Got a Sitemap?

Something so simple yet frequently forgotten… On a daily basis we analyze tons of websites, we see the good the bad and the terrifying. What shocks me the most is the absence of Sitemaps on many websites. I would say less than 50% of the websites I take a look at are missing this component. I think this is because web designers underestimate the importance of this part of a website.

A Sitemap is a simple page that inclues the structure of your entire website. The best process to follow to have an effective Sitemap is:

1. Create a XML Sitemap
2. Add this as a link to your website
3. Submit it to the search engines such as Google MSN and Yahoo

All major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN accept the same standard of XML Sitemap so once you have one it is easy to spread your information. Something as simple as a Sitemap not only help the visitors to your website search your site more efficiently but it also helps your whole internet marketing strategy. It is imperative to have a sitemap if your website is not easily found by search engines. For instance if your page is built out in flash this is can be the only way for the search engines to find and index your website.

A Sitemap is similar to a phonebook for the search engines. It keeps the search engines up to date on all of your information. When you make changes to your website you should submit it to the search engines so that these changes will be indexed faster. Although this is not immediate it more likely that your website will be indexed when submitting a Sitemap.

Google finds and indexes websites through your internal and external linking structure. Your Sitemap just affirms this structure and enables the search engines to crawl your website more efficiently and effectively. This is extremely important if your internal linking structure is not up to standards. Creating a sitemap will not change your search engine rankings over night but it is a simple step you can take to creating a better well rounded SEO campaign

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