Thursday, April 12, 2007
What is a Sitemap?
A sitemap is a display for the layout of your website. It is an aid to the search engines and to your visitors. Year ago they only consisted of a list of links, but now a sitemap is a descriptive roadmap of your site.
It is fleshed out with keyword details for each section and subsection to help your visitors enhance their touring experience. And the biggest benefit is that it gives the search engines more fodder!
To create a good sitemap.
Be sure that it is linked from your HOME page. this forces the search engine to find it right away, and then follow it all the way through your site. If you link it from other pages, and the spider finds a dead link, it will quit the search!
Small sites can place every page on their list, while larger sites should not because an never-ending list of links causes the search engine to think of you as a link farm. A good sitemap should have no more than 25 to 40 links. It also is easier on your visitors!
The title of each link should contain a keyword and link to the original page. Also write 10 to 25 words to tell what the page is about. This part contributes to your depth of content with the search engine.
If you have 15 pages on your site, then every page should be linked to every other page in the sitemap, and PLEASE make sure that all of your links work! When a person or a search engine find a broken link they both lose interest...FAST!
And just like you can't leave your website to fend for itself...don't neglect your sitemap. Keep it updated and current...Your visitors and the search engines will love you!
A good sitemap:
...gives a quick overview of your site
...gives a concise path for the search engines to follow
...gives a text link for every page of the site
...gives easy to follow paths for visitors
...gives a short description of each page
...uses important keyword phrases
Why is a SiteMap important?
Because it improves the value of your site by getting it indexed. This is your most important SEO (Search Engine Optimization) goal! A sitemap provides a one-stop shopping experience for the spiders, and it can also be invaluable to lost visitors!
If you wish to delve further, check out SEO Chat for great info on the subject.
A good place to start is with Google SiteMaps