All About Sitemaps And How They Can Improve Your Online Business


Much has been said about search engine optimization (SEO). Many web publishers actually pronounce it as the key to the Promised Land of online prominence. After all, 80% of the traffic you can generate for your website will come from the search engines. 80% is a pretty huge number, one which should not be neglected. Capture that much a percentage and you can rest assured that your online endeavor - whatever it may be - will most certainly have a good chance to achieve success in the World Wide Web.

And the way to win the search engines' favor is through SEO practices. SEO tactics are as varied as they are many. Most of us know about keywords, keyword density levels, and keyword placements. A good number of us know about the need to regularly update our content, the importance of back links, and the essence of link popularity.

But times change and so do the requirements of search engines. And the newest kid on the block? Sitemaps.

What Are Sitemaps And How Can They Help Your Website?

To understand sitemaps, you must first have to understand XML. XML stands for extensible markup language, a programming that will allow the particular content to be syndicated to a variety of recipients. XML is the driving force behind RSS and the blog boom since 2 years ago.

A sitemap is an XML-generated map of your website. A sitemap contains all the pages as well as all the sub-pages of your website, together - ideally speaking - with some description for each entry.

If you think this is a complicated matter, do bear in mind that most of the HTML editing programs these days, most notably Coffee Cup and Xsite, include a feature that makes sitemap-creation automatic.

How can a sitemap help your website? The answer is two-fold:

  1. Sitemaps will help your visitors navigate your website. Instead of giving up on your site if information they're looking for is not readily available to them, they can instead resort to your sitemap to find the same.
  2. More importantly, sitemaps will guarantee that once indexed, Google - the most widely used search engine in the planet - will crawl through each and every page of your website and that its search engine spiders will instantly be alerted every time you will publish new content.

Sounds Complicated? It's Actually Quite Simple In Theory

Since sitemaps are powered by XML, the contents thereof will be syndicated to the most interested party of all - Google. Your sitemap will make it easier for the search engine spiders to find your website, and to know that new content is published when such is indeed published.

Indeed, sitemaps will do the job that the search engine spiders are tasked to perform. The burden will be eased on the part of the search engines.

The result?

Faster indexing and more control for the user on what pages and what content should be categorized. In effect, sitemaps do provide for a more efficient process in placing a good position in search engine results.

Generating Your Sitemap

As we have mentioned earlier, most HTML editors these days have built-in sitemap generators, owing to the fact that sitemaps have become absolute necessities in this day and age.

Nonetheless, since Google promotes the inclusion of sitemaps for the websites they will eventually index, their services have provided an official sitemap generator which can be found in the link below...

https://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en/sitemap-generator.html

There are other free online sitemap generators which you can use, of course. Since these generators will only create a code which you will copy and paste on your source code, there is no need for installation. Google itself has compiled a directory for these free sitemap generators. Give the following services a try, if you'd prefer them... http://code.google.com/sm_thirdparty.html

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