Tips to Consider When Setting Up a Sitemap

Last Edited April 17, 2015 by Super User in Create Sitemaps

Sitemap Tips

There are three main varieties of ways to create sitemaps. The choice will depend on a number of factors, ranging from the nature of your website, content quantity, intended outcome, among others. Note that you can easily create sitemap using a sitemap generator.

  • Indexed Sitemap: This is a directory or an alphabetical listing of your site’s pages.
  • Complete Categorical Sitemap: This is the most popular comprehensive sitemap with classified links into categories. It is much easier to search for information and you can easily move between categories.
  • Restricted Categorical: Here, all links in a specific category are displayed at a go. However, all links of a website are not shown as is the case with categorical sitemap and therefore limits the lists links in some categories which simplifies viewing and doesn’t strain the eyes.

No matter which of the three sitemaps you opt for, you have to ensure that you adhere to some principles that will enable you create sitemap that will meet your expectations. If you have lots of time at your disposal you can do that manually, otherwise, save time and use a visual sitemap generator.

1. Link your Sitemap from the Homepage: Doing this will ensure that all pages are visited by search engines robots because they start from the homepage and move down through all the listed pages in the sitemap.

2. Restrict the number of pages. Even though you are at liberty to create as much as 50,000 pages within your sitemap, you don’t want the search engines assuming your sitemap as some sort of link farm which obviously may fetch some penalty. Furthermore, you don’t want to overcrowd the links and make it difficult for users to view. Therefore, as you create sitemap, try to restrict the number of pages to about 100 and 200 pages.

3. Watch Out for Error Messages: It is really annoying to click on links only to stare at a 404 error message or something about the requested page being unavailable. There are also times when you might give a wrong description to a link and therefore the user clicks expecting the listed content only to stumble on something else. You should therefore constantly check the links to ensure that your visitors are properly directed. The DYNO Mapper sitemap generator can also check for bad links and identify where they are linked from throughout your website.

4. Keyword-Rich Titles: Optimize your website for the search engines by including keyword-rich descriptions. This also ensures that the search engine robots correctly search your site in the appropriate category.

5. Include a Description: Descriptions summarize the content so that users know what to expect by clicking on the link, it saves time.

6. Ensure Consistent Design: Just because your sitemap is purposely meant for links doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve an appealing design. Make it identical to other pages.

If you stick to the above tips, you will not only realize the most from your sitemap, but also have your site presentable to the visitors. Use a sitemap generator to create a standard and Google-compliant sitemap.

Author: Super User

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