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What Are Sitemaps?

You may have heard us mention ‘sitemaps’ when designing and building your new website. A sitemap is a simple file, readable and discoverable by Google and other search engines, which points the search bots to every page on your site you would like indexed. This is a very important step in helping get your website discoverable in the SERPs.

Leaving it to fait for all your website pages to be discovered and crawled by the web crawlers could suffice if your site has a simple structure or limited number of pages, but a surefire way to ensure the search bots can find all content on your site is to create a sitemap. This also reduces the likelihood of recent content updates being missed by the search bots.

A sitemap will give search engine bots and web crawlers a full and direct list of all URLs on your website, making your site easily crawlable.

If you’re creating a sitemap for your own website, it should be in xml format and plain text i.e. designed exclusively for search bots. A sitemap can usually be found at: www.yourdomain.co.uk/sitemap.xml.

Your web design and SEO agency will also submit your sitemap via the Google Search Console Sitemaps tool. This lets Google know firstly that your website has a sitemap, and secondly, where to find this when the search bots visit your website.

While having a sitemap won’t guarantee that your website ranks highly in Google searches, it is good practice to include, and regularly update one, as it helps search bots and web crawlers discover all important pages on your site.

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