Top 8 Benefits Of Using A Sitemap
As its name implies, sitemaps are a website’s visual representation, aiding users on how to find information.
As a crucial tool for building a usable and functional website, a sitemap can take users where you want them to go rather than going round in circles, leaving them frustrated.
A sitemap is also a vital feature of your website for search engine optimisation (SEO) purposes. It assists search engines in navigating websites.
Sitemaps are an excellent way of letting search engines know that your website is available for indexing and crawling.
So, if your website isn’t well-structured, it’s wise to find a good sitemap maker to revamp your sitemap. This way, you can improve optimisation and allow effective communication with the search engines.
Although creating a sitemap can be a challenge for many website owners, here are the benefits of using a sitemap:
1 – Help Avoid Duplicate Content Problems
Online store builders and content management systems for e-Commerce are becoming more complex. They can quickly generate more Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) than there are actual pages on your website.
They also adapt pages to user requests or needs by adding parameters to the original URL. The page’s second version may create a duplicate content problem for search engines. In determining which of the two URLs are the original, the system may refer to the sitemap as it’ll only reference the page’s original version.
2 – Allow Your Key Pages To Be Found
It’s crucial to have professional SEO web design to attract your target audience. However, it’s useless if your key pages stay hidden. As a solution, you need to use a sitemap.
For larger websites, it’s wise to use an SEO tool to do a website crawl before making a sitemap. It can help you understand the indexed pages and the pages that weren’t.
By including your website’s primary pages in your sitemap and sharing them with search engines, you can ensure that search engines will find and crawl your pages.
3 – Work Like A Blueprint
Sitemaps are like the blueprints of your website. They guide people who work on the project to design your website effectively.
However, a sitemap must be kept in a format and a central location to make it more accessible. It also helps everybody working on the project know the status or changes made.
As a result, it saves extra work and prevents wastage of resources that would’ve been needed otherwise.
4 – Kickstart New Businesses
You invest money and time creating new content for your website because you expect to be discovered by consumers online.
By using a sitemap, consumers can find you faster due to the search engine optimisation it gives. So, if you’re a new website owner, it’s highly recommended to use a sitemap to kickstart revenue, activity, and interest.
5 – Provide Crawling Analytics
You may use a sitemap to analyse how search engines crawl your website. To get crawling analytics, use search engine webmaster tools.
If a search engine can’t crawl your page because the robots.txt file of your website blocks it, it’ll reveal the technical problem, which can be beneficial to help you improve or change those pages.
A sitemap is helpful for visitors as it serves as secondary navigation, allowing them to find what they’re searching for quickly.
Sitemaps may also help crawlers navigate your website’s complete structure more easily. However, if you’re running an extensive website, splitting your sitemap file into smaller ones may be more practical.
It’s because your sitemap can only contain up to 50,000 URLs.
7 – Encourage Better Traffic To Your Website
If your website uses a sitemap, potential buyers will find it easy to access your latest products and services. In addition, they won’t miss out on products that could be of future interest to them.
The reason behind it is that your sitemap will display all the information on your website pages.
8 – Streamline Conversion Funnel
In conversion funnels, it’s best to have a minimum number of steps for your users to convert. Besides, the more steps, the higher chance your visitors will leave your website without completing their signup or purchase.
With a sitemap, you can quickly figure out the necessary steps and combine those steps whenever possible. Like flowcharts, a visual representation can streamline your funnel easily.
4 Sitemap Best Practices To Consider
Now that you know the benefits of using a sitemap, it would be wise to know its best practices to ensure that search engines index the right web pages. The best practices include:
1 – Understanding How Sitemaps Are Formatted
There are various types of sitemaps, and these include the following:
- Indexed – This sitemap appears as an alphabetical directory or listing.
- Full Categorical – Many website owners prefer this because it’s easier to search for topics within the website and enables easier comparison among and between categories.
- Restricted Categorical – It displays all links listed in a selected category. The restricted categorical and full categorical are similar, except the latter displays every link in all categories. On the other hand, the former focuses on the links under a specific category for less-eye straining and easier viewing.
2 – Submitting Your Sitemap To Search Engines
A search engine doesn’t automatically look for sitemaps unless you’ve provided them with the URL. Therefore, once you have a sitemap, you must share it with the search engines, which can be done using the search engine webmaster tools.
3 – Creating Separate Sitemaps Per Language
It’s possible to generate separate sitemaps for a website. Doing so would be helpful for a multilingual website. It’s also an excellent practice to submit one sitemap for every language.
4 – Respecting The Extensible Markup Language (XML) Format
You’ll be notified when your file format isn’t correct. It should be strict XML. If not, your file will be ignored. As a result, it’ll be useless regardless of how well-structured it is. Therefore, ensure to use the XML format for your sitemap to get results.
Sitemaps are essential for all websites. They don’t only improve your website’s visibility, but they can also avoid duplicate content issues and broken links.
To get the most out of the benefits of using a sitemap for your website, hire a professional to create one for you or create your own using a reliable sitemap maker.