Online content creation is the new way of connecting with people. Every content requires a platform to express its value. Websites are one such platform that exhibits various kinds of content. You display numerous content on your website daily. So, it becomes important for you to make your website look presentable. If your website is neat, clean and easy to use, it will generate more organic traffic. Site mapping can help you organise your website. It helps you build a presentable website layout. Website sitemaps help Google bots to crawl down your website content, pages and more. 

Site mapping is one of the best SEO practices. It is great for the optimization of your web pages, contents and more. It helps the crawlers and users understand your website’s structure and layout. There are different types of sitemaps such as XML sitemap and HTML sitemap. Implementing these sitemaps to your website helps you boost your SEO strategy. It allows crawlers like Bingbot, Googlebot, DuckDuckbot and more to read your website’s content and index the pages.

If indexing of your website is not proper, it will affect your ranking in SERPs. It is a kind of roadmap to your site. It helps you in the representation of your website’s content. If you have a thorough understanding of sitemaps, their types and more, you can smartly build an organised website. This blog will help you understand the concept of sitemaps.

Also read – DuckDuckGo vs Google: Search Engine Comparison by GigDe

Understanding website sitemaps and their types – 

Website sitemaps is a collection of information about the content of your website. Google bots and users use this information to efficiently crawl your website. You surely need sitemaps for your website to increase its SERPs ranking. Sitemaps are a kind of file that provides information about your website’s pages. It helps crawlers in crawling your website fastly and efficiently. It tells google about important pages of your website. There are numerous which compels you to create sitemaps for your website. Some of them are – 

  • You will need sitemaps if your website is large.
  • You must create sitemaps for your website if your website pages are not properly linked.
  • Also, you will need sitemaps if your website has a large archive of isolated content pages.
  • You must focus on developing sitemaps if your website is new with fewer external links.
  • You must create sitemaps if your website contains rich media content.

A website sitemap is like the blueprint of your website’s structure. It can highlight user experience issues. There are different types of sitemaps like XML sitemap and HTML sitemap.

Also, read – Website Crawler: Everything You Need To Know For Website Crawling

Two different types of website sitemaps – 

1. XML sitemap – 

An XML sitemap is a file that includes all your web pages. Its main aim is to inform search engines about the available URLs on your website that require crawling. It helps search engines in crawling your website more intelligently. It is specially developed for Google bots. This file is not for user experience purposes. It speeds up the process of discovering links of non-linked pages and fixes the problems. Google considers your website when you update or refresh your content, sitemap allows this.

XML sitemaps are suitable for large websites. However, you will need multiple XML files because a single XML sitemap limits the URLs up to 50,000. XML sitemaps are of several types, such as image sitemaps, video sitemaps, mobile sitemaps and news sitemaps. This sitemap has some issues like empty sitemap, incorrect namespace and HTTP error

2. HTML sitemap – 

HTML sitemaps are relatively similar to XML sitemaps. However, this format is also for user experience purposes. Visitors to your page can navigate this file. Although google reads this file format slower than XML sitemaps. This format helps you in ranking your website on google. It shows your consideration of the user’s experience in your website construction.

HTML sitemap is best for finding opportunities for building content pillars and internal linking. It provides a list containing links on the web pages. It helps the users in reviewing your site’s index of pages. HTML sitemap has some amazing benefits like – 

  • It organizes large websites
  • It helps search engines in categorizing your website’s content
  • Also, it allows the inclusion of new content to dynamic websites.
  • It helps you improve the overall navigation of your website.
  • It allows you to identify the opportunities for internal linkings.

Also read – HTML Image Tags – A Guide To Inserting Images To The Web Pages

5 essential steps of creating website sitemaps – 

1. See your web pages structures – 

The first step towards creating the website sitemaps is a review of the structure of your website’s current content. Now, see a sitemap template and figure out the presentation of your pages. Your sitemap must have shallow depth so create a list of pages based on their importance and match that with your site’s structure.

2. Code the URLs –

Once you have reviewed the page structure, code your URLs. Format each URL with XML tags. Create an XML file and add the following code for each URL – 

  • Location 
  • Last changed
  • Changed frequency
  • Priority of the page 
3. Validate your code – 

Validating your code is essential, else the sitemap will not function properly. There are tools like the XML Sitemap Validator Tool that can help you see if the syntax is correct or not.

4. Now, add the sitemap to the root and robots.txt –

Find your website’s root folder and add your sitemap to this folder. It will also add the page to your website. Now, if you want you can even add your sitemap to the robots.txt file.

5. Submit the sitemap – 

Lastly, submit your sitemap to search engines. For submitting your sitemap, you have to sign in to Google Search Console. Then, select your website from the sidebar and click on sitemaps. Now, remove all the invalid sitemaps and enter your web address for the sitemap.xml file. Lastly, click submit. 

Concluding note – 

Website sitemaps are a crucial part of your website. It helps Google bots to index your website. Sitemaps also help your visitors to navigate your website. Creating sitemaps is an integral part of your SEO strategy. Now, you are familiar with the importance of sitemaps, different types of sitemaps like XML sitemap and HTML sitemap. You can easily enhance the structure of your website and drive more traffic.