Approximately half of the world’s one billion websites don’t have sitemaps. If you are among the 50% yet to create a sitemap, then know that you are losing out on an important SEO strategy that can see you sail through the search engines rankings with no difficulty. Thousands of websites are launched every day and millions of web pages created. When they crawl sites, search engine spiders land anywhere on the site, and then move from one page to another with the aid of HTML codes.
Websites share a common structure; the home page and other core pages take the top level folders, making them easily accessible through the primary navigation of the site. Most sites have sub-navigation pages that are accessed through links from the main page, and this can be broken down further into sub-sub categories.
Therefore, when a search engine spider lands on the main category page, working its way through the sub categories to the lower pages through caching and leaving, revisiting the cached page then proceeding to an available link on a cached page…is tedious and takes long. It is for this reason that some pages remain hidden from the search engine spiders. This means that such pages remain unavailable since they are never cached.
There are several reasons that might make caching impossible; a vague anchor text for the page that is difficult to follow or the page is deeply immersed in the site and therefore not easily identifiable. At this point, you should create a sitemap since it carries links to all pages in a single place, making it easy for the search engines spiders to follow and find all linked content.
You must be wondering what guarantee you have that the search engine spiders will eventually find the sitemap, especially if it cannot locate some content pages. It is actually for this reason that having a sitemap on every page’s footer is important. The spiders will follow every sitemap link they find in search for rich content to index on the site. This is achieved through HTML sitemaps.
You can however bypass the search spiders by submitting an XML sitemap directly to the search engines. If you create an XML Sitemap, it is highly recommended that you constantly check and update it accordingly. To do this, use any of an available website mapping tool to come up with a good sitemap.
Submitting a sitemap to Google is very easily. Simply log into your account at the backend of Google webmaster, proceed to sitemap link and follow the instructions. This process is straightforward and doesn’t require coding knowledge, but it doesn’t hurt to engage the services of someone who is more informed.
Using sitemaps, you can improve the overall user experience, fix errors and ensure that your pages are well aligned. It is also worth noting that when you create a sitemap, you help optimize your site for the search engines. In fact, the sitemap page itself mostly end up with keyword-rich content because of the descriptions accompanying every page and therefore helps boost your rank in SERPs.
Create, edit, customize, and share visual sitemaps integrated with Google Analytics for easy discovery, planning, and collaboration.