What is a Sitemap?
Let us understand what a Sitemap is – Basically, the sitemap is a list of web-pages of a website which are available on a single page. For every website, a sitemap is essential because it allows search engines to crawl the site more actively. Sitemap XML file mainly consists of some additional information about Website URLs like;
- URL Location – Location of the web page.
- Last update – Last update details of the URL. (Ex: <lastmod>2018–02–01</lastmod>)
- Frequency – How often it can be updated like weekly, daily, monthly, yearly, etc. (Ex: <changefreq>weekly</changefreq>)
- Priority – How important the URL is when compared with other URLs in the website. Priority range starts from 0 to 1 (Ex: <priority>0.9</priority>)
To generate Sitemap we use the tool called https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/. Sitemap is in two types:
- 1) Html meant for User (Designed by Programmer or Site Author)
- 2) XML meant for crawler (Can be created by using online Sitemap tool or manual programming)
For any website you find-out the Sitemap file by entering website name followed by sitemap.xml at the end, below you can check out the examples.
- Example: smartzworld.com/sitemap.xml, digiaims.com/sitemap.xml, https://tutorials.smartzworld.com/sitemap.xml, etc.
Sitemap need to be submitted to Google Webmaster tools & Other Search engine webmaster tools to find out the crawl-able web-pages faster and index them quickly in SERP.
For coding developed websites (like HTML, PHP, etc.) you need to write down the sitemap separately and upload it into the website main directory folder. For Content Management System (CMS like WordPress, Drupal, etc.) based websites you can automatically generate the sitemap by using plugins.
To understand the structure of the Sitemap, how it looks like, we have prepared a sample sitemap for you below. You can copy the code from the lines below, and adjust it to your needs by replacing data like (location, lastmod, changefreq, urls).
<?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“UTF-8”?><urlset xmlns=“http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9”><url><loc>http://www.domain.com /</loc><lastmod>2017–01–01</lastmod><changefreq>weekly</changefreq><priority>0.8</priority></url><url><loc>http://www.domain.com/catalog?item=vacation_hawaii</loc><changefreq>weekly</changefreq></url><url><loc>http://www.domain.com/catalog?item=vacation_new_zealand</loc><lastmod>2008–12–23</lastmod><changefreq>weekly</changefreq></url><url><loc>http://www.domain.com/catalog?item=vacation_newfoundland</loc><lastmod>2008–12–23T18:00:15+00:00</lastmod><priority>0.3</priority></url><url><loc>http://www.domain.com/catalog?item=vacation_usa</loc><lastmod>2008–11–23</lastmod></url></urlset>
Key points to remember about Sitemap:
- Sitemap helps the crawlers to find out all the web pages in your website and helps to crawl web-pages easily.
- It’s one of the critical factors for SEO.
- Main Factors involved in Sitemap are URL Location, Priority, Frequency, Last Modified Date details. (as mentioned in the above sitemap example).
- Sitemap need to be submitted to Google Webmaster tools & Other Search engine webmaster tools to find out the webpages faster and index them quickly in SERP.