Sitemap SEO is about generating optimised links to every page on your website. This can be useful for both search engines and visitors who will both find it easier to navigate your site. If you can automate the process of creating your sitemap, then it leaves you free to concentrate on more important optimisation techniques.
The sitemap is a page that is created for one purpose: to link to every page in your website. This has several advantages if done correctly for both Search Engine Optimisation and also visitors to your website. If you have a large website with many pages of great content, you need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find what they´re looking for. Sitemap SEO provides one more great way to help them find their way around your website, both for visitors and search engines.
Keep Your Sitemap Up-to-date
Sometimes the hardest part of maintaining a sitemap is keeping it up-to-date and correct. If your website contains hundreds or even thousands of pages then ensuring all pages are included and there are no broken links can be a huge task to undertake. The last thing you want to worry about as you create/delete pages and change your link URLs is then to check and change your sitemap to reflect your modifications. For very small websites, this may be an easy task, but as your business grows, having to do this every time you add a page, will become so laborious, you´ll probably end up just ditching it altogether, or worse, leaving it incomplete.
Automate the Process
It is an important file, but not so critical that you should be spending hours checking and changing links every week. If your website is created dynamically or by using a Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, then you should be able to generate your Sitemap dynamically. This will also mean it is always up-to-date and contains no broken links. If your website is statically created with every page a separate .html file, then as your business expands, it will become a nightmare maintaining all your pages anyway, let alone a sitemap. I fell into this mistake when I started out. Trying to keep consistency across hundreds of static pages was so soul-destroying I eventually ditched the site altogether and learned from the experience.
Make your sitemap SEO as simple as possible. If your categories have been logically created, then your pages should already be easy to find within your layout. Make it easy for visitors to quickly view your content by indenting text, highlighting categories, adding bullet points, or any way that helps to make it easier to scan. As your link text, simply use the title tag primary keyword of the page, that way your visitor won´t be instantly confused when they click on a link. For the home page, instead of using ´home´ consider substituting with the name of your business. Your Home page is critical because this is your main landing page. Finally, for the links themselves, instead of using relative paths, use the full pathname in all your links.
Social Matador Tip
Avoid maintaining your sitemap manually at all costs. If you are unable to create it dynamically, there are programs available that will spider your links and generate a sitemap for you.