What Is A Sitemap And Why Is It Important? …And Does Your Website Need One?

If you're here, then you might be struggling to understand what a sitemap is and if you should bother adding one to your website. So what the heck is a sitemap? Well, a sitemap is something that's used in the world of SEO and getting your content found by search engines.

Show Notes

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Transcription

See, here's how it works: In order to have your web pages, articles, blog posts, and other content show up in search results, search engines first have to know about your website and all your web pages. This is where a sitemap for your website comes in.

A sitemap is simply a document that lists out links to all the pages, posts, and other content on your website. More specifically, a sitemap is a document that lists links to all the pages in your website that you want search engines to find, index, and include in search results...

...because sometimes you might not want a page to be crawled, indexed, and added to search results -- maybe like a special offer page or a sign up page. In order to add your website and web pages to search results, search engines use automated software called spiders or web crawlers.

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This software's job is to go out onto the web, find content, and then add it to search engine's massive index database of web content. It's this index that's queried from anytime an internet user searches using a search engine.

And so what a sitemap does is give web crawlers and spiders a complete and updated listing of all the content and pages on your website that you'd like added to search engines. That's the gist -- I hope it all makes sense!

So essentially, sitemaps tell search engines about the content on your website. This means that they're extremely important for your website's SEO. And so therefore, sitemaps are really intended for web crawlers and search engines, not for your website visitors.

That said, some websites still have user-friendly sitemaps to help visitors navigate through their content...but that's really up to the website owner. Many, many moons ago, we used to manually create sitemaps by hand...and then have to update them anytime content on our website changed.

But thankfully today, there are many ways to automatically generate and update a sitemap for your website.

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Geoff Blake, Ten Ton Online

Hey there, I’m Geoff! Business, marketing, and the web can seem like a tangled, confusing mess, right? Well if you wanna get clear, straight info on all this stuff (no gimmicks or hypey nonsense)...then you're definitely in the right spot! Start here (free!)