Sitemap Creation & Its Importance

Steps to Create Sitemap and Its Importance

“The sitemap is the form of an XML file that represents the content of a website such as URLs in a webpage, along with an extra information (metadata) like when the site was last updated and how essential the links are compared to other links on the website. This gives more information to web search engines that help craw the site more intelligently.”

The web spiders or simply crawlers observes webpages from links within the same or other websites. Sitemaps provide available information that allows them to gather all the links in the sitemap and gain knowledge about the links using the related metadata. The use of a sitemap does not promise that your web pages are linked with search engines, it only provides hints that will do a greater job when searching the web.

Types of Sitemaps

There are various types of sitemaps and adding any of the following types will increase your site’s SEO.

HTML Sitemap

This is usually a table of data for a given website that is represented in graphical form and helps web crawlers search the whole site. HTML sitemaps give a clear information about a particular website in a logical and hierarchical way. Additionally, they are also simple for human cooperation and understanding of the webpage locations.

The command to check the HTML sitemap is abc.com/sitemap.html, the real example is http://houstonnationalinsurance.com/sitemap.html 

html sitemap

XML Sitemap

Contrary to the HTML type, this is a structural representation of the website created particularly for search engines in order to help them search new and deeply situated web pages.

The benefit of using an XML sitemap is to help all the non-HTML website contents such as PDF, Videos, Images and etcetera to be indexed more reasonably.

Google Search Engine sitemap format is XML sitemap. To Create a sitemap, Visit here – https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

The command to check the XML sitemap is http://houstonnationalinsurance.com/sitemap.xml 

xml sitemap

Image Sitemap

This is an XML-based sitemap created especially for images. Using this, you can append extra information like image geo-location to your site and post them to search engines. It can also help improve your rankings in Google Images.

Video Sitemap

This XML-based sitemap, with the additional metadata, helps determine the group to which your videos are categorized. This helps users to quickly find the videos they are looking for. For your video content, it is recommended to use Schema.com for added advantages.

News Sitemap

This helps users to manage their news forums which can be improved particularly using Google News. Adding this type of Sitemap to your site can undoubtedly determine your ranking position in Google News.

Mobile Sitemap

You should add this kind of an XML Sitemap if you want your website content to be rendered more responsively to ?future’ mobile devices. This does not specifically target the current smartphones since they already have responsive browsers.

Search Engine Sitemap

This is what we are explaining in general. It is the structure of the whole website together with the metadata of the web pages. It helps web crawlers to index the web pages in an effective way.

Importance of Using Sitemaps

Creating your own sitemap can help search bots to find the content of your website more easily. You might create a blog that no one will ever realize that it even exists. With the help of an XML sitemap, your blog, no matter how nested and deeply located it is in the website structure, will be found and viewed by users. It also helps to identify new pages that you create at specific times.

An HTML sitemap is also very helpful and encourages search engines during a more advanced search on the web. They are also beneficial to users and this improves the usability of your site.

Creating and Submitting to Google Search Console

Creating a sitemap is extremely easy and it helps in indexing your site. After creating an XML or HTML sitemap, you will need to submit it to search engines like Bing and Google. It has to be neatly structured and “machine-specific”. Note that sitemaps must use the Extensive Markup Language (XML) protocol.

Every site owner can create an XML sitemap for their site. You only need to use one of the site generators like the XML-Sitemaps.com and follow the necessary instructions. More to that, you can use the online and free XML sitemap maker to generate the XML sitemap more quickly especially if your site contains more than five hundred pages. When done, you need to download all the files produced or send them directly to your email. The “sitemap.xml” is the most important and the one used in your site.

The next step is to transfer the “sitemap.xml” file into the root path of your website domain and it must be accessible as “https:\\yourdomain.com\sitemap.xml”. Once this is done, it will be time to submit your Sitemap to Google Search Console.

There are several ways to post your Sitemap to Google Search and it recommended to first include a reference to your XML sitemap to the text file “robot.txt”. This is easy and you need to include the absolute URL of your sitemap to the last lines of the text file.

Step to Submit to Google Console:

• Log into their website and select your favorite website
• Click “Optimization” on the left pane and select “Sitemaps” in the submenu
• Click the danger button “Add\test sitemap”
• You will be provided with a dialog to add the absolute path of your sitemap file.
• Click the blue button to confirm if you want to submit your sitemap.
• You are done and your sitemap is included in Google Search Console.

Search Console Sitemaps

Conclusion

The use of sitemaps in your websites increases the chances that your web pages will be visible and accessible to the world. In addition, Google has a very complex algorithm that will determine the URLs that will be included in the index. Google will never include the website content that it marks as having a low quality

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