Sitemaps are a way of presenting the visitors to see and navigate the layout of your website. Sitemaps are necessary not only for human visitors but search engines spiders as well. The sitemap acts like the outline of a book. The method of linking to your sitemap must always be visible on the homepage of your website as well as each page to make it easy for the visitors in locating it. The sitemap must include all of the major categories of your internet site with all relevant sub categories that are listed like table of contents in a book. The links in a book must be simple as well as descriptive so that visitors have a clear understanding of what they are navigating into. In short, every link must have a description of what the target page is about for every link. It ensures the human visitors to use your sitemap as a navigation system. By offering description for each link will offer search engine spiders with more keyword rich text so that sitemap pages can obtain a good ranking in search engines on their own.
Building a sitemap is crucial for better understanding of any website. If you just offer a list of links, the page will look skinny and will be of very little value to the visitors. Search engine spiders can find any and sometimes all of your web pages but designing a sitemap will add charm to your site.
You can use your sitemap as a default error page. A 404 error page represents a page that displays the page cannot be found and when this happens, majority of visitors hit the back button or go back to the search engine by looking for another site. By using your sitemap for this default error page, you gain the opportunity to keep the visitors that you may have lost. Your custom 404 error page must look like the rest of your website pages. Constructing a custom 404 error page is a crucial part of the search engine optimization process as well. During the lifespan of your website, the pages will be moved, edited or even removed. During the re-indexing of your website, instead of seeing the pages that no longer exist, the spider will be sent to the sitemap on the custom 404 page. It is far better to go through a page that has some content than going through a blank page. Descriptive site map page will enhance your search engine rankings.
For building a sitemap, go through the following points:-
- Design a creative sitemap for your webpage by using templates
- Link the sitemap page from the homepage for making it easy for both human visitors and search engines to reach the sitemap page easily
- Add descriptive content to each link and use targeted keywords in it
- Use anchor text as it increases link popularity in search engine optimization battle
5. You must organize the sitemap content into categories and sub-categories for helping the visitors with easy navigation.