An XML sitemap is a file that lists a website’s important pages, making sure Google can find and crawl them all. It also helps search engines understand your website structure. You want Google to find your website and also tell search engines which pages on your site are most important. But sometimes, pages end up without any internal links pointing to them, making them hard to find. A sitemap can help speed up content discovery.
XML sitemaps have a unique structure, in that they can’t be seen by the end-user, and it’s only used as a way to inform a search engine of the content within a web page on a site, how often the content of the pages is updated, and finally the general importance of the pages in relation to each other.
Why XML Sitemap is important?
The search engine will use data from the site map located in a specific place. This is important because if you have a million URLs on your website, you want to make sure that search engines can find you easier to crawl and find your webpages.
XML sitemaps are recognized by all of the most popular search engines, enabling one single file to be submitted; and when there are changes made to the website, the file can simply be updated as needed. This makes it so that you can improve the content on your website with less effort. And when you employ a sitemap generator, it gets even easier.
Having XML sitemaps allows search engines to crawl and index a website sufficiently, and allows all search engines to be notified of the site map by inserting it into the robots.txt file.
In a nutshell, sitemaps enhance the ranking of a website in search engine results, thus boosting SEO efforts. When a website is ranked high on a search engine results page, the website will become visible to a greater number of internet users, it will increasing the traffic to the website. All in all, this is beneficial to both the website creator as well as the user.
It is best practice when using a single XML sitemap that it be updated at least one time per day if the website changes that often. What is the best practice for using XML?
- Include hreflang tags in XML sitemaps
- Include the <loc> and <lastmod> tags
- Compress sitemap files using gzip
- Use a sitemap index file
- Use image, video and Google news sitemaps only if indexation drives your KPIs. Sagara Technology