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Should I add a Site Map to my website?

SEO / traffic-building questions and answers


Should I add a Site Map to my website? I was told that a site map can help me get better rankings in Google. Is it true?

Submitted by Dawn F.


A site map does indeed help a website get higher rankings, but only indirectly. This is how I do it:

Every time I build a new website, I place a Site Map page on the site and name it sitemap.html. I place a link to every other page on the site on the Site Map page. If there are more than 100 pages, I create an additional Site Map page and name it sitemap2.html.

The reason for the extra two (or more) Site Map pages is to keep the pages in line with Google's recommendation of having no more than 100 links on a web page.

I then place a link to the Site Map page(s) on every page of the site.

A Site Map that is linked to from every page serves two important purposes:

  1. Having an easily accessible Site Map makes it easy for your visitors to find what they're looking for on your site. Experienced users will often ignore the regular navigation links and head straight for the site map. That way they have to wade through fewer pages to find the information they're looking for.
  2. A well-designed Site Map(s) helps the search engines find and index your pages easier. The Site Map ensures that every page on your site is no more than two clicks away from the home page. The search engines are virtually guaranteed to find and index all of your pages by crawling the Site Map page.
    Having more pages indexed helps raise your site's Google PageRank and increases your website traffic. And as we all know, getting lots of traffic is the key to making money with your website.
In conclusion, I recommend that every website have a well-designed Site Map. It's good for your users and good for the search engines (SEO benefits).
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