A sitemap directs visitors to specific areas of your website. It plays an important role in general because it’s where visitors go if they can’t find what they’re looking for in the on-site search or dropdown menus.
Sitemaps are coding languages used to create web pages in websites, and there are two types: extensible markup language (XML) sitemaps and hypertext markup language (HTML) sitemaps. The main distinction is that HTML sitemaps are designed to make websites more user-friendly whereas XML sitemaps are created solely for search engine spiders or crawlers.
Although search engine spiders prioritize XML sitemaps for rapid crawling, avoid overlooking the important role that an HTML sitemap plays. Remember that user experience is also a factor when search engines rank websites. When a website has an HTML sitemap, it shows user-friendly functionality. Consider creating a sitemap if you want your website to stand out in functionality and search engine optimization (SEO).
An HTML sitemap can make websites more user-friendly. Here are other reasons why an HTML sitemap is a must-have for your website:
- It Organizes And Manages Large Websites
A website will almost certainly expand over time, especially if you decide to add an eCommerce store or expand your product portfolio. Although the expansion of your website is beneficial to your business, it can be confusing for visitors who are unsure where to go or what you have to offer.
An HTML sitemap acts as a directory for all web pages, making it easy for visitors to find what they need.
- It Increases Your Search Engine Visibility
Most of the major search engines might not be in the process of indexing every webpage. If you have a link on your site, the search bots might want to follow that link. These bots attempt to verify that the link makes sense. During this time, the bots may or may not continue to index the remaining pages.
The HTML sitemap will guide these bots, allowing them to get a good understanding of your website. It’ll even make it easier for the bots to complete their tasks and stay longer on the navigation page that has been set up for them.
The hierarchy helps visitors find what they’re looking for on a website, and it’s useful for crawlers as well. The HTML sitemap will help crawlers fully understand the taxonomy of the website.
- It Serves As A Template For Your Website
An HTML sitemap functions as a blueprint for your website, serving as a project management tool. Normally, it oversees the overall structure and connections between pages and subpages. It ensures that your website’s hierarchy is consistent too.
- It Emphasizes The Website’s Purpose
The HTML sitemap is a content-based document that specifies the value of your website. You can maximize this by utilizing SEO to pinpoint highly distinct and appropriate keywords in the sitemap.
- It Makes It Convenient For Search Engines To Categorize The Content On Your Website
Although XML sitemaps are typically a list of links, a well-structured HTML sitemap will assist crawlers in quickly determining which pages should be prioritized.
- It Makes Use Of The Page Links In A Natural Way
One of the undeniable benefits of using an HTML sitemap is that it allows you to build a universe of page links naturally. An HTML sitemap helps connect web pages by grouping links on a map and organizing them according to the website structure.
Aside from clicking on wanted links, visitors can see more pages listed in the sitemap. As a result, the sitemap can assist in driving a large volume of traffic to your site while also lengthening the customer’s journey or time spent on a page.
- It Allows Links To Drive Traffic To Your Website
Every page is connected via a link in the footer or header. An HTML sitemap will help visitors find what they’re looking for, so it’ll represent a visitor’s journey and direct them from search to conversion. It can improve the visibility of these linked pages for organic searches.
By and large, it guarantees that your website has no orphan pages, which is a page that lacks any links.
- It Determines Which Areas Could Use Some Work
When duplicate data appears on your website as it grows, it becomes a problem for search engines. Luckily, once you map out everything, you can utilize the sitemap to find any duplicates and remove them. Remember, this only works if the sitemap has an owner who inspects it regularly.
When you use analytics tools, you may discover that visitors are more likely to use the sitemap than the navigation. If the current navigation is off the mark, take it as a sign that you need to rethink why it’s happening. Make it a priority to figure out how to change the site architecture to make it convenient for visitors to find what they need.
If you don’t have an HTML sitemap, consider developing one immediately. When utilizing a platform, such as WordPress, you should use sitemap plug-ins that automate the sitemap development and management process. A web crawl would be required for large sites, so you could use the output as a guide in organizing all the web pages.
Once you’ve created a sitemap, make sure to include a link to it on your website that’s easily accessible, such as at the top, in the sidebar, or the footer menu, so visitors can access it even as they navigate from page to page.