A good site map helps a viewer to navigate their way through a website with ease. It is featured on a single page of your website and includes the structure of your site, the sections included as well as the links between them.
Why use a Site Map?
Having an up-to-date site map on your site is important for both your users and for SEO purposes. Users can easily find what they are looking for – quickly, which will enhance their chances of visiting your site again in future.
Sites maps are also a form of communication between you and search engines, enabling them to better understand the context of your site and how to categorise it appropriately. Also, as soon as any changes are made to your site, you can update your site map, which automatically informs the search engines about those changes.
Site maps are perfect if you have just set up you’re a new website or if you have a high number of new pages recently added. They help you to keep everything clean and tidy, and can be a vital contributor to the overall success of your website. For this reason, fully exploiting the use of a good site map should never be overlooked.
Site Maps Dos and Don’ts
- Do link your site map from your homepage. This improves the SEO of your site as search engines will be better able to find it, follow it and rank it.
- Don’t place every page on your site map if you have a large website. You don’t want search engines to see a never-ending list of links as they may perceive you as a link farm which will jeopardise your rankings.
- Don’t have more than 25 – 40 links on your site map.
- Do insert a keyword into the anchor text of every link where possible, and link to an appropriate page.
- Do update your site map every time a new page is added or a change is made to a link.
In summary, a good site map achieves the following
- Presents a quick and easy-to-follow overview of your entire website
- Provides a clear pathway for search engine robots to find you
- Quickly enables visitors to get to where they want to go
- Capitalises on important keyword phrases
- Promotes SEO
Once your website is up and running there’s no way you can leave it to its own devices. A good website needs plenty of hard work behind the scenes. Likewise, having a good site map means working hard to ensure that your map is continually up-to-date with any page changes, encouraging both search engines and visitors to favour your site over others.