One of the many issues we cover when we analyse websites of our new clients is the presence of sitemaps.
Sitemaps come in 2 different formats, HTML (which users and search engine spiders can see) and XML (which is purely for search engine spiders).
Their purpose is to provide an overview of all pages across your website. The HTML version has the added advantage of giving your website visitors another means of accessing pages on your site and when you set it up correctly, it creates a great user experience (something Google really loves!).
Some websites have only the HTML version, some only have the XML version but many don’t have either! So what do yo do?
It’s a problem because it’s one of the easiest ways to help search engines find out more about your website by pointing them to the exact location of all of your content.
Poor accessibility is one of the main reasons why many sites don’t rank well (or at all). If you’re not allowing search engines to see your content, how will it make up its mind about what your site is most relevant for?
Sitemaps are very easy to setup and you should check with your current website or when your new site is being designed. There is a tendency for Google to prefer HTML sitemaps over XML sitemaps but given how easy it is to set both up, you should aim to have both types of sitemaps on your website, no excuses!
Some CMS even have features that automatically update your sitemaps to reflect changes in your content (adding/removing pages) and this is something to look out for.
If you need help setting up sitemaps for your website, get in touch and we’ll help out.