If you’re new to managing the content on your website, you will want to consider the impact that XML sitemaps can have on your SEO strategy. XML Sitemaps provide an easy, convenient way for search engines like Google and Bing to find all web pages on your site. XML Sitemaps provide a simple list – including all site page URLs – which helps reveal your website’s entire contents.
XML Sitemaps Support Your SEO Strategy
XML Sitemaps provide more than just a listing of each web page on a site. You can use XML Sitemaps to provide meta data – more explicit information about the content of each page, including video and image information that might reside on the page. Using meta data in this way, you can identify the running time of a video, the video format, the contents of the video and other information that the search engine would have no other way to know.
You can provide similar data about the images on your site, including the image format, age, source, license type and other reference information. XML Sitemaps meta data can also identify whether the page is friendly to mobile devices, when the last time a page or the site itself was updated.
XML Sitemaps are most helpful to the search engines when a site is brand new, or when the content of a site changes often. It is also helpful when your site contains a lot of non-textual information – like photos, videos and animations. Also, consider using an XML Sitemap when your site contains a lot of pages that are not linked to each other, or that contain a lot of archive information that may not be linked at all to your current content.
XML Sitemaps can also help search engines register and understand your website, even when their web crawlers don’t visit your site often. You can submit your URL to a search engine, but they usually don’t guarantee that they’ll visit your site and document its contents. Providing the search engines with a complete, updated sitemap helps to ensure that your site and its contents are properly catalogued and evaluated.
So how can you make a worthy XML Sitemap? There are a number of tools that automate XML Sitemap process. Generally, the tools follow the accepted Sitemap 0.9 protocol – which is the current version of the sitemap standard. You can create your own XML sitemap file, but the available automated XML Sitemap tools are very good, produce standard format XML Sitemaps, and will save you a lot of time! Once you have created your sitemap, you can log onto your Google Webmaster account and add your sitemap. Many site operators also choose to publish their sitemap as a page on their site.
If you would like more information about XML Sitemaps and how they can benefit your website, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.
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