In other words… learn what a sitemap is and why it is important for Search Engine Optimization!
After you’ve set up a website for your business, next comes figuring out how to increase your online presence. Generating a sitemap and submitting it to Google will help get you where you want to be as far as your website’s online accessibility.
You want your business to generate as much positive attention as possible, and the world wide web is a perfect vehicle for doing that. The benefit of the electronic superhighway that we know and love can also prove to be a disadvantage for businesses. Tons of content can be found on the web, and relatively anyone can create a website which only adds to the surplus of information available. Business owners sometimes struggle to find effective ways to navigate the airwaves and land at the top of their consumer’s screens.
Have you ever wondered how Google finds websites and how it chooses to display the order in which they appear on the search results page? Search engines like Bing and Google use various algorithms and programs to “crawl” or sort through online data and present it to web surfers. Dedicating time to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to maintaining and growing your online reach.
What is a sitemap?
There are plenty of ways that you can help search engines find the information on your website. A sitemap is an XML file that you compile with all the important URLs you want search engines to have easy access to. When you want someone to know where you are you will usually give them directions. The same applies to search engines online. If you want search engines to easily find your information when crawling the web for data then you can submit a sitemap as directions to the specific webpage where that data is located.
Submitting a sitemap helps with your SEO by giving Google updated information from your website with the direct URL location. When someone does a keyword search that pertains to the content of your website, Google will be able to connect the dots and present your business’s information to the searcher. Submitting a sitemap isn’t the end all be all to increasing SEO. Legalzing’s website management services will help make sure that your website is functioning in its best possible way, and utilizing multiple SEO optimization techniques.
Depending on the complexity of your website, you may want to start with a sitemap template that helps you determine the most important information to include in your sitemap. Keep in mind that a sitemap should include the URLs of the most important pages. You need to decide which pages on your website are most relevant to the organic searches that web users will make.
After you’ve decided on what URLs to include in your sitemap, you will need to code it appropriately for the search engine. There are a few different routes to take when it comes to coding your sitemap. Websites with only a handful of pages can be coded manually. Just be sure to follow the coding guidelines of the search engine. Always check to make sure you have the correct coding. You can search for websites that will validate your coding for you. On these websites all you have to do is copy and paste the code into a field for it to run a check that makes sure everything works and is correct.
If you don’t know where to start with coding, many CRMs like WordPress and Wix will generate a sitemap for you. Work smarter, not harder and research your CRM before you resort to the manual option of creating a sitemap.
You can also find a third party software that will generate your sitemap for you. Again, you want to start by checking your CRM to see if it already creates your sitemap so you don’t have to do any unnecessary, extra work.
The root folder encompasses your entire website. Locate the root folder of your website and add your sitemap there. This way the sitemap will cover the URLs from your entire website and not just a specific page.
Google Search Console helps keep track of your website and maintain it. With Search Console you can see your site’s performance in the search bar, fix issues within your site, and measure your site’s search traffic among other things. You can test and add your sitemap to Google from the Google Search Console.
Your sitemap is not something that you have to keep submitting on a frequent basis. In fact, you should only submit a sitemap that has updated information. Contrary to what you may think, Google does not look favorably on multiple sitemap submissions just for the sake of keeping your website at the front of the line. However, be sure to update your sitemap if there are new URLs that have been added to your page so that Google has the freshest version of your website
Pro Tip: While submitting a sitemap is a great resource to help with SEO, it is good to keep in mind that Google doesn’t guarantee to utilize your entire sitemap and sort through all of your URLs.
Search Engine Optimization is an item that should always be at the top of the list when it comes to website maintenance. Creating and submitting a sitemap to Google is a great way to make sure Google knows how to find your important information quickly so that it can suggest your site to people who are searching on Google. Legalzing not only designs beautiful websites, but will work with you to ensure that your SEO is at its best. Contact us today and get started.