Create a Website Sitemap for SEO

Written on February 9, 2007 – 2:45 am | by Shell Harris |

52 SEO TipsSome SEO tips can be hard to explain, but this is one of the few that is relatively easy to do and can be done manually with small or large sites. Create a sitemap of your website. There are a few good reasons to do this.

It allows easier indexing of your site by the search engines.
In other words, it helps the search engines find all the pages on your site. Some websites only have a few of their pages in the search engines and this can be due to poor linking, sparse navigation or a host of other reasons. A sure-fire cure is to have a sitemap links to all of the major sections of your website. If you have a small website, linking to all the pages is a good idea. Web-crawlers will thank you for making their busy lives easier.

It provides PageRank or link popularity to all pages it links to.
If you read about SEO then you have read how important it is to have high-quality links pointing to your site from other sites. While this is true, don’t underestimate your own internal links (as seen in last week’s SEO tip) pointing to your own pages. A sitemap can become another source of quality links with descriptive text for your own pages.

Sitemaps help with usability and site navigation.
You website users can now access any important page on the site with only two clicks. This allows for deeply nested pages to be found easier and not just by the search engine spiders but by people visiting your site. Making navigation easier by including a sitemap is just good business sense as well as SEO sense.

Examples of good sitemaps

  • Even if you have a large site, using a sitemap to provide quick access to major areas and important pages is very helpful. The Apple sitemap is a good example of this.
  • A more detailed 3-column sitemap by A.M.Best
  • Small sites, like Grote Consulting, only need small sitemaps
  • Organization and categorization is crucial for an ecommerce sitemap as created by Danforth Diamond.

Do I really need a sitemap?
Sitemaps can be viewed as a luxury, but for new sites they are critical. It can take the search engines months to crawl your new site and they may never crawl the entire site. Adding a sitemap can speed this process up. It also helps when adding new pages or sections, the search engines have easy access to all pages through you sitemap

Don’t overlook this simple step in your search engine optimization success.

by Shell Harris

Shell Harris co-founded Big Oak on January 1, 2004. In a previous career he was a print & web designer and often developed the sites he designed before focusing on his current passion for search engine optimization and Internet marketing. He is an avid researcher, SEO specialist, company mouthpiece and is always looking for the next big thing in Internet Marketing.

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  1. 3 Responses to “Create a Website Sitemap for SEO”

  2. By Arthur on May 1, 2007 | Reply

    If you have any problems to create XML sitemap files for your sites or to notify search engines about updated sitemap files, try Sitemap Writer Pro. It is a powerful tool that helps you to create and keep up-to-date sitemaps for your websites.
    Sitemap Writer Pro has new tools – FTP manager for uploading sitemaps, search engine notification tool (now supports Ask.com and MSN.com), site crawler for adding an URLs into the sitemap and Yahoo Index viewer.

  3. By David on Jul 6, 2007 | Reply

    Does anyone know if sitemaps help Blogs? Do all posting pages get indexed?

  4. By brett on Nov 15, 2008 | Reply

    Sitemaps are important but to capture the real value you need to make sure it is always up to date. Use an AutomaticSiteMap instead.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at contact@bigoakinc.com or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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