Website’s navigation. What is a sitemap and why do you need one?

Website’s navigation. What is a sitemap and why do you need one?
Marketing know-how
It takes approx. 5 minutes to read this article

You’ve probably heard of the term sitemap before, but do you really know what it means? The more pages are indexed on your site, the higher you rank in search results. When used correctly, a sitemap can improve your website’s user experience and even increase its conversion rate.

User experience of your website 

User experience is how a person feels when interacting with your website. Creating a positive UX is essential if you want people to keep coming back to your site. A good user experience helps people navigate the pages more easily and understand what they can do on the site. A poor user experience makes it difficult for users to find what they are looking for and will result in them leaving quickly without spending any time on your site at all.

Why does navigation matter? 

Every Queenstown SEO agency knows that websites are becoming increasingly complex, with more pages and more content being added all the time. This can make it difficult for visitors to find what they’re looking for, and even more difficult for search engines to index your site properly. Navigation is vital to help people find their way around your website, which in turn helps you rank higher in search engine results. A sitemap is an effective way to communicate the navigation structure of your website to both humans and bots, so that visitors don’t get lost on the site and Google knows where everything is located.

What is a sitemap.xml?

A sitemap is an XML file that contains all the important pages on your website. It’s used by search engines to crawl and index your site. With a sitemap, you’ll be able to customize how often search engines visit your pages, which will help you make sure they visit each page at least once every few months. In order to create one, go to Google Search Console and add or edit the appropriate files in “Sitemaps”.

Types of maps

There are generally three types of sitemaps: XML, HTML, and ROR. XML sitemaps are created to help search engines index your website. HTML sitemaps are designed to help visitors navigate your website. ROR sitemaps are a combination of both XML and HTML sitemaps. 

All three types of maps should be updated regularly as you add new content or edit existing content on your site. Having an up-to-date map ensures that all important pages on your site will be found by search engines.

Why do you need one? How does it help SEO? 

If you’re planning to launch a website, one of the first things you need to do is create a sitemap. A sitemap is essentially an outline of your site’s content. It helps search engines index your pages so that they can be easily found by users. The more detailed your map is, the better chance it has of getting picked up by Google in its organic rankings algorithm.

How to create one for you?

To generate a map outside of the CMS, you can use free software such as Screaming Frog. If you have less than 500 subpages, you can use the admin panel, just go to the “Mode” – “Spider” section and copy the URL addresses that we care about.

If you have the time and skills, you can create a map yourself. Knowledge of PHP / SQL is required for this. However, remember to be careful with static maps, which require us to automatically update the file in the event of a new subpage being created, removing one of them from the list or changing the address.

Remember to:

  • use only valid urls,
  • remove pages with 404 error and redirects from the file,
  • do not use Polish letters and special characters,
  • if the map contains more than 50,000 addresses and weighs more than 50 MB, you must divide it into smaller parts,
  • include the language versions of your website,
  • remember to update the map,
  • do not include pages with duplicate content,
  • don’t forget to check the tags:
    • <urlset> which references the protocol standard,
    • <url>, is the parent tag for the url,
    • <loc>, specifying the location of a given address,
    • <lastmode>, i.e. additional information about recent modifications,
    • <priority>, which sends robots information about which pages to index first (use the range 0.0-1.0).

In conclusion

Sitemaps are important for both users and search engines. They help users find the information they need on your website, and they help search engines index your pages so that they can be included in search results. A well-designed sitemap can make it easier for users and search engines to find the information they need, and it can help you get more traffic to your website.
If you’re serious about your website’s success, you need to invest in professional agency. Hiring an agency to help with your website’s navigation can ensure that your site is designed for both users and search engines. A sitemap is essential for good strategy and can help improve your website’s ranking on search engines. Don’t try to do it all yourself – get help from an agency that specializes in SEO for enterprise websites.


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