Why Are Sitemaps Important?

Sitemaps – what is the use in submitting one to Google? Are they really that important for SEO purposes? This topic is currently very controversial and has the SEO world up in a spin.

Sitemaps are very important and are just one of the steps that need to be followed while carrying out search engine optimization on your website. Sitemaps are simply a communication channel between a website, a user and the search engines.

The Famous Two

There are many types of sitemaps out there including XML, HTML, RSS, ASP, and text. In my opinion, HTML and XML are the best and you should ideally have both for your website.

HTML and XML sitemaps do the following:

1.  HTML Sitemaps – prepared for users

2.  XML Sitemaps – used for the submission of a website to search engines.

Although you have two sitemaps – this will never be seen as duplicate content.

There are many benefits of using sitemaps, and here are just 3 examples to get you thinking:

Clear Navigation For Your Site

Most sites have a link in the footer that can allow the user to view a sitemap – which is essentially just a webpage containing all of the links to the pages you have on your website. The sitemap is the first place many users look at if the navigation on your site is a little confusing.

Many sites (especially those designed on a “Do It Yourself” website package) do not take into account that a viewer will potentially not know anything about a product or service you offer and simply go round in circles trying to find out the information required. That’s where a sitemap comes in, as you can show every relevant page to a product in a list and even include a line of text if you require. This could help prevent a potential client from getting frustrated when they can’t find what they are looking for and simply clicking off your site and on to one of your competitors.

Increasing Visibility In The Search Engine Results

If there are any changes or updates made to your website, sitemaps will let the search engines know! The search engines like to be able to read your sitemap and figure out how many pages you have on your site, what information these pages contain and how often your site is updated. A sitemap will help you communicate this to the search engines easily.

Reducing Broken Links

Sitemaps allow crawl reports to pick up straight away if you have any broken, incorrect or missing internal links on your website. It is easy to accidentally do this and we recommend you carrying out a Broken Link Analysis Report on a regular basis to ensure that your site is kept up to date and user-friendly. If this seems overwhelming or too complex contact us and we will see what we can do to help!