Sitemap: How Do You Make a Sitemap?
In the age before GPS, people used maps to help them navigate streets and highways to get to unfamiliar destinations. It helped them get a better idea of how the different streets connected and the most efficient means of getting to a destination. A sitemap serves a similar purpose. It documents and records how different pages connect and how the pages of your domain interact so that search engines can crawl it more efficiently and better understand the site as a whole. Making a sitemap for your website, therefore, is an important part of web development and plays an important role in SEO.
How do you make a sitemap?
- First, brainstorm the list of pages on your website and think of the best way to structure the website. Draw a flowchart of the page hierarchy to help guide your work.
- Organize the hierarchy of your pages according to the topics of your website. This will provide visitors with a better understanding of your content and organization. You can also add weight to your pages for better clarity.
- Take your organized page hierarchy and map it into a document that you can share with other webmasters. Using HTML or XML, create an outline of each page, providing descriptive titles and categories for each.
- Identify all URLs for your website, including any redirects, and make sure all the links are included in the sitemap. Also make sure the links work and provide accurate descriptions of the pages.
- Test your sitemap using online testing tools to ensure that the format and URLs are valid.
- Upload the sitemap to your website root directory and submit the URL to search engines. Make sure to review and update your sitemap whenever you make changes to your website.
Following this process to create your sitemap will boost your SEO and give you a strong sense of the organization of your site. You will make it easier for search engine robots, as well as your visitors, to find important information and engage with your content.
Related: SEO: What is a Search Engine Spider?
Related: Submitting a sitemap