Ladies and Gentlemen, the question of the day: “How can a site map help your SEO?” I’m glad you asked. Think about going to a mall in a new town. When you get there you immediately wonder if they have a Macy’s or a Foot Locker. Where do you go? You go to the map, that’s where. It will tell you what stores are available and where you can find them in this behemoth of a place. A site map serves the same purpose for your website. It makes it easy for both people and the search engines to find ALL of the pages on your site. So, what is a site map, how do you get one, and how does it help you? Read on my dear friends, read on.
What is it?
A site map is a navigational tool to help users and the search engines find the pages on your website with relative ease. There are two types of site maps: HTML, and XML. HTML is for the human visitors to your site and XML is for the creepers, crawlers, spiders, and robots invading and indexing your site. Your site map is a directory of all of the pages on your site, or at least all of the important ones. It allows your users to have one click access to all of the pertinent areas of your site. A good site map also pretty much guarantees that Google and his little brother Bing will find and index all of the pages on your site. The great thing is, they are not difficult to add.
Where Do I Get One?
Well, actually you need two. You want to have both a HTML and XML site map for the best results. If you are skilled in HTML, you can create that site map yourself with relative ease. Just make sure to drop it in the right place as referenced in my article on optimizing your code. Once you complete your site map, make sure to add a link for it to the footer for your website so that it appears on every single page of the site. For the XML maps, the work has all been done for you. You can go to XML-sitemaps.com. Follow the instructions and they will crawl your website and create a XML site map for you…FOR FREE! Okay, the first 500 pages are free. If you have more than that, they have other options available. The ease of adding site maps to your website should be reason enough for you to do it, right? If not, maybe you need a little more convincing.
How Does This Really Help Me?
For openers, I have talked previously about the value of internal links for your website. By creating a site map, you are giving yourself more links to each of the pages, thereby helping your ranking for every page in one fell swoop. You also get the benefit of having all of your pages indexed by the major search engines, as I spoke of earlier. On the human side, if your website is easy to navigate with just one click, visitors will be more likely to stay around and see what hidden gems may lie within. That can lead to an increase in sales. Finally, adding a site map will increase your keyword density on all of your targeted keywords. Make sure to use your keywords in the titles in your site map for each URL. With a XML site map, you can tell the search engines how often they can stop by your website and see new content. You automatically increase your visibility to the search engines, and that means higher page rank for you. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the JPEG.
So by now, you should be thoroughly convinced about how the simple step of adding a site map to your site can do wonders for your visibility and profitability. I encourage you to add that site map today, and watch how quickly your site is boosted up the ladder of success.