6 Tips on Setting Up a Sitemap

A sitemap is something like having a table of contents for your website. It will have a list of all of the pages on your site, which assists both human visitors and the robots used by search engines to find the pages contained there. This will make your readers more likely to return (web surfers like user-friendly sites) as well as helping your site’s search engine optimization.

There are three main types of sitemap:

1. indexed – the sitemap is in the form of an alphabetized listing of pages, with no relationship between pages being given.

2. Full categorical – The sitemap shows all of the links on the site, listed by category. Users tend to like this type the best, since it provides them a way of looking up information by topic; this makes comparison of content by category simpler.

3. Restricted categorical – The sitemap lists all of the link in a site by category, with only one category listed at a time. This makes for easy category by category viewing. Within any of these types, there are ways to make a better sitemap. Here are five things which can help you do so.

1. Make the sitemap linked to just your homepage. This forces search engine robots to begin indexing your page from the homepage on down; this means that every page on your site will be index by search engines.

2. Don’t let your sitemap become more than 30 pages in length. More than this can lead search engines to assume that your website is only a link farm, which will lead to your site being penalized. This will also mean that your site is not crowded with links.

3. Go through all of the links on your sitemap and make sure that there are no broken or dead links there. Visitors dislike 404 messages; so test all of your links via the sitemap and then go through your site itself to make sure that each page’s links are working.

4. Give keyword-rich titles to your sitemaps. This helps out your website with search engine optimization and helps search engine robots to properly index your site by category.

5. Provide a short description for the links. This will make things easier for your visitors and save them time.

6. Make sure that your sitemap’s design matches with that of all the other pages on your website – this helps you to maintain a consistent look and brand identity for your website.

The tips above will enable you to create a sitemap which is aesthetically appealing and easy for your visitors to use – thus keeping your visitors coming back and letting search engines easily index your site for better search engine rankings.

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