Good Design Practice – Importance of SiteMaps

Website Design

As the name implies a sitemap literally acts as a map of your website. In general, there are two types of sitemaps. The first type of sitemap is an HTML page listing the pages of your site, often by categories, and is meant to help users find the information they are seeking. While this type of sitemap can help both visitors and search engines navigate your site, it’s different from an XML Sitemap.

An XML Sitemaps is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.

Now let’s go over some of the reasons that you will want to include a sitemap in your design.

Easy navigation

As I briefly mentioned above, a sitemap literally acts as a map of your site. If your visitors browse your site and get lost between the pages on your site, they can always refer to your sitemap to see where they are, and navigate through your pages with the utmost ease.

Presenting your site’s purpose

When your visitors load up your sitemap, they will get the gist of your site within a very short amount of time. There is no need to get the “big picture” of your site by reading through each page, and by doing that you will be saving your visitors’ time.

Search engine ranking

When you create a sitemap, you are actually creating a single page which contains links to every single page on your site. So when search engine robots hit this page they will follow the links on the sitemap and naturally spider every single page.

Organization and relevance

A sitemap enables you to have a complete bird’s eye view of your site structure, and whenever you need to add new content or new sections, you will be able to take the existing hierarchy into consideration just by glancing at the sitemap. As a result, you will have a perfectly organized site with everything sorted according to their relevance.

Keep in mind that not every site needs a site map. But those that do should be sure that the sitemap they create is actually beneficial. The best way to do that is to make sure your sitemap provides maximum usability for visitors and search engine spiders.

Another benefit of having a good site map is that potential advertisers will find it easy to best position themselves in the different pages of your website where they can advertise. This will mean additional income for you.

The benefits of sitemaps are worth the time and effort to create them. Not only will they help you in designing your website, but they will also ease the navigation for your visitors, help your website in search engine rankings, increase traffic to your site, and provide you an income from advertisements.

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