If you’re planning to create a website soon, a sitemap should be a must. Consider the sitemap as a floor plan that’ll come in handy every time you make modifications or need to redesign it. And as such, without a website sitemap, you’ll find building a functional and usable website challenging. More so, if you want to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and communicate effectively with search engine result pages (SERPs), getting one should be at the top of your priority list.
What Is A Website Sitemap
Essentially, a website sitemap serves as a blueprint for your website, assisting search engines in finding, crawling, and indexing all of the site’s published content. It contains all the pages and how they’re related to each other. In most cases, you can have one sitemap for all of your web pages and another for blog posts or images.
Now that you’re familiar with the role of a sitemap in creating a website, it’s crucial to be familiar with several considerations if you’re planning on building a sitemap soon. As such, when creating a sitemap, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Define Your Specific Goals
You must first define your objectives before creating a website sitemap. Try to brainstorm what your website will be and what you aim to accomplish. Keep in mind that this is critical because your website will be an asset to your company and will help you achieve various business goals and objectives.
Think about the information you want your visitors to find along with the actions you want them to take. Remember to think about how your visitors will use your website to accomplish their goals. Make sure to consider these when setting your goals and as you continue to design and develop your website.
2. Use The Appropriate Tools And Plugins
Once you have the proper tools, creating a sitemap can be a hassle-free process. You can use an auditing software tool with an extensible markup language (XML) sitemap generator built-in or use plugins. If you want to work on the task manually, you can also create a sitemap by following the XML sitemap code structure.
If you don’t want the inconvenience of manually creating one, you can use a tool to generate an accurate sitemap with ease. Or, perhaps, if you lack time to tackle the task, you can readily hire the services of a professional to handle it for you.
4. Examine The Layout Of Your Pages
Examining your current content is one way to ensure the success of your website. To do this, try to access the overall structure and compare it to a sitemap template to know how your pages will appear. Auditing your site allows you to understand what works optimally and what requires modifications.
Make it a priority to create a sitemap. Ideally, it should only take a maximum of three clicks for a visitor to navigate to any page on your site. Aside from ensuring a seamless experience, it also plays an important role in search engine optimization (SEO).
Start by checking the homepage. Then check the homepage links where they link to, especially the menu options on your site, keeping in mind the depth of your website. The pages further away from the homepage of your website might be difficult to rank, so make it a priority to ensure all important pages are included here.
5. Prioritization Of Web Pages According To Their Importance
It’s crucial to remember that most search engine platforms allow web admins to rank web pages by providing them with a score. The higher the score of a webpage is, the more likely it’s to be picked up by search engines than pages with a lower score.
Consider assigning a higher score to dynamic pages, ideally those that undergo frequent updates. Static pages, such as the Contact or About Us pages, can have lower scores assigned to them.
Although you might be tempted to assign high scores to all the pages, it’s not a beneficial action to take. Remember that search engines work by being objective in that they cannot distinguish between your dynamic and static pages. As a result, your website may suffer.
6. Include The Appropriate Descriptions
Make it a priority to include a description of each web page’s content as well. If your website only contains links, it may not stand out in the search engines. You could miss out on the chance to freely use your targeted keywords, which is critical for SEO.
Remember that once the search engine spiders find sufficient keyword-rich content on the sitemap page, it boosts your chances of ranking higher in SERPs.
7. Select High-Quality Pages For Your Sitemap
If you want your website to rank highly in search engine results, it’s critical to keep it in good shape. It’s pointless to direct search engines to low-quality pages because they’ll only be considered undesirable.
Keep pages highly optimized by including relevant yet unique content, images, and video. Doing so will make your site more effective in establishing engagement with visitors through reviews and comments.
8. Proper Coding Of The URLs
When creating a website sitemap, you should take the time to code the URLs. You can format each URL with XML tags, which is convenient. The task will be simple if you have prior experience with hypertext markup language (HTML) coding. However, it’s not that challenging to figure out once you know the basics. Making an XML file in a text editor and adding the appropriate code for each URL can be a good place to start.
During this phase, it’s best to take your time, especially if you’re not fully familiar with the coding process.
The Bottom Line
Once you decide to take your SEO strategy to a new level, consider creating a sitemap for your website. Better organic ranking, fewer broken links, and better insights into visitors are just a few of the advantages of having a sitemap.
And by considering the valuable insights when building a website sitemap presented in this article, you’d get to enjoy the many benefits it provides in no time.