A sitemap provides search engines and users a detailed map of your website pages Creating a professional sitemap lets the search engine know where to locate the pages of the site. If your site is not well laid out and has the is missing the proper internal linking, your website is most likely not being index correctly. There are several issues that may cause your website to lack relevancy that could cause a crawling problem on your site. A sitemap is going to be the tool that can give spiders a better sense of direction, while assuring that your site gets crawled. Here’s how you can submit your sitemap to search engines for enhancing the results of your SEO efforts.
There are 2 popular types of sitemaps your website will work with. These two types are HTML sitemaps and XHTML Sitemaps. Although very similar in data, complete different in presentation and uses.
The most commonly displayed sitemaps on the web are HTML sitemaps. They show the page structure of the website and all pages within.
Google Webmaster Tools:
Google Webmaster Tools has a utility that not only allows you to submit a sitemap and crawl it on a regular basis. Additionally, if there are any issues with your sitemap, Google Webmaster Tools will make you aware of the issue so that you can get the problem fixed as soon as possible. You can then compare the number of URLs you have on your web site to the number of URLs that are actually indexed within Google’s search engine.
Bing Webmaster Tools:
Like Google, Bing also has a set of webmaster tools where you can submit your sitemap. While the traffic you generate from Bing and Yahoo! is substantially less than that of Google, this is still a worthwhile effort that can help drive additional traffic to your website on a regular basis.
If you don’t know whether or not you have a sitemap, you can check two generic URLs that are generally used to host your sitemap. http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap or http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml are two of the most common formats for storing your sitemap. If you can’t find them here, consult with the help section of the platform you are using to learn how to access or create your sitemap.
It’s important to note that while a sitemap does help search engines crawl your site, it does not by any means guarantee that you’ll get good ranking for your website. Original and relevant content will always play a major role in assuring that your site ranks for the keywords you’re actually targeting. Sitemaps are merely a best practice among the most common SEO techniques and strategies available to web developers today.