What is a site map and do I need one?

Bath Marketing Consultancy have been asked a number of times recently about this subject so thought I would put together a brief explanation for you.

Basically, a sitemap of a website is similar to the table of contents of a book. Sitemaps are important because it guides web surfers to the particular part of the website they have a point of interest in. With it they would save time following links and get right to the point instead.

Sitemaps are also where search engines look at if somebody is looking for a particular keyword or phrase. If you have a site map, you can most likely be searched.Creating a sitemap, now with software technology surging in, is relatively easier than before. You need not be a programming guru to be one. All need is a notepad, a program editor, and some patience.
Here’s how you do it:

Where am I??
Create the listing on a notepad.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a notepad. Any word processing program will do. First off, make sure to type in all the parts and pieces of your website. Include all pages and all links you have. Create it as if you listing the contents of your book. Make a draft first. You’re sure no to miss something out this way.

Create a new page for your sitemap.
You can insert the sitemap on your website on one of its pages or you can create an entirely different page for it. Using your notepad, incorporate all tags necessary to it to make another webpage. Open up your website creator program and tag your sitemap using it. If you have created your website on your own, this will be easy for you.

Create a link for the sitemap.
You won’t be able to view the sitemap if you won’t put a link for it, of course. Create the link on the front page of your website so that visitors can view it right away and be directed appropriately.

Check your work.
It is important to validate the functionality of the links you created on the sitemap. Test each and every one in there and if you get an error, be sure to fix it accurately. Run through every page to make sure that all are accounted for. Check every single page to make sure that all are accounted for.

Upload your work.
Place the sitemap now on your live browser and double check it. It should function as smoothly as the dry run. Error should be minimal at this stage since you already have verified it locally.

The steps provided herewith is the manual way of creating a sitemap. These days, if you search hard enough on the web, you will find online programs that will do all these work for you. All you have to do it type in the URL or the link of your website and they will create the sitemap with click of a button.

Need help? email me paul@bathmarketingconsultancy.co.uk



4 thoughts on “What is a site map and do I need one?

  1. Dan May 5, 2010 / 9:37 am

    There are plenty of free tools out there these days that will generate the sitemap.xml that is used by search engines.They usually work by adding the URL for your website and clicking a button. You then simply download the sitemap that's generated and upload it to your web server.I often use http://www.xml-sitemaps.com but there's plenty of others out there, just do a search for "sitemaps"

  2. Unknown May 5, 2010 / 9:37 am

    There are plenty of free tools out there these days that will generate the sitemap.xml that is used by search engines.They usually work by adding the URL for your website and clicking a button. You then simply download the sitemap that's generated and upload it to your web server.I often use http://www.xml-sitemaps.com but there's plenty of others out there, just do a search for \”sitemaps\”

  3. Bang on Dan and thanks for your comment. There are loads of free ones available, but it is just as easy to speak to your web designer to do it for you.

  4. Paul Tagent May 5, 2010 / 12:03 pm

    Bang on Dan and thanks for your comment. There are loads of free ones available, but it is just as easy to speak to your web designer to do it for you.

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