10 Things You Must Know About HTML Sitemap
This chapter will explain all the important things that you need to know about HTML sitemap.
10 Things You Must Know About HTML Sitemap
An HTML sitemap contains a bulleted list of anchor texts ( clickable text in a hyperlink) to various pages or posts of a website. It allows site visitors to easily navigate a website. In terms of analogy, a sitemap is to a website what a content page is to a book.
The original purpose of a sitemap was to enable site visitors to locate items of the website quickly and easily instead of navigating through the site menus. It was also used by users to locate a topic they were unable to find directly on the site through site search or site menu navigation.
After the advent of search engines, sitemaps are used by them to find and index all the pages/posts of a website during the crawling process. Sitemaps help search engines understand the overall silo structure of your website and help websites rank better in search result pages. And therefore, placing a sitemap on the website is highly recommended by search engines as part of good SEO efforts.
A well-structured outline for the sitemap is to be created even before building the website. The sitemap will guide the design and development of the website. For example, before constructing a house, the engineer draws a plan. Similar, before building the website, the sitemap will contain the high-level framework of it.
The sitemap should be placed on (or linked from) the homepage as it enables the search engines to follow and navigate through the other parts of the website easily.
It is always a nice idea to have a nested sitemap in case your website has a large number of pages. Say more than 50. The nested sitemap contains only the top-level pages on the main sitemap and includes links to more specific sitemaps. Search engines become suspicious if it finds a single sitemap on the homepage with a large number of anchor texts ( or links ) pointing to other pages. Few spammers use this method to illegally rank their sites higher on search result pages. The ideal method is to use nested sitemaps.
For SEO purposes, it is a good practice to have keywords placed on the anchor texts in a sitemap. Also, make sure, the anchor text with keywords is linked correctly to appropriate pages.
A broken link on the sitemap is considered as a negative factor in SEO. So make sure that all your links are correctly working without any errors.
It is of utmost importance to note that, every page shown on the sitemap should link back to the sitemap.
If your website is very large with multiple themes, selling or dealing with various products/services (like in a e-commerce website), it is always a good practice to create a separate sitemap for each silo. If you are new to website structuring and siloing, please read the chapter on – Website Structuring For S.E.O – The 4-Step Method
There is another kind of sitemap known as “XML sitemap” specifically used by google search engines. Both HTML and XML sitemaps are equally important from SEO point of view. XML sitemaps defines the importance and priority of the website pages to the search engine spiders. Discussing XML sitemap is beyond the scope of this chapter. For more details on XML sitemaps, you can visit: XML Sitemaps
Congratulations ! You are done with the twentieth chapter on “10 Things You Must Know About HTML Sitemap”. Hope you enjoyed the reading.
All the best for your next chapter on “Fudamentals Of Link Building”. In the next chapter, you will learn the importance of obtaining inbound links and how it affects the search engine rankings.
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Subhash.K.U is a Professional Programmer turned Digital Marketing Enthusiast. He is the most sought marketing consultants for small and medium scale businesses. He founded Subhash Digital Academy to teach professional digital marketing skills to students, entrepreneurs, and working professionals. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is an Oracle Certified Programmer. He also holds certificates of Google AdWords, Facebook Blueprint and Hubspot Marketing. He is the co-author of the best selling book – Cracking The C, C++ and Java Interview published by McGraw Hill. He is now penning another book on the subject of marketing and entrepreneurship.