Sitemaps: What They Are and Why You Need Them

Topics: SEO Tips, Web Development Written on February 9, 2023 by Surfaced Media
sitemaps for SEO

If you own a website, it’s important to understand the basics of sitemaps. A sitemap is a file that contains information about the pages on your website, how they are organized, and how often they are updated. While there are a few different types of sitemaps available to website owners, all serve the same purpose: to help search engines like Google better understand your site’s architecture so that they can index it more effectively. Let’s dive into what you need to know about sitemaps for your business.

What Is An XML Sitemap?

An XML Sitemap is one of the most commonly used types of site map for websites. It’s written in a specific format that makes it easier for search engine crawlers to read and interpret the structure of your website. The main benefit of an XML Sitemap is that it can provide additional information about each page on your site, such as when it was last updated, how often it changes, and its relative importance compared to other pages on the site. This helps search engines categorize pages so they can be returned in relevant searches.

What Is An HTML Sitemap?

An HTML Sitemap is another type of sitemap you may encounter while managing your website. Unlike an XML Sitemap, an HTML Sitemap is designed primarily with users in mind rather than search engine crawlers. It’s essentially just a list of links to various pages on your site arranged in some logical order that makes them easy for visitors to find. This may include both internal pages (those within your domain) and external pages (those hosted by other sites). While an HTML Sitemap won’t have any effect on SEO directly, having one can make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for—which could indirectly result in more traffic from organic sources over time.

Do I Need A Sitemap?

The short answer is yes! A sitemap is essential if you want Google’s crawlers (and other search engine bots) to be able to discover new content on your site quickly and accurately—especially if you have a large or regularly changing website with lots of dynamic content that isn’t linked together in any obvious way. It’s also important if you want visitors who land on one page of your site to be able to easily explore related content without getting lost or overwhelmed by too many options at once.

Overall, having a sitemap can be beneficial no matter what type or size of website you have. For most businesses, an XML Sitemap should suffice; however, depending on the size and complexity of your website, adding an HTML version may also make sense as well. Ultimately, the decision lies with you; just remember that taking some time now will pay off down the road when it comes time for people (and bots!) to find their way around!

If you’re having difficulty creating a sitemap, feel free to contact us or seek out additional advice from experienced digital marketing and SEO professionals in the web development space. Whether you’re looking increase traffic from customers or hoping attract potential employers, creating an effective sitemap will ensure that they get the most out of their time spent on your website before they move on elsewhere. Don’t forget, if you ever have any questions feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help!

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