A website map or a site map is typically a list of pages in a site that are available to users. The arrangement of these pages occurs in a hierarchical manner and can range from web design planning tools to a web page listing all the pages in a site. Moreover, the size of your sitemap depends on the number of pages your website has. For instance, if you have included new, pictures, and videos, it is always important that you specify them in the sitemap.
Read more: Understanding site maps.
Benefits of a Website Map
(a) Linking pages and other content within the site
With sitemaps, you can create content categorization depending on priority. In this case, content with most relevant information will be crawled faster than low priority content.
(b) Demonstrating organization, navigation, and labeling system
In a website, it is mandatory that every piece of information be crawled. However, sometimes this takes forever or fails to occur at all, with a site map, content is crawled effectively and efficiently.
(c) Providing informational overview
You give your visitors a reason to visit your site when you updating your website content constantly. A website maps assists in alerting Google every time you update your information.
(d) Monitor your website
Sitemap reports can help you monitor your website performance. You can also learn about your visitors. Knowing where their interest lies gives you a clue on where to improve in terms of content provision.
Read More on Testing Website Performance
2 Types of Website Maps and Their Different Purposes
There are two major types of site plans namely:
- XML sitemaps meant for the search engines
- HTML sitemaps meant for visitors.
Further divisions occur when it comes to HTML sitemaps. Each classification represents the variety of content that is available on your website. Here are some of these divisions.
- Video Sitemaps: These sitemaps indicate the location of videos on your website. Some of the information they display includes the video URL, play location, duration, description, and the title of the video.
- Photo Sitemaps: These sitemaps show the location of every photo you have on your website. With this sitemap, Google can quickly locate and index images on your site.
- News Sitemaps: These ones are useful in finding your news article on Google news. With news sitemaps, you can easily configure your news articles depending on genre, date of publication, and titles.
- Mobile Sitemaps: These ones are relevant only on websites that have mobile content. More specifically, they mostly apply to a mobile-responsive site. However, mobile sitemaps are not necessary all the time.
While these types of sitemaps are useful, it is not mandatory that you have them all. You can instead modify a standard URL to accommodate photos and videos. Additionally, you can help Google-ware of your sitemaps by doing so in the Search Console. The advantage about notifying Google about your sitemaps is that you get direct feedback on how your files were reached, downloaded or what happened to the web pages listed in the sitemaps. To modify or correct any errors, go to the Search Console, Crawling and update accordingly.
Do you need help setting up a website map? Contact us, we love to help 🙂