Sitemaps for Navigation and Indexing

Every website needs a sitemap. It's an invaluable tool to help navigate and find all your important information. There are three key groups a sitemap is important for the owners and builders of the site, visitors who are looking at your site, search engines like Google that are indexing the site.

Keeping your site under control Ideally the site map will be created before the website is built. It is a plan that starts from the homepage and then follows the logic of the site. The second tier of pages are like chapter headings and following pages contain more specific details. By following a site map plan, future content can be added to the site that will follow the same logic. This prevents chaotic outgrowths of pages that make finding anything almost impossible.

Helping visitors find information If you have a business website, you probably have important information hidden around in various pages. A site map will allow visitors to click directly on the page they want without having to wade through your website. Visitors drop off after every page click if they can't immediately see what they're after.

Search engine indexing It is important to make your site as friendly as possible to search engine robots and spiders. When indexing, they will start with the home page and then work their way through each linked page. The deeper the page, the less likely it is to be indexed. A site map linked to the homepage means that every page is no further than three layers deep and has a good chance of being seen. Your site map should also be submitted to Google. A comprehensive sitemap will include metadata about the kinds of content on the page, such as videos or images. If you have a new website, or one that is not linked to by many other sites, a site map will help Google know your pages are there.

How do I build and submit a sitemap? Google has comprehensive instructions on building and submitting a sitemap. If your site is built in WordPress, there is a comprehensive guide to building an XML sitemap. Sitemaps are one of the key tools to assist navigation around your site and for your site to get seen. Make sure:

  • You have a sitemap
  • It is up-to-date
  • It is submitted to search engines

Sitemaps are one of the steps taken in the Eleven Host Google Compliance process.

SItes that Get Seen

The ideas or suggestions presented in this article are for general information only. We do not know the specific details of your website and any SEM activity you have engaged. Therefore Eleven Host cannot take any responsibility for any outcomes, including those to your site or your Google rankings. For more customised advice on SEO or Adwords please contact us.