What is an XML Sitemap and How Can it Help SEO? For those of you whose eyes glaze over when the talk or text shifts technical details, here’s the quick and dirty on how XML Sitemaps relate to SEO.
First – Who We Are and Why We Think You Might Care
We work mainly with small to medium sized business owners in Vancouver and some across Canada. Our clients generally don’t have a huge/any IT department to relegate tech tasks to. Many of our clients would like some knowledge of SEO (since they’re paying us to do it!), what the heck it is we do for them, and how to best allocate their SEO budget.
What is an XML Sitemap and How Can it Help SEO?
An XML sitemap will list all the webpages on your website and their architecture tree. For example, top level pages and sub-pages. This will make it possible and easy for the Google bots to have knowledge of the pages you want them to, no matter how deeply buried in the site they are.
Importantly, the XML sitemap will also contain meta-data such as the date each individual page is created. So if the Google bot that is crawling the site notices duplicate web copy on someone else’s site, it can instantly tell which content was created first, and thus grant the Google brownie points to the original. Which is what you want –> for Google to view your site favourably and for your website to appear on page 1 or 2 of the search results for your relevant terms.
Also in the meta data will be info such as how often the site is updated, again, brownie points from Google.
For those of you who would like to dive more deeply into the ins and outs and gain more information on Sitemaps, we recommend jumping over to this great article: XML Sitemaps Still Matter for SEO – Here’s Why by slickplan.
Creating and Submitting an XML Sitemap is Fast and Easy!
The great news is that there are many programs these days that will create and maintain an XML Sitemap for you, there is no need to tediously create an XML sitemap manually.
We do mostly WordPress sites, and use the plugin ‘Yoast SEO’. With the click of a button, Yoast will auto-generate and maintain the XML sitemap – woo hoo!
Let us mention here that we really love Yoast, it encourages SEO accountability and will let us know if something has been missed or can be improved.
The ‘trickiest part’ is submitting the sitemap to Google and Bing, which we do on your behalf in our launch / SEO success phase!
Drop us a Line
Give us a call or email, we’d love to hear from you! We can explain what an XML Sitemap and How Can it Help SEO, or any one of hundreds of other web marketing and SEO topics and best practices.