Sitemaps: Some Tips To Set Up Your Sitemap

This post was written by Internet Marketing John on April 7, 2010
Posted Under: Website Usability

Because sitemaps display all the information and all links in your website, they are extremely useful to Internet users and help to locate a particular topic much more easily.

Many Internet users also find sitemaps useful for conveniently navigating between web pages in a website.

There are basically three types of sitemaps.

  • Indexed

An indexed sitemap looks like a directory, and appears as an alphabetical listing.

  • Fully Categorical

The fully categorical sitemap classifies and displays all the links in your website into categories.

  • Restricted Categorical

The restricted categorical sitepmap, shows all the links listed in a chosen category at once.

The last two types are similar, however the fully categorical sitemap display all your web page links, in all categories, at one time, in one page; while the restricted categorical sitemap shows only the links under the selected category, to make viewing easier for the user.

The second type of sitemap, the fully categorical, is more user friendly and is the most often used by webmasters.  The format makes it easier to compare topics within categories, and to search for other topics within the website.

Here are some tips you can use to set up your sitemap.

  • Don’t go over 30 pages for a sitemap.

The search engines might identify your website as a link farm, if your sitemap goes beyond 30 pages.  Larger websites, particularly those having 60 or more pages, should limit their sitemaps to prevent overcrowding of links and make them easier to view.

  • Make sure to give your sitemap links, keyword rich titles.

By optimizing your sitemap links, and providing keyword rich titles; your website will gain an edge when being properly searched under the correct category.  Make sure this sitemap link, links back to the sitemap.

  • To make sure that the search engine spider starts searching from your homepage down to all the rest of the pages listed in your sitemap; make sure you link the sitemap, only to your homepage.

This will ensure that the search engine spiders crawl all the web pages in your website and don’t miss any.

  • Describe the links in your sitemap.

When you write a brief description of the links in your sitemap, your readers save time negotiating your website and get a better idea of what the link is about.

  • Make sure all links in your sitemap are active.

It’s a good idea to test your sitemap to make sure all the links work, and go to the right page.  It’s disappointing and frustrating when you click on an inactive link.  Check them all and keep your visitors happy.

  • When you set up your sitemap, be consistent with your design.

If you use the same HTML template for all the pages, and a recurring design on your site, you will give your website some character and better establish your identity.

If you haven’t yet built a sitemap for your website, you might consider using some of these tips before doing so before you get to it!

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