First…What is a sitemap?

That word is used to define a few things.

A sitemap can be considered the layout for your website.  Some people I talk to refer to a sitemap as the overall plan for how many pages will exist when they launch their new website.  Some clients I meet with like to use it to figure out what pages will be parent pages and what pages will be child or sub pages.  A good sitemap can also be used as a road map to what content is necessary for the site, and most times, when used properly, actually becomes a working checklist for whomever is responsible for writing or providing the content for the website.

Don’t think for a minute that your sitemap is simply for planning.  While it can be effective for laying out the website content in a visual way, the actual sitemap page on your site provides so much more value.  Every site MUST have a sitemap for Google to access.  Once Google finds your sitemap page, it becomes a source page to access every other page of your website. Your website will not show up in Google Search results if Google doesn’t know about it!

Example: you can create a new page on your website, but if you don’t link that page to your menu system, or post it anywhere on the web, no one… including Google… will find it.  It basically becomes inaccessible unless you send the link directly to someone or share it.  However, if you put a link on your sitemap to this new page, and your sitemap is accessible, then Google will likely find your new page and index it.

There are a few ways to implement a sitemap, some are very technical than others, and include more information.  Ask your web developer which format is best for you.

If you want to talk about sitemaps, or anything else for that matter, feel free to give me a call. I’d be more than happy to chat with you free of charge, about these things or any other website stuff.