search engines would find it suspicious that you have more than 99 links.
  • All the pages on your Sitemaps must also have a link to the Sitemaps
  • Update your Sitemaps when you make changes to your website

Generating and Submitting the Sitemaps

Generating and submitting Sitemaps for your site are simple. First, you need to generate it, then you upload it to your site, and finally, you tell Google about it.

Here are two ways to create a Sitemaps

  • Download and install a Sitemaps creator
  • Use an online Sitemaps generation tool

Notifying Google covers adding the site to your Google Sitemaps account, so if you do not have an account with Google, it is high time to open one.

Another detail that is useful to know in advance is that in order to add the Sitemaps to your account, you need to verify that you are the authentic owner of the site.

Registration with Search Engines

Sitemaps registration with search engines offers a sign that your content has been created or updated before they find it on the other sites.

It’s really an easy process with both search engines.

To register a Sitemaps with Google:

  • Make sure that Sitemaps is on your web server and reachable via its URL
  • Log in to Google Webmaster Tools
  • Under “Crawl,” select “Sitemaps”
  • Click on “Add/Test Sitemaps”
  • Enter the URL of the Sitemaps
  • Click “Submit Sitemaps”

To register a Sitemaps with Bing:

  • Make sure that Sitemaps is on your web server and reachable via its URL
  • Log in to Bing Webmaster Tools
  • Click on “Configure My Site” and “Sitemaps”
  • Enter the full URL of the Sitemaps
  • Click “Submit”

Another reason to register Sitemaps with Google definitely is to catch Sitemaps mistakes.

Sitemaps Verification

When you’ve made your Sitemaps and uploaded it to your web server, you will need to validate it with the search engines.

Google makes this easy via Google Webmaster Tools. Just ensure your Sitemaps is in the correct format and has been correctly uploaded to your web server before you attempt to validate it.

Specialized XML Sitemaps

Sitemaps are very vital, and depending on the nature of your site, specialized Sitemaps for Image, Video, Mobile and News may surely improve your indexation results.

Image XML Sitemaps

Image XML Sitemaps can offer data on site images and the page locations of your images.

Video XML Sitemaps

Video XML Sitemaps can provide page locations of your videos and video embeds as well as information on their titles, descriptions, access levels, etc.

Mobile XML Sitemaps

Mobile XML Sitemaps can offer specifically mobile web content only. If any URLs listed in your mobile Sitemaps serves non-mobile content, will be ignored by Google.

News XML Sitemaps

News sites can deliver information about news sections, their location on the site, as well as news type, language, and access information.

Conclusion

Using a Sitemaps might not generate massive advantages immediately but as search engines improve their Sitemaps indexing algorithms and more sites will be indexed fast by the use of Sitemaps.

Also, there is no disadvantage of having a Sitemaps and having one can improve your SEO, so I highly recommend it.

About Roy Digital 50 Articles

A Delhi born Entrepreneur cum Trainer in Digital marketing. B.com graduate but more or less a technical guy. Completed 8 marvellous year in Digital Marketing field. In his past early days he used to work in call centre but the evolution of Facebook in India had turned him into a technical freak. And since then he did not look back to any other ways around.

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