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What is a Sitemap and why do you need one?

Sitemap
If you've spent a good deal of time, effort, and money creating the perfect website, don't let it go unnoticed wiht the absence of a Sitemap. The good news is the hard part is over! Creating and implementing a Sitemap is extremely easy and beneficial. So, what exactly is a Sitemap and why do you need one? Simply put, a XML Sitemap is a list of pages that are on your website. All websites should have one to ensure search engines can properly index and crawl your website. In Google's words:
 
“Sitemaps are a way to tell Google about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover. In its simplest terms, an XML Sitemap—usually called Sitemap, with a capital S—is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google's normal crawling process.”
 
Why do you need a Sitemap?
Basically, without a Sitemap you have not alerted Google that your website exists and which pages to crawl. A large portion of your pages might not be indexed by these popular search engines. A website could be active for months without Google indexing any pages and thus your traffic could be significantly lower. For new, smaller websites, Sitemaps are extremely helpful. Your website doesn’t have many reputable backlinks yet, so Sitemaps jumpstart the process for Google to crawl the links that are actually on your site. This is the case for blog posts as well. For larger websites that have been around for longer, Sitemaps communicate with search engines about the information on your website. It tells Google what content is on your site, how often it’s updated, and how often you expect the page to change. Google can better crawl and index pages that are relevant and get your website in front of the eyes of potential customers. 
 
Sitemaps can be installed using free plugins, add-ons, or modules for most CMS websites. BigCommerce users, you’re in luck. BigCommerce provides an auto-generated XML Sitemap found by going to http://www.yourdomain.com/xmlsitemap.php
 
We highly recommend that you submit your Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools to view specific data like on-page crawl issues, pages indexed, and other relevant information about your site. Remember, setting up a Sitemap is imperative and super easy, so head on over to your browser and double check that your website has a Sitemap installed for crawling purposes!
 
Learn more about installing a Sitemap on a Wordpress site.

 

If you’ve spent a good deal of time, effort, and money creating the perfect website, don’t let it go unnoticed with the absence of a sitemap! A Sitemap tells search engines which pages exist on your website so they can be properly crawled.

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