Sitemap is created for different functions. There are only two important functions: for search engines and for ease of visitors of the website.
Search engines bots and real people see the website differently. Search engines bots look in the code, it’s important for them to get information in XML format, and as for real visitors need for navigation.
In this article I will tell you how to create the right sitemap for both bots and real visitors.
Let’s create sitemap for bots.
For search engines we need to generate the file “sitemap.xml”. It can be created by different ways, for example with the help of the website xml-sitemaps.com. There are lots the free services like this one, but this website is convenient for sites with no more than 500 pages. If you need to generate a sitemap for some bigger website you have the variants like this:
- Buy the plan on this website and generate the sitemap for the site you need
- Find another service (there are lots)
We’ll talk about sitemap generation at xml-sitemaps.com.
After sitemap generation completes you will see the announcement that the sitemap is ready.
Our next actions:
- Download it
- Upload in the site root
- Add in Google Webmasters
Important: check the code
There can be URLs that you no need to show bots. Correct the site map and leave only those URLs that you need to be indexed by search engine bots.
If you generated sitemap with the help of free generator, you need to delete the ads that was added automatically in your sitemap:
You may create the sitemap with the help of Google Site Map Generator.
Advice: the experience shows that is better to buy the paid version of the sitemap generator described above than waste time with google generator.
- Generated sitemap
- Checked it
- Uploaded on host in the site root
We add it in Google Webmaster and that is all. The sitemap is ready.
For more big websites with lots of pages webmasters create several sitemaps but the way to create it the same.
For big websites sitemap is created for:
- Rss feed
- For mobile version of the website
After the sitemap is uploaded it looks like this:
Also there is plugins sitemap for CMS WordPress. There you can set up the page priority.
Sitemap for visitors or HTML version of sitemap.
HTML version of sitemap we can create by two ways:
- Ourselves (We by ourselves create the needed structure and place at the HTML page in the form of links)
- With the help of generator (f.ex. with the help of the sitemap generator described above). It will look like this:
Important: You need to create HTML page only with those links that must be in sitemap, without a standard menu where hundreds of links are not separated. I mean that HTML page contains only the links on the main pages and it’s designed for people, its main task is to show visitors well-structured information.
The next step:
- Upload the page on the host (server)
- Set up the link to the sitemap in the footer
The work with sitemap is finished.