How to Create SEO friendly XML Sitemaps
XML sitemaps are incredibly useful nowadays, especially in SEO, as they have replaced the dated method of filling out tons of forms and submitting your site to major search engines one at a time. Now, one can simply create a sitemap file and either submit it directly to search engines or wait for them to recognize it. All an XML sitemap actually is, is a file on the website that shows all search engines what other files and links are on the site.
There are two basic types of sitemaps: either an HTML page or an XML file. The former is simply a single page that allows the visitors to see all the files and pages on the websites. (This is rather rudimentary, and is now being replaced by the latter method.)
An XML sitemap, however, is not meant for the visitor. That is, it’s not supposed to be aesthetically pleasing, like an HTML sitemap is. An XML sitemap allows search engine crawlers to see what pages exist and what updates or changes have been made, if any.
The four major search engines are the ones that are doing the crawling: Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask. It is important to note that the act of using an XML sitemap does not guarantee that all links on the website will be crawled. That said, using a sitemap is still without doubt the best means for getting all the major search engines to not only recognize your site, but properly index it as well.
Although creating an XML sitemap can seem daunting, it really isn’t. The first thing to do is to go to http://xml-sitemaps.com. Once there, enter your website’s URL and then fill out the other necessary fields: the frequency with which you typically update your site, as well as when you made your last modification. Finally, make sure to leave the priority set as automatic. Then simply click Start wait for your sitemap to be generated, and click the download link to get your XML sitemap file.
Although the steps are few, it is still necessary to perform them as accurately as possible. If not, you will not maximize the efficacy of your XML sitemap. Make sure you know as accurately as possible how often you update your website and when you last modified it.
If you have any comments or questions, please let us know.