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SEO Sitemap definition and other types of sitemaps

September 14, 2017
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Types of sitemaps and which SiteMap you need for SEO

One of the main aims of search engine optimization is organizing your website pages to make it easier for search bots, also called spiders, collect information about your business. There are a lot of factors influencing on the success of your online presence: original content, structured data by schema.org, speed, metadata etc. Yet, one of the most important factors is a sitemap for Google.

What is a site map?

A sitemap is the full list of pages of the website that can be accessed by the search engine crawlers and website visitors. There are several types of sitemaps which can be used in different ways: as a planning document for the website development and improvement, as a webpage on your website to help a user to navigate through it or a file allowing crawlers to learn your website better.

Sitemaps for websites are usually organized in a hierarchical way and display the relationship of the pages and content on the website. Often sitemap in SEO helps search engine bots to label the website. The types of sitemaps vary based on who or what the site map had been created for.

Common types of sitemaps

There are three common types of sitemaps you may face while working on your website: Visual Sitemap, XML sitemap, and HTML sitemap. All three will provide you with different benefits and help you to make your website great. These three types of sitemaps are used for different purposes, yet there is no need in creating all three – it is up to you to decide which one you need at the current stage. However, you are not prohibited to use all three to provide the best user experience to your visitors and give all needed information for the search engine spiders.

Visual sitemaps

If you are just planning a website development or thinking of improving an existing one, a visual site map can become very handy. This type of sitemap helps webmasters to organize and sort the content and eliminate the pages which may be unnecessary. In addition, such site-map helps to plan the website interface. You’ll have to use a website sitemap tool in order to create such a visual representation. Usually, these tools are called mind mappers.

XML SiteMap

SEO sitemap or XML sitemap is a sitemap designed to inform search engines about the pages which are live on the website and their relation to each other. In addition, it shows the frequency of page updates, making it easier for the spiders to crawl the pages once they are changed. Some large websites are made from thousands of pages (like Amazon for example) and the content of such sites is accessible through user entries and forms. Without XML sitemap for Google, it would be almost impossible for crawlers to find and organize all pages in the index. So, the presence of this website map will give your website more chances to appear in SERP (search engine results page) and reach more users. Such site maps can be created with the help of google site map tool.

HTML Sitemap

HTML sitemaps are usually designed for the website visitors who are looking for a particular content on your website. Unlike website search results, sitemap shows hierarchical structure of the pages you have on the website. HTML sitemaps are used both by your website visitors and search engines. However, the HTML format of sitemap is not supported by Google’s Webmaster Tools, so you cannot submit it. The primary aim is to improve the user experience. They can be easily created under your CMS.

As you can see, each type of site map we defined in our article has its own features and functions. It is easy to create them using software products available online. The most important type is the XML one, you can generate it using google sitemap tool.

If you don’t know how to create website sitemap, feel free to contact WiserBrand cyber owls. We’ll help you solve this issue and share a few other insider SEO hacks.

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