If you want to improve your SEO, you need to focus on creating a sitemap. A website map refers to the process of keeping track of each page that has been created within your site. By regularly updating your site map and having each page listed, you will be able to make sure that your website remains up-to-date as far as content and organization are concerned.
Table of Contents
- What is a Sitemap?
- What is In-page Sitemap?
- What is Out-of-page Sitemap?
- Types of Sitemap
- Creating a sitemap and submitting it?
- Index Status report
- URL Inspection Tool
- Tips for Sitemap
What is a Sitemap?
Sites and maps are closely related, because like a map, your site should have an easy-to-follow structure that allows visitors to find their way around. Of course, with a website, there is no single structure, but rather multiple paths that users can follow to find what they’re looking for.
Sitemaps are also known as site navigation or navigation maps. They help both search engines and visitors use your site more efficiently. They list each page on your site and describe how each page is linked to other pages. By providing search engines with this information, you can help them find all of the content on your site that is important to your visitors and customers.
Certain rules must be followed when creating your sitemap. As a leading SEO company in Mumbai, we advise you to use these SEO sitemap rules to ensure that you make an effective one.
Rules for generating Effective Sitemaps
Here are some of the rules we as an expert of the Top Digital Marketing Agency in Mumbai would like to give you,
- The Sitemap content should be relevant to the page it is linked to
- The sitemap should be easy to read and understand, if possible in a simple format like a table or list
- The Sitemap should not look like a website map but more of a simple document where you have listed all pages of the website in one single place
- The Sitemap should only have links to all the pages of your website and no other links
- It is best to keep it simple and short, by listing only the essential pages of the website instead of all pages of the site and using separate sections for internal links and external links
- The last step is to submit the Sitemap to search engines and directories
What is In-page Sitemap?
The structure of sitemaps will vary based on where they are located on your site. Sitemaps that are found within the body of a web page are known as in-page sitemaps. An example of an in-page sitemap would appear at the bottom of a blog post or within the sidebar of an online retail store’s main landing page. This type of sitemap lists all of the major sections and subsections on the web page it is embedded in.
On the page, a sitemap is a file that is created using the XML (extensible markup language) and is used to tell the search engines like yahoo and google where all the links are on your website.
Experts of any leading SEO Company in Mumbai suggests that if you have a large site with hundreds or thousands of pages, this makes it easier for the search engines to index your site as you can include all the links in one file so that you don’t have to list them out individually on each page of your site.
A sitemap is not necessary for smaller sites, but if you have a standard template for pages, it could be easier to create a sitemap, than to list out each page link.
Rules for In-page Sitemap:
- The In-page Sitemap should be placed in the root directory of your website.
- The In-page Sitemap should be named with a “.xml” extension
- The In-page Sitemap should be saved as UTF-8 without BOM
- Every link in In-page Sitemap should be relative. For example, if the page link is “https://syspree.com/services/” then use the same URL in In-page Sitemap.
What is Out-of-page Sitemap?
Have you ever wondered how search engine spiders know what pages exist on your website? This is where the out-of-page sitemap plays a significant role.
What is it?
The out-of-page sitemap is a file of HTML code that lists all the pages that exist on your website. The file contains links to all the pages of your site. This type of sitemap can be submitted to search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing as well as other websites. Search engines need to know about all pages on your site for them to index properly.
Sitemaps are also used by web crawlers and web indexing facilities. They help crawlers find new content and update their databases if any changes occur within the website. It will also help in the process of linking between different web pages on the same website.
Why You Should Create One?
If you’re using a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, there’s an option to create an XML Sitemap automatically without much effort. However, many times you’d need to create it manually as well. In this case, it is essential to have this tool at hand which will help you get the job done.
Types of Sitemap
There are three main types of sitemap and they serve different purposes.
The first type of sitemap is the XML Sitemap. This is a format that was designed to be read by search engines and can be submitted to them as well. They’re not required to use it, but most major search engines do.
It will help crawlers find new content on your site, which makes it easier for both users and engines to navigate. That said, you shouldn’t rely solely on an XML Sitemap for your site’s SEO.
The second kind of sitemap is the RSS Sitemap. These are mainly used, for displaying your site’s content in reader applications, like Feedly or Bloglines. These have no impact on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), but they do make navigating through your content easier for users.
The third kind of sitemap is the Robots Sitemap. These are used by search engines like Google to create indexes of websites that they can crawl efficiently. They don’t help with SEO in any way, but they do help search engines find all content on your site that they should be able to access easily.
Creating a Sitemap and Submitting it?
To create a sitemap, you need to have several things:
- A domain name (or URL)
- A file called robots.txt
- An internal link structure that makes sense based on what’s unique about your sites, such as categories or subcategories.
There are two types of XML sitemaps: automated and manual. You should be aware of the many ways you can create a sitemap and the benefits each option provides. Here are some options:
Manual Sitemap Creation:
This is the most common way of creating a sitemap and involves manually creating an XML sitemap, which you then upload to your web host or service. This can be particularly useful if you have a large site with several pages, categories, products, or other elements, as this is usually easier than using another type of tool.
This is not strictly speaking; a sitemap but can still help Google know if there are any changes on your site. You typically add metadata when you first publish content to your website, and this will tell Google what sort of things are available on your site so it can decide when to crawl it.
This is particularly useful for blogs where new posts are added often,
The easiest way to create a sitemap is through the XML Sitemaps Generator tool provided by Google. To do so, you need to have a Google account in which you need to log in. Once you have logged in, enter the full URL of your website. Then click on “Create Sitemap.”
A screen will appear with all the links on your website. You can select any of them and add them to your sitemap. Then click on the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page. This will generate an XML Sitemap for you. You can download it or copy it from the textbox provided on this page.
If you have a WordPress site, you can easily create a sitemap by typing:
** http://your-site-address.com/wp-admin/options-general.php ** > Sitemaps > Add Sitemap
What is the Index Status report?
The Index Status report in Webmaster Tools shows you which pages on your site Google has indexed. When you use the Index Status report, you can find out:
1. Which URLs Google hasn’t yet crawled.
2. Which URLs Google has indexed but which you think shouldn’t be in the index.
This information is essential because it helps you make decisions about your site. For example, if a URL isn’t in the index and you think it should be, try fixing the page to make sure it matches the content that was linked to a webpage that was indexed. If a URL isn’t in the index and you don’t want it to be, remove or block access to that page from any publicly accessible locations.
By looking at this report, you can also find pages; that you may have accidentally blocked via robots.txt or meta robots tags.
What is a URL inspection tool?
URL inspection tool is free online software that checks your website URL optimization, broken links, and some other important things. This tool was created by Google and is available for free.
It’s simple to use and the results are easy to read. The URL inspection tool works with the Google indexing system and helps you to improve your site’s ranking in search engines.
If you want to check how many pages of your website got indexed by Google, just enter the full URL of any page into the search bar and hit enter. You should immediately see the number of indexed pages in the first line or two of text that appears after you hit enter, as seen in this example:
This tells us that this particular page of our website has been indexed. You’ll also see any URLs that were found on this page that were not properly linked. If you find any, be sure to fix them so they are properly linked to the appropriate location on your site. If there are no such issues, you can rest assured that your website is in good shape and ready for prime time.
URL Inspection Tool is also very useful if you’re having trouble with a particular URL on your site.
Tips for Sitemap
As experts of a leading SEO Company in Mumbai we would like to give some tips on Sitemap, which are as follows:
- One of the most important things to remember is that sitemaps should be kept as simple as possible. They should contain only the most crucial information while remaining easy to read and follow. This can be achieved; by using different colours and using lists to separate different categories of content. Always remember to include the following:
- Contact information – Include your website’s contact information in case anyone needs it.
- General information – Insert any General information that would be helpful for visitors, such as a link to your terms of service or copyright policy.
- The hierarchy – All pages on your website should be included in the sitemap, but make sure to list them in order of importance. Think about how a visitor would expect these pages to be ordered, and place priority on those pages first.
- Sub-pages – If you have any sub-pages on your site, include them in your sitemap with links back to the main page for each sub-page so visitors can find their way back to the main content if they get lost surfing your site.
Things that you should keep in mind when creating an XML sitemap are:
- Make sure it’s accurate and up-to-date
- Make sure it’s accessible by people, not just search engines.
- Make sure it’s valid.
- Submit it to the search engines that support it.
Sitemaps are extremely useful for helping search engines to crawl and index your website more effectively, so it’s important to create a sitemap and submit it to the search engines. If you have a partial sitemap, make sure you update it every time you add a new page. Keeping this in mind, you can make your XML sitemap as simple or as complicated as wanted.
As we have seen, the benefits of site mapping are quite clear. It allows for better navigation and visibility with search engines. So take advantage of this useful technique of improving your SEO. To get a detailed view of how to submit your website, visit our blog 3 Simple Steps to Submit Your Website for Google Indexing.