Sitemaps: Expose Your Website to the Internet

Creating a website that draws visitors includes more than merely changing the background color of your site and adding a few lines of text. To increase popularity with search engines and visitors alike, you will need to create a visitors sitemap. If done correctly, this sitemap may increase your visibility in search engines exponentially.

A sitemap is a means for visitors and search engine bots to view all of the content located on your website in one locale. Normally, the visitors sitemap is an organized collection of articles or pages arranged in a uniform and logical order organized by categories, if any. A search engine bot will scan the sitemap's links to the content and begin indexing those pages into its database. The more relevant content the bot finds, the better your website will do in searches.

Without a sitemap, search engine bots take longer to index a page. If you don't have links to the content within your own website, the pages are more than likely going to be skipped all-together. Even putting links within your website won't guarantee that the new pages will be indexed immediately. It could take weeks before the content could show up in a search.

Adding a visitors sitemap is quite easy to do. A lot of locations will offer to build a sitemap for you for free. These sitemaps can sometimes be hard to read by the average visitor, but work great for search engine bots. Many Content Management Systems, such as Joomla and Wordpress, have additions you can install to make it easier for both human and bot to read sitemaps. You could also create your own sitemap by coding it yourself. Essentially, you would need to setup a page and create links to every page of content on your website. Regardless of method you wish to use, the sitemap is a very important piece for creating a successful website.

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