Fortune teller. When you think about the SEO of a website , concepts such as keywords, link building, responsive design, loading time , etc. surely come to mind .
All of them with the same goal: to achieve good positions in Google search engines , the great lord and master of online traffic .
However, there are many other factors that SEO (Search Engine Optimization, in case you still didn't know) takes into account to make Google fall in love, or not . One of these elements is the sitemap .
However, the sitemap is usually the last big thing in the jar: very few people pay it the attention it deserves. And yes, he deserves it!
For this reason, this time we are going to focus on defining what the sitemap is, what it is for and how and when to make the most of it .
If you want to know all the SEO tools you can use to improve your site, don't forget to read this article .
As you might guess from the name, if you know a little English, a sitemap is literally a map of your website .
Spinning a little finer, a sitemap is an XML file that provides a list of all the URLs of a website that we want to index when doing a search on it. That is to say: this list is used so that Google can show them in its search results when a user makes a query that has a reference to our site.
Like any map, the sitemap allows you to trace a path to follow . In this case, whoever goes through it will be the crawler (spider) . The crawler is a robot that is responsible for tracking web pages on the Internet that are relevant to each specific search . And, of course, our top crawler is the Google Bot (you didn't think Google was going to be left out, did you?).
Therefore, the sitemap of our site is a way to help Google find all the content that our page has to offer to its search engines .
With this help, all the processes, both the content crawl time and the loading time of our page, will be more agile and effective .
However, the sitemap does not contain absolutely all the URLs of your website, but only the most important ones . Therefore, it is important that your sitemap is hierarchical and that it gives priority to the most important pages for your business, brand, startup or whatever.
We have already made it clear what a sitemap is and what it is for, right? So now it's time to delve a little deeper into the question and find out in which situations it is convenient to use a sitemap .
Creating a sitemap is a basic recommendation for any blog or website because, as we have already established, it helps Google find you more easily.
However, there are some specific cases in which the sitemap goes from being a basic recommendation to becoming something substantial .
Let's see what they are.
If your website is constantly updated , or if you add new content frequently, yes or yes you should create a sitemap .
An example of this type of sites are news portals , blogs and e-commerce stores .
There are some sites that have a particularly difficult time finding a good place in the search engines . In these cases, it is super important to create a sitemap to boost those searches in your favor .
This case occurs, for example, in sites with Ajax, Flash languages or in those created through Wix .
If a website was created recently, chances are it does n't have a high authority yet . And we all know that Google doesn't like sites without authority , so it will take longer to find the URLs indexed to one of them.
How to improve this?
Yes, of course: with a sitemap.
Note: Clarify that the sitemap is simply to make life easier for Google and so that it understands what our page is about. Do not think that by creating a sitemap you will have poor articles positioned in the first place.
If you have a website without many inbound links , it is likely that the crawler, or the spiders, will dismiss it as irrelevant . A sitemap can help you avoid this.
Just as there are different types of businesses on the Internet, there are also different types of sitemaps .
If you are even a little observant, you will have noticed that the Google search engine is divided into tabs: “ Images ”, “ Videos ” and “ News ”. This search optimization is, of course, created from sitemaps.
This means, then, that we have several types of sitemaps: image, video and news URLs can also be indexed .
In the case of videos, it is important that the sitemap indicates the thumbnail image, the description and the duration time .
In the case of news, it is important to request that the Google News editors central include the article in that tab.