No doubt that sitemaps are quite an old thing in the search engine optimization field but they are also great goodies. Out of all the other elements in SEO, it is the sitemaps that are the most important element in SEO. 

The sitemaps help Google and other search engines to find the relevant pages on your website. Moreover, these can help you to rank better at Google as Google is easily able to locate these pages with a sitemap. 

Not only this, but Google can also identify updates to old pages much more quickly. It means that having a sitemap is crucial and businesses cannot manage without them. 

Consequently, let us understand what sitemaps are and how to create one for your website in the post stated below. 

Sitemap 

Sitemap refers to the file which contains the URLs of all the essential pages of the website. The main purpose of having a sitemap on a website is to enable search engines to understand your site and locate the pages easily. 

But before creating the sitemap for your website, you need to have a thorough understanding of how search engines work. The primary concepts one must know are crawl and index. 

Kinds Of Sitemaps 

Before you go on to create a sitemap for your website, it is crucial to know the popular kinds of sitemaps. There are two kinds of sitemaps: One is HTML and the other is XML. Let us learn about both kinds of sitemaps. 

HTML sitemaps 

It is a website page that is easily visible to visitors and features clickable links to all pages on a site. No doubt that this method is quite old to create a sitemap but is a highly effective one. Google favors HTML sitemaps because the sequence-wise list of links makes it easy for Google to understand and index pages accordingly. 

XML sitemaps 

The next popular kind of sitemap is the XML sitemap. It is a text file containing the list of URLs on your website. XML sitemaps are not navigational tools for visitors. Instead, they are meant for search engines. You can use the tags in the XML sitemaps to provide information about the URLs. 

How To Create A Sitemap? 

Most marketers are fairly aware of the significance of sitemaps but do not know how to create sitemaps for their websites. Creating a sitemap is pretty simple and all thanks to the widely available tools these days. 

You not only need to generate a sitemap for your website but also check it against the site’s best practices and submit it to Google. Here’s how you can create a sitemap for your website. 

Use a sitemap generator 

You can create a sitemap using a sitemap generator. Sitemap generators are software that helps marketers and businesses to create a sitemap. Some of the best sitemap generators to choose from are Yoast, Screaming Frog, WordPress 5.5, Slickplan, and many others. 

Each sitemap generator is unique and is best on its terms. Choose the one that fits your requirements.

Follow sitemap best practices

The next best tip to create sitemaps is to follow its best practices. You can get to know the best practices for creating a sitemap from Google. Some simple guidelines to follow when creating a sitemap is to break up large sitemaps. 

Breaking up large sitemaps is essential if you have a long list of URLs. Here are other practices to follow while creating sitemaps: 

 

  • Prefer to list only canonical URLs. 
  • Don’t prioritize too much on creating priority tags.
  • Do not list any index URLs. 
  • Use UTF-8 encoding. 

Besides this, there are plenty of other best practices to adhere to listed by Google when creating a sitemap for your website. 

Submit your sitemap

The next step is submitting your sitemap to Google. It’s time to submit your sitemap to Google once you have created it successfully. There are plenty of ways of submitting your sitemap to Google. 

The easiest way to submit a sitemap to Google is by using a Google search console. Look for the sitemaps in the panel and add your sitemap URL. You can also submit your sitemap using a ping tool, robots.txt file, and Websub. 

Perks Of Having A Sitemap 

Sitemaps can make Google better understand your site and can help you efficiently rank for the keywords. Above all, it increases the website’s traffic. But this is not all. Here are some other benefits of having a sitemap for your website. 

Crawls and indexes pages faster 

The foremost benefit of a sitemap is that it enables Google to crawl and index the pages faster. Google can’t crawl the internet every single day because it has different schedules for different websites and content types. But sitemaps can easily make Google discover and index pages. 

Assists search bots 

Another benefit of having a sitemap for your website is that it helps the search bots locate orphan pages. Like visitors, Google bots also discover pages on your site via the links on the pages. 

Orphan pages refer to the pages that don’t have links pointing to them which in turn makes it difficult for Google to rank them. Fortunately, with sitemaps, Google can easily locate and index these pages. 

Final Thoughts 

By now, you must have come to know about the benefits a sitemap has in store for you. Follow the tips stated above and create a sitemap for your website to witness a significant increase in your website.