What is an XML Sitemap and how come it is so essential for SEO? That is a great question! You can compare your website with a house and each web page with a room. An XML sitemap is basically the blueprint of your home. This makes it easier for Google, the inspector of your home, to find all the rooms in your house. Having a good functioning sitemap is necessary for your ranking in the search queries on Google, as Google ranks not only your webpage, but also all the sites individually. There is no downsite to creating an sitemap for your webpage, therefore it is highly recommended. Do you want to know more about sitemaps for your website? Get in contact with us via the website.
What should be in the sitemap?
A perfect sitemap gives Google a roadmap of your website, so that it can find the most important pages on your website. Even if your internal linking isn´t working flawless, Google can find with the sitemap your essential website pages very quickly. A sitemap therefore contains a list of the URLs for your website. In this way Google can crawl through the website easy and efficiently. Moreover it can find URLs that might be difficult to find or isolated on your website. It helps Google to understand the structure of your website.
When sitemaps are especially important
For every website sitemaps bring benefits. Every single website needs Google to easily find their most important pages. In a few special situations though, having a sitemap is essential to get better results in the Google ranking:
- Your website is not well-linked or well-structured with internal links
- You create pages on your site dynamically. This is often the case with e-commerce websites
- Your website is new or has few external links
- Your website has lots of archived content that hasn’t been well-linked or is quite large
Which pages should be in your sitemap?
How do you determine which pages you must include in your XML sitemap? The first thought should be if the URL is relevant. If a visitor comes on this URL specifically, would that be a good result? Would you like visitors to land on this page especially? If that is not the case, then don’t add the URL on your sitemap. If you by the way don’t want to let the URL show up in any search results at all, add a “noindex, follow” tag. If you leave the URL out of the sitemap, Google will otherwise still index the site. When Google can find the website by following certain links, it can always index it. Want to know more about sitemaps? Get more information here.