Sitemap Best Practices in 2021 to Improve Your SEO
Is it necessary to have a sitemap with SEO? How can sitemap assist in SEO? What is the main motto of a sitemap? You may have lots of other queries in your mind. Stay with us to know the best answers for all these queries.
A sitemap is a webpage that associates all your website pages together and makes them accessible to search engine crawlers and visitors as well. The layout of this web page is often hierarchical and you can create it using sitemap generators.
Know the types of sitemaps:
- XML sitemap
- HTML sitemap
- Image sitemap
- Video sitemap
Users don't need to see XML (a structured document) however if required they can type in the full URL of the XML document. These are used to inform the search engine about the pages of your website, their updates and importance to each other. This sitemap has replaced the conventional way of submitting a website to Google. After creating sitemap from sitemap generators you can submit it directly to the search engine.
Using it, you can enable search engine crawlers, and web users find contents in your website. It doesn't require incorporating every subpage of the website.
Images are an unbreakable and vital part of any website. Image sitemap is also an XML document and tells the search engine about all images available in your website. Additionally, it shows these images in the search results. They enable Google to find the images on your website, that it may not locate with regular crawling.
Videos are one of the most popular tools to improve the traffic to a website and get potential customers. Additionally, you can easily convey the details of your products and services by using a video to the users. Creating video sitemap from relevant sitemap generators and by using it, you can tell Google about the title, description, category, dedicated audience and running time for each video in your website. It will enable the search engine to know all about the content of your videos and improve the listing of on video search results.
Read also : What is a Sitemap in SEO?
Know Sitemap Best Practices in 2021 to Improve Your SEO
- Use proper plugins and tools to create the sitemap automatically.
It is easy to generate a sitemap using the right tools and plugins like Google XML sitemaps. With WordPress, you will have a Yoast SEO plugin that already offers XML sitemaps as well as you can use software offering inbuilt sitemap generators. Also, you can create a sitemap manually by following proper code structure. Alternatively, you can create a text file with each URL separated with a new line. However, to implement and leverage the benefits of hreflang attribute, it is ideal for generating a sitemap using a tool or plugin.
- Submit the sitemap to Google
From your search console, you can easily submit the sitemap of your website. After submitting it, you should test it and check the outcomes before you submit it to check for errors; otherwise, it may prevent the indexing of landing pages. Submitting a sitemap to Google tells the search engine about which pages are worthy for indexation however, there is no guarantee that all they will be indexed.
- Leave noindex URLs from the sitemap
A sitemap enables the search engine and visitors to crawl and navigate your website, respectively. If you add noindex pages to it, then it may affect your crawl budget as well as it will create a dilemma for the search engine.
- Always maintain the file size
Keep the file size smaller as it will put less load on your server.
- Never include broken URLs and redirects
It is highly recommended to include only the currently live pages in your website and remove the URLs that redirects or show 404 errors.
- Use RSS/Atom feeds
RSS or Atom feeds used to notify the search engine whenever you add fresh content or add a new page to your website. Google suggests using both RSS/Atom feeds as well as XML sitemaps to enable it better understand which pages need updates and indexing.
In this writing, we have seen some of the vital aspects of Google sitemap. It is essential to create it using proper sitemap generators. Now you have a better idea about the best practices of sitemap in 2021 to improve your SEO.