What Is A Sitemap, and Why Should You Have One?

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A sitemap is a map to the layout of your website.

They are very useful because they:

  • Make the search engine bots/spiders job easier.
  • Get your pages indexed faster.
  • Help your users find the content they want on your site.

There are two types of sitemaps:

  1. HTML sitemaps for human viewers of your website.
  2. XML sitemaps for the search engines.

 

How To Generate Your Sitemap and Submit It To The Search Engines

STEP 1: Generate your sitemap:

  • Go to http://www.xml-sitemaps.com
  • Enter your website address.
  • Click the start button (this will generate your sitemap).
  • Download these two sitemaps: (uncompressed XML sitemap and HTML sitemap)
  • Upload both of these sitemaps to your server.

So, if your site is www.yourwebsite.com and you upload both sitemaps, they will look like this:

yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml
yourwebsite.com/sitemap.html

For the HTML version of the sitemap, link to it at the bottom of your website with “sitemap” as the anchor text.

For the XML version of the sitemap, you need to submit it to the search engines, which brings us to step 2.

STEP 2: Submit your sitemap

Submit to Google:

  • Create a Google Webmasters account here: www.google.com/webmasters
  • Submit your website by following the simple instructions.
  • Submit your XML sitemap by following the simple instructions.

Submit to Yahoo:

  • Create a Yahoo! Site Explorer account here: www.siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com
  • Submit your website by following the simple instructions.
  • Submit your XML sitemap by following the simple instructions.

Submit to Bing:

  • Create your Bing Webmaster Tools account here: www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster
  • Submit your website by following the simple instructions.
  • Submit your XML sitemap by following the simple instructions.

* For all the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), re-generate and re-submit your sitemap every time you make significant changes to your website.

 

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