What is an XML Sitemap?
An XML sitemap is a roadmap of your website. It has all the pages on the site linked together. XML sitemap guides Google through all the pages of your website, and it makes retrieving relevant content for Google faster and more efficient.
How does XML Sitemap Work?
When Google is asked to look up for a certain keyword or particular content, Google searches through the galaxies of content that are available on the internet, Submitting an XML sitemap of your website to Google is beneficial for you and your site. With this tool, Google indexes all the content (that’s meant to be indexed). It crawls through all the pages that a website has and indexes them so that retrieving any content is quicker.
One of the most prominent and significant benefits you get when you create XML sitemap is that even if the interlinking of the pages within a website is not on-point or flawed, sitemap helps index each page which ensures that no part of your site and no piece of content goes untouched.
Benefits of Having XML Sitemap:
The XML sitemap is one of the most commonly misunderstood and underrated tools in the world of SEO. Since XML sitemaps can be a bit confusing for anyone who is new to this field, a guide would not hurt. We have some of the most commonly found misconceptions about XML sitemaps that we have listed down for you.
1. More Visitors
People think that Google has indexed our website because we asked for it. In reality, Google indexes the website because it crawled through the content. The index generated in a sitemap contains each page of a website that Google crawled to.
It also means that Google found the data worth being indexed. With this tool, you can have more visitors landing upon your website because all the pages have been thoroughly assessed and indexed in an XML sitemap.
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2. Improved Quality of Website
You can maintain the overall site quality with a sitemap. Let’s say, your website has 20 pages in all. Not all 20 pages would have content that would keep the visitor keep coming back to your website.
When you create XML sitemap, you can filter out which pages you want to index so that if your website appears in certain searches, your visitor lands to pages that you want them to land on rather than those which are not very fruitful.
When you submit a sitemap of these fruitful pages to Google, it also assesses the content and categories it is in which makes the appearance of results quicker and more efficient.
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Cautions While Creating XML Sitemap
One thing that you should remember when you set out to the create XML sitemap is that Google would not be confined to the pages you submit in your XML sitemap. The pages you submit as XML sitemap gives Google an idea about the content your website has, it would also crawl all other pages linked to them. So, you should be cautious enough to check all the pages Google is searching and see pages you might have missed out in your XML sitemap, or if there are any pages which, you do not want Google to direct any visitors to, make sure to add the no-index attribute to them.
XML sitemap not just increases the relevant appearances in searches but also helps you improve the overall quality of the website.
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Which Websites Can Use XML Sitemap?
XML Sitemaps are suitable for all types of websites. However, there are some websites which can make better use of XML sitemaps than the others. These are listed for a better understanding below:
- If your website is huge, XML sitemap can simplify it. A large website would mean more pages. Not all pages are linked on a website flawlessly. With XML sitemap, you can make sure all the relevant pages have been covered and that none of these pages are missed when Google looks up for content.
- If your website has a large number of archives, XML sitemaps are a perfect tool for you. XML sitemap would not only help you index the relevant pages but will also help you filter and clean your website, and it can also help you manage which pages you want to be indexed on Google.
- If your website is new and has only a few incoming links to it, XML sitemap can help in visitor generation and promote to a broader audience with its primary character and that is, linking all the content on your website and making the content available readily.
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XML Sitemap Generators:
If you wish to create a sitemap for your website, you can use any XML sitemap generator availableonline.
Most websites have hundreds and thousands of pages, and it is nearly impossible to create a sitemap manually. Even if one sets out on a mission to create a sitemap for his website, it will take a very long time. With numerous tools for generation of a sitemap, you can conveniently create an XML sitemap.
If you use WordPress as a CMS of your site, you can install Yoast SEO Plugin to generate a sitemap for you easily without much hassle.
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Some generators of XML sitemaps have been listed for your ease:
- Prepostseo.com: One of the best sitemap generators. It creates 3 types of sitemaps; text, HTML, and XML.
- Slickplan.com: Covers all the loopholes that may be present in visual sitemaps.
- Writemaps.com: this sitemap generator is suitable for small projects and lets you plan about the content while displaying the content on other sitemaps.
- Powermapper.com: this tool helps you create a sitemap with thumbnails of the pages on your website.
- Phpsitemapng: it helps in the creation of Google sitemaps, text-based sitemap, RSS-based sitemaps as well as HTML-based sitemaps for your site.
XML sitemaps are useful for new as well as old websites, big websites and small. They are a tool that every person who owns or work for a website should use. Most importantly, the creation of a sitemap has been made feasible with XML sitemap generators that are easily available online.
Since this is a tool that not everyone can easily understand and use fluently, many pieces of training are available online that will guide you step by step about how to create XML sitemap of your website.