So what is a sitemap? Glad you asked. A site map is a list of every page on your website. The most common definition is a resource found on websites at the bottom (the footer) of the home page. It allows users to easily find what page, resource, etc they are searching for.
But there’s another definition of a sitemap that all website owners should be familiar with. Because absent a sitemap your search results will suffer. Why? Because a sitemap is a tool the search engines need to find content on your site. To direct those who enter search terms, to relevant websites.
The easiest way to think of a sitemap in regards to search, is that of a directory on your computer. You have your parent directory, something like “my computer.” When you click on the “my computer” directory, more directories open. Content is organized in a somewhat organized fashion. Allowing the user to easily find what they are searching for. Rather than just clumping everything into one main directory.
Your website is essentially a collection of data, products, blogs, etc. You took the time to organize that data so users can navigate, find what they want and hopefully make a purchase. Google, Bing, Yahoo et al need a means of finding this material as well. And that is the role of the sitemap.
So how does one get a sitemap? Rather easily. If you are on WordPress for example, Google offers a free plugin to generate an “XML sitemap” specifically designed for their “bots” to “crawl” your site and find relevant data. The concept of “crawling bots” sounds a little intense but how else do the search engines scour millions of computers around the world? Giving you hundreds, thousands even millions of results in less than a second.
The whole concept of search and the internet is truly amazing. In many ways it’s an exercise in global group think. Everyone’s minds are connected. Fascinating and powerful stuff. And something that requires sitemaps to function.
Do you have a sitemap? Yes? No? Unsure? Contact us and we’ll help you figure it out.