What is a Sitemap? How to Create a Sitemap?

Apr 23, 2023 | SEO

Can we give satisfactory answers to the question of what is a sitemap?

If you can’t, don’t worry and join us with your coffee. We have prepared a short and satisfying guide for you:

If you are ready, let’s begin;

When it comes to the ranking of your website in search engines, we need to take advantage of all SEO techniques.

Creating a sitemap is an essential first step in an optimisation strategy. This file gives us more control over the pages we crawl. They are like a map showing how to get to certain places on your site.

Quick tip for WordPress users: A quick and easy way to create your Sitemap is to use plugins like All In One SEO and YOAST. Create a sitemap for your WordPress site in seconds.

If you are familiar with desktop software that offers a wide range of SEO tools, such as Screaming Frog, SlickPlan, FlowMap or Sitemap Generator, your job is made easy again.

If your website has fewer than 500 pages, creating a sitemap is free on many platforms. Paid versions are required for those with larger websites. These sites scan your website online and prepare files that you can add to the root directory.

What is a sitemap?

Put simply, a sitemap, or XML sitemap, is a list of the different pages on a website and their content. XML, which is used to create documents that can be easily read by information systems, is an abbreviation for “extensible markup language”.

You do not need to be a technical wizard to create a sitemap, which is considered an important component of SEO. As many websites use the WordPress CMS structure, sitemap plugins come almost by default.

Let’s share some more technical information: Even if you create multiple Sitemap files, each Sitemap must not contain more than 50,000 URLs, and these files must not be larger than 10MB. If you wish, you can compress using gzip to reduce bandwidth requirements.

If you want to list more than 50,000 URLs, you will need to create multiple Sitemap files.

Sitemaps provide instructions for indexing our pages and can contain more than 10 basic directives. The most common of these is “Robots noindex”, which we prefer for pages we want to remove from the index. This is the detail of whether or not this page appears in search results.

Let’s say you have created the XML file, congratulations! If you put the file in the root directory of your site and add a sitemap link to your robots.txt file, you’ve done most of the work.

To check the efficiency of the indexing process, you should use a Google Search Console service, which allows you to track visits and optimise the visibility of your website. If an error is found in the generated sitemap, you can receive an email notification.

Why do you need a sitemap?

Search engines, especially Google, are committed to providing the most relevant results for each query. To do this quickly, they use web browsers to read, organise and index information from the digital world.

XML sitemaps, which we combine with hierarchical URL lists, make it easier for search engines to read the content of your site and index pages accordingly. A successful content tree and sitemap have a direct impact on your website’s ranking.

Your sitemap is the key element that communicates the location of a page on your site, when it was updated, how often it was updated, and how it relates to other pages on your site.

In a scenario where you do not create a proper sitemap, Google bots may think that your site has duplicate content, and this can damage your SEO ranking.

According to Search Engine Journal, a thin sitemap is best! So it should only take three clicks to get to any page on your site.

It is therefore necessary to create a hierarchy of pages according to their importance and how they should be indexed. Prioritise your content with a logical hierarchy.

Splitting your sitemaps into multiple files is an excellent option to give you more control over your content. You can use a separate sitemap to list images, one for videos, one for news and one for post tags.

Things to consider about the sitemap:

  • The fact that the URLs on your site are included in your Sitemap does not mean that they will be included in search engines.
  • Visual sitemaps are important for image-heavy websites.
  • HTML and XML are commonly used formats for sitemaps.
  • It helps search engines find alternative language versions of your site.
  • The question of what is a sitemap for news sites is more comprehensive.
  • The best way to submit your Sitemap to Google is through the Google Search Console.
  • You will need to split sitemaps that are larger than 50MB or have more than 50,000 URLs.
  • Sitemap is an important SEO criterion that allows us to connect with bots.
  • Video sitemaps store video metadata such as release date, video URL, and video duration.
  • If your website is WordPress-based, it is much easier to create and submit a sitemap.
  • You can examine an example via dmmturkey.com/sitemap_index.xml.
  • In addition to Google, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yandex Webmaster pages should be checked.

Submitting a sitemap alone will not improve your traffic and SEO. To further increase your traffic and increase sales/interaction, you should determine some SEO strategies and conduct keyword research for SEO.

Even if your site is small, with lots of internal links and little rich media, creating a sitemap is a must.

This is extremely easy to do and can help you improve your site’s SEO. I hope we can answer the question of what is a sitemap. If you still need professional help, you can contact us via our dedicated page.

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