Sitemaps are typically XML documents that provide a list of your internal website pages. They contain links to each page. These documents may also provide information about the pages that correspond to each link. These tools are valuable for your customers, who may be looking for specific information on your website, and for search engines that may be concerned with indexing your content. These are reasons you should have a sitemap.
Encourages Higher SEO
A sitemap will help search engines index your website properly. Then, when their users are looking for specific products or services, content or companies, these search engines can determine whether your website fits the customer’s criteria. Therefore, your SEO strategy will benefit significantly from your sitemap.
Prevents Content Duplication
Your sitemap will signal content duplication or syndicated content from other websites. You shouldn’t republish any content you find on other websites without the permission of the author. Not only is it a courtesy, but Google does not appreciate duplicated content. In fact, Google will only show the original content in search results, removing your links from the results. However, if you are the original content creator, your sitemap will prove this to Google.
Ensures High-Quality Content
Search engines like high-quality content. They reward it. When you update your sitemap, you suggest to Google that you have quality content, new content or updated content. You should update your sitemap with Google every time you change, update or add new content to ensure your rankings remain high.
Although long-form content typically has greater performance, Google does not have published guidelines that you can use to optimize your content or website. Instead, it judges your content based on natural keyword usage, relevance, readability, links, formatting, headings and visuals. Be sure to add these into all your content and regularly update your sitemap with Google and other search engines.
Why Choose XML and HTML
HTML sitemaps are used by your website visitors. They are made specifically for your customers. They give them links to most pages within your website so that they can find their way around. These are beneficial because they increase sales and encourage engagement from your customers. An HTML sitemap also improves your users’ experiences, which can increase your SEO.
An XML sitemap is used by search engine spiders. These are the tools these services use to rank you in user searches. In fact, these spiders can identify all the important information on your website from your sitemap.
As you can see, you will benefit from both an HTML and XML sitemap. Although you may not see immediate results from adding these sitemaps, you will not be penalized for having them, and they will help your users.