What is an XML Sitemap?

What is an XML Sitemap?

An XML sitemap is a document that assists search engines in the discovery of all important pages within a website through the presentation of page URLs and the date each page was last modified (updated).

Benefits of an XML Sitemap

There are a number of benefits resulting from the implementation of an XML sitemap. Perhaps among the most important advantage, from an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) standpoint, is that an XML sitemap enables Google and other search engines, to crawl your web pages of content more promptly when new content is published. That’s because when the last modified dates in the XML sitemap are updated, it lets search engines like Google know that there is new content to crawl and index. Thus, use of an XML sitemap when you add fresh content to your website pages can help to improve your organic search rankings since Google can be alerted via a “ping” whenever your web page content has been updated or changed.

Other Benefits of an XML Sitemap:

Effective Way to Get All of Your Web Pages Found and Crawled.

Without an XML sitemap, some of your web pages may never get found by Google and other search engines. An XML sitemap makes it easy for all of your web pages to be crawled and indexed by Google and other search engines.

Content Prioritization.

An XML sitemap enables you to prioritize the importance of some web page content over others. This enables Google and other search engines to determine which pages should be crawled and indexed first.

Should I use an XML Sitemap?

Yes! Anything that can help your website to get crawled, indexed and ranked better organically, with minimal effort on your part, is certainly worth doing.

How to Create an XML Sitemap

If you are using a WordPress website, you have many choices of plugins that make creating XML sitemaps a matter of simply installing and activating a plugin. There are a number of highly rated, standalone, XML Sitemap plugins such as Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold and XML Sitemaps by Denis de Bernardy & Mike Koepke.

Alternatively, many popular SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO by Team Yoast and All in One SEO Pack by Michael Torbert, already include XML Sitemap support.

If you are using a static HTML website, you can use some free online XML sitemap generators such as XML-sitemaps.com

If you would like to learn more about XML sitemaps, contact our Scottsdale Web Design experts at Prominent Web Design.

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