Jargon Buster – Sitemaps
As a website builder, you’ll have heard the term sitemap many times. If you have verified your site with Google through your Reason8 control panel, you will have seen that Reason8 crate a sitemap for your website and make it incredibly easy for you to provide this to the powers that be. As a website owner, it’s understandable that you would want to discover the easiest way to get your web pages indexed more efficiently by the search engines. Getting noticed online will increase your position in the searches and therefore increase traffic to your site. Unfortunately, what search engines look at and analyse and how often is up to them. All we can do as web builders is to be as helpful as possible. We do this with a Sitemap.
What is a Sitemap?
A sitemap, or site index, is another web page that shows all the different pages on your website. With enormous websites, the sitemap provides a summary guide to the most important primary pages. Search engines use Sitemaps to find all of the content on your site. Sitemaps don’t just help search engines to find all your content, but the map will also ping search engines (ping - similar to poking it roughly in the arm) every time you make a change to your pages.
In general, there are two types of sitemaps. The first is an HTML page listing the pages of your site – quite often by section and helps visitors find the information they need. The second is an XML Sitemap – often called Sitemaps (with a capital S) and they’re a great way for you to give Google information about your site.
In its simplest terms, a Sitemap is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process.
How Does the Sitemap Work?
A Sitemap is a file or separate HTML web page, which works in a similar way to a link directory. The Sitemap creates a detailed list of all the hyperlinks within your website, which point to each and every web page. This assists the search engines to crawl far deeper in to your site and familiarize themselves with all your pages.
A very basic sitemap list might include:
About Us Page
Each of these listings will be linked to their relevant page. Each listing could then lead to another web page related to the first and so on and so on. It can be vital to have a sitemap when you have a website with lots of pages. If your content changes regularly, this is where sitemaps come into their own by notifying the search engine web crawlers of all your changes. Sitemaps are vital in SEO, and every site should have one. Make sure you Verify Your Site with Google and give them your sitemap.