Whether to optimize your website with sitemaps in order to improve your online visibility. Or provide your visitors with a clear road map into the important sections of your website. Here are tips on how to generate and use sitemaps.
Website optimization is one crucial aspect of online visibility. A Sitemap is one tool whose real role is slighted by many webmasters. According to the latest Google ranking factors, sitemaps could very well be the difference between success and failure in the online platform.
Sitemaps by definition, are basically a map that leads visitors through your site. Essentially, sitemaps provide details on your site’s structure, sections, links and many more. They help in making navigation easier for visitors and search engines. With sitemaps, you decide where you want your visitors and the search engines to concentrate more.
The adoption of sitemaps by various search engines makes this tool an integral part of web page optimization. There are two common types of sitemaps in use today:
1. The standard formatted html sitemaps
2. The XML formatted sitemaps
The html formatted version is best for human site visitors. This version is commonly used by search engines like Yahoo and MSN. The XML version on the other hand, specifically for search robots and not human visitors. It is currently used mainly by Google. It is important to have these two versions on site so as to make it easier for humans to access information and search engine robots to crawl your webpages.
Why you need sitemaps
There are plenty reasons and advantages to having sitemaps. Apart from making site navigation easier, this tool is also a better way of communicating instantly with search engines for indexing purposes. With sitemaps, changes on webpages are easily identifiable and are sure to be indexed much faster.
Upon submitting your sitemap to a search engine, reliance on external linking will definitely subside. This tool ensures little or no need for external links on your site. It also helps correct messy internal links or orphaned pages on site. Together with that, sitemaps also make it very easy for web crawlers to classify web pages in various categories.
For new sites and web pages, submission to search engines through sitemaps is an important standard procedure. With the standard web crawling and indexing procedures set to improve, the role of sitemaps will only continue further.
Major changes are set to grace search engine indexing with the help of sitemaps. That is to say, though most of the search engines’ sitemaps are still in beta, further improvements are certain to come along with bonus advantages.
How to generate and submit sitemaps
There are two known ways of generating sitemaps for your website. These include:
- Downloading and installing a sitemap generator
- Use an online sitemap generation tool
The first option is rather complicated. It requires you to download the generator and run it on your computer. The installation instructions come with the downloaded package. Be sure to follow them to the latter. This option, though complex, gives you more control of the inputs.
The online version is more direct though. You only need to use one of the many online sitemap tools to get the job done. This version comes with site content management systems, downloadable sitemap generators, plugins etc. Basically, it offers you a wide variety to choose from.
If you are done creating the sitemaps, you will need to upload it to your website then notify Google about it. Notification is simply done by adding a website to your Google sitemap account.
Sitemaps are a great way to improve onsite navigation both for human visitors and search engines. Get ahead of the pack with this unique website navigation tool.
SEO Singapore consultants worth their salt will always insist that your website be installed with a proper sitemap, preferable an XML sitemap to make your site more crawlable.