Site Maps

What is a “Site Map” and why is it so important to SEO?

jasons_weekly_whiteboard_site_maps

Site maps are the “belly” of Search Engine Friendly Design. They make it very quick and easy for the search engines to find and index every page on your web site by putting links to every page in one spot.

Site maps also allow you to help the search engines clearly understand what your web site is all about and presents opportunities in optimization. “Keyword density” is a term often used to describe the number of times a particular search phrase appears within your site. Site maps should make maximum use of your most relevant and important keywords. It should contribute to your keyword density within the link text on the page.

IMPORTANT: All links should be plain text and point to every page within your site with descriptive words that make it easy for both humans and search engine spiders to understand what they will find on each page linked from your site map. Site maps are essential as an optimization technique and should always be linked from your index page or home page.

Comments

  1. TheProfessor says

    Hey Jason,
    Still very new and novice to the whole site design game at this point.

    Quick question: Does having a ‘site map’ with drop downs (or sub categories) vs a ‘site map’ that has a straight list of links make a difference?

    For example:
    - Home
    + Apparel
    — Shirts
    — Shoes
    + Electronics
    — Phones
    — Cameras

    VS

    - Home
    - Apparel
    - Shirts
    - Shoes
    - Electronics
    - Phones
    - Cameras

    _TheProfessor__

  2. says

    @TheProfessor I would def go with the 2nd option you listed and tweak it a bit. You want the spiders to be able to find everything on that page as easy as possible, without having to do any extra work.

    You can go:
    +Apparel
    -shirts
    -shoes

    just don’t make it a drop down. List it out just like that and make them all links to those specific product pages. :)Make sense?

  3. TheProfessor says

    Totally! Thanks for the info. Still well int he 1st stages of my over site design. But little by little I’ll get it up and running.

  4. says

    No discussion of sitemaps should be complete without mention of the little known and yet potentially effective sitemap xml schema.

    The purpose is to give the bots some hints about your content, self-rating its priority and update frequency. I won’t spoil all the surprises, but this is a topic worth researching.

Trackbacks

Leave A Comment