Article on Sitemaps
By Real Wisconsin Website Design Wednesday, September 20, 2017
What Are the SEO Benefits of XML & HTML Sitemaps?
A sitemap is (usually) an XML document, containing a list of pages on your website that you have chosen to tell Google and other search engines to index.
Google often uses the sitemap file as a guide to the pages available on your website — even though it may decide not to index every page you list on your sitemap.
The sitemap also carries information about each page, including when it was created and last modified, and its importance relative to other pages on your site. This speeds up the process of indexing pages.
A sitemap is one of those rare things in SEO that Google has given the big thumbs up to. Normally, Google likes to talk to website owners in cryptic riddles.
However, for sitemaps, Google makes it pretty clear:
“If your site’s pages are properly linked, our web crawlers can usually discover most of your site. Even so, a sitemap can improve the crawling of your site, particularly if your site meets one of the following criteria …”
Which websites need a sitemap?
In “the following criteria”, Google claims that sitemaps are helpful for…
Websites with lots of content that’s not well linked
Websites with rich media content
It’s clear from the above that the majority of websites should have a sitemap.
Are there any risks to having a sitemap?
Sitemaps are a rare, beautiful, wonderful part of SEO. Having a sitemap poses no risks to website owners — only benefits.
While Google does make a point of saying it cannot guarantee that its bots will even read a sitemap, it also points out:
“In most cases, your site will benefit from having a sitemap, and you’ll never be penalized for having one.”
To sum up,
Google has confirmed that you won’t get punished for a sitemap and that it might help your website. With that information, you can see precisely why every website that wants to rank on Google needs one. Whenever I start working with a client on an SEO campaign, I always recommend a sitemap as part of the process.
Should I have an XML sitemap or an HTML sitemap?
The difference is that XML sitemaps are written for search engines and HTML sitemaps are written for humans.
An XML sitemap is specifically written for search engine spiders. A search engine spider can quickly and easily extract all the important pieces of information about your site by looking at the XML file.
An HTML sitemap enables lost human users to find a page on your site that they are looking for. Remember that search engines reward sites that are easy to use and that, in many cases, you can improve your site’s ranking by improving your user experience. It may be the case that you provide a better user experience by providing an HTML sitemap.
Creating an XML sitemap and an HTML sitemap is worthwhile for website owners who want to make sure they’re doing everything they can to please the SEO gods. Though there’s no concrete evidence that a sitemap will benefit your website, there’s a good chance that it will — and with no risk of penalization, you should definitely set one up.
Here is a very important note:
All Websites created by Real Wisconsin Website Design includes a customized per website XML sitemap!
Furthermore your websites XML sitemap is Updated EVERY MONTH and also Every Time Anything is Changed on that website be it weekly, daily or hourly basis! Yet another reason to have Real Wisconsin Website Design build and maintain your website.
Link to Products: https://realwis.com/Products.html
Phone: (920) 785-1219
Robots.txt file = More Visibility
What Is It?
The purpose of a robots.txt file is to tell search engines not to crawl the contents of specific directories or even individual pages within a website. Since most people welcome Google and all the other search engines to check out their entire website, they don't bother making a robots.txt file.
However there are a couple of reasons why all websites would benefit from having one.
Note: The robots.txt file is a simple method of essentially easing the process for the spiders to return the most relevant search results.
The first thing search engines look for is the robots.txt file.
If they don't find one they assume it's okay to crawl the entire site and proceed to do so. But looking for a nonexistent robots file results in a list of "page not found" errors in the web server's error log.
By having the robots file, even if it's empty, will keep the error log from getting clogged with those errors thereby making it easier to find broken links and missing files when checking the log.
It will also save some bandwidth because whenever the server encounters a "page not found" error it consumes bandwidth.
This also increases spiderability for the search engines. Of course, even though this is a small aspect of the search engine optimization process, if utilized correctly, a robots.txt can be a significant benefit.
All Websites created by Real Wisconsin Website Design includes a customized per website robots.txt file!
Furthermore your websites robots.txt file is Updated EVERY MONTH and also Every Time Anything is Changed on that website be it weekly, daily or hourly basis! Yet another reason to have Real Wisconsin Website Design build and maintain your website.
Link to Products: https://realwis.com/Products.html
Phone: (920) 785-1219
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