Everything You Need to Know About Sitemaps


When people think about sitemaps, most automatically focus on visual sitemaps that are often used in the discovery and planning phase of your website project. However, the truth is that it’s important for all websites to have visual sitemaps, xml sitemap and html sitemap—all of which can be created seamlessly with a sitemap generator. While it’s possible to create these sitemaps manually, sitemap generators remove the hassle and allow you to focus on what matters most such as growing your business or website marketing.

So, what exactly are HTML and XML sitemaps?

HTML and XML sitemaps are both different in their purpose and structure. While HTML sitemaps are created for the user who is visiting your website and XML sitemaps are created for search engines to get visitors to your website by helping them get indexed. Both offer a hierarchical representation of the website, but the format is totally different. The HTML sitemap offers a visual and linear display of the parent-child relationships while the XML site is raw code that includes extra information like frequency and priority.

Creating an xml and html sitemap for your website has never been easier, thanks to innovative sitemap generators like DYNO Mapper. The days of spending countless hours creating a sitemap are over because this software can be used to create xml and html sitemaps for websites up to 50,000 pages automatically. If you have hundreds of thousands of website pages, sitemap generators can create multiple sitemaps at one time, without fail, in minutes. This means that instead of staring at your computer screen for days, your sitemaps will be finished in minutes and your site is ready to be crawled by Google bots.

Regardless of whether you’re creating multiple sitemaps for your website or one, you should always create a sitemap index file—something a sitemap generator will also create for you, automatically. This is basically a sitemap for your sitemap, listing all of the sitemaps on your website in one collective folder, thus making it a piece of cake for search engines to crawl efficiently. Multiple sitemaps should only be used when your site requirements exceed the size limitations provided for a single sitemap file.

A big question people ask about sitemaps is whether or not they need to create an additional sitemap for simple additions or website updates. If it’s not over-the-top changes and additions you won’t need to create a new sitemap because the search engines should be able to pick up on simple updates when they are crawling your website. At the same time, if you’ve made a significant update, you should have the sitemap re-crawled in order to keep your website relevant and current in search results.

In addition to a sitemap generator making the creation of sitemaps much easier, they will also ensure that each sitemap is impeccable. Even if you are someone who has been creating sitemaps manually for years, it’s not unheard of for there to be an error within a manually created sitemap (we are human, after all). A sitemap generator, however, will eliminate any of these worries as any errors within a sitemap file could negatively affect your website and how it’s indexed in the search engines. If it’s not indexed, it won’t appear and search results, which also means that it will be harder for your site to be found.

After you’ve created a sitemap you will want to perform regular content inventories and audits, features that will allow you to determine just how well your website is performing—another reason using a sitemap generator like DYNO Mapper is ideal because content inventories can be quite large.

What is a content inventory, you might ask? A content inventory essentially takes inventory of the content on your website including all text, images, documents and applications. To gain a true understanding from your content inventory you will need to assess each piece of content on your website to make sure it’s in the proper location and up to date, and make necessary changes.

After you’ve completed your content inventory you will be ready to turn that inventory into a significant content audit, one that will help to transform your website and its success. It is recommended that you perform an assessment of the raw data the content inventory provided you with. This assessment will vary from user to user depending on what you’re hoping to learn.

Upon completion of your assessment, you can choose what kind of content audit makes the most sense for you and your website needs. It’s common for audits to track what website pages should be removed, whether the content within the website should be revised or revamped, and what website content should be written or added to your website in order to fill in the gaps—all of which will provide you with the ultimate end-goal of ranking well in the search engines and surpassing your competitors.

All in all, sitemaps truly make a world of difference when it comes to the usability of your website and its user-experience, yet another perk of utilizing a sitemap generator. User experience, in many ways, is almost as important as design interface because it is all about how a person feels when they are interacting with your website. If the user-experience of your website is not up to standards, you can almost bet that your visitors will not stay on the page as long as you’d like.

Feel free to sign up for DYNO Mapper’s fully-functional free trial if you’d like to learn more about the product and its innovative features including Google Analytics integration.

DYNO Mapper – Visual Sitemap Generator from DYNO Mapper – Sitemap Generator on Vimeo.