How To Create A Correct HTML Sitemap For A Website
Editor at Serpstat
The main task of the HTML sitemap is to help the user find the desired section or page on the website. Besides, it gives room for additional interlinking.
What is the difference between HTML sitemap and XML sitemap?
The key distinction is that an HTML sitemap helps visitors discover the content of your site, whereas an XML sitemap caters more exclusively to search engines.
You can use XML sitemaps to notify search engines when you add new pages or content to your site.
Who needs an HTML sitemap?
- Categorize your website's content
- Improve your site's navigation
- Better ways to add new content
- Organize large websites
Common mistakes when creating an HTML sitemap
Is saying goodbye to your potential customers not what you want? Then, don't hesitate to create an HTML sitemap for a website.
The sitemap includes a structured list of all pages on the website, with a hyperlink to each of them. Since sitemaps are so important for your site's organic search performance, here's a list of the most common HTML sitemap mistakes and how to avoid them:
Do not close the robots.txt and x-robots-tag. Using a map, you balance the weight on the internal pages of the website, so it's better to keep the map open.
This will complicate the perception, and the sitemap will not be helpful for the users, they will leave it in search of something simpler. If there is a need to list many links, it is better to create a multi-level map that will open the sections in stages.
Technical pages that are not useful to the website visitor should not be displayed on the map.
Clean up deleted pages and add new ones.
Creating an HTML sitemap with a generator
If you need an HTML sitemap for WordPress, you can use a special plugin, one HTML sitemap example would be HTML Page Sitemap. There are similar solutions for other popular CMS.
Keep in mind the basic principles when making a sitemap:
- Structured presentation of information. Arrange the pages of the website in strict accordance with their hierarchy from the main page to sections, subsections and landing pages of a product/service. You can check out some templates to choose the look of your sitemap.
- Availability. The sitemap should be located intuitively to the user. Normally, the sitemap is located on the main page. The best location for the sitemap is in the website footer.
- Place an additional link to the sitemap for the user on the 404 error page to continue his session on existing pages.
- Brief information about the content. Small comments on sections and pages will help you quickly find the right product/service. Thus, the user will not leave the website because he searched for a long time and is tired of this process, but will successfully complete the session. This requires working on behavioral factors of page depth and bounce rate.
Changes of Your Sitemap
Google doesn't check a sitemap every time a site is crawled; a sitemap is checked only the first time Google notices the site, and thereafter only when you ping Google to let it know that it's changed. Alert Google about a sitemap only when it's new or updated; don't submit or ping unchanged sitemaps multiple times.
Best 5 free sitemap generator tools
- Slickplan Offers easy drag-and-drop creation of a sitemap, full customization, batch editing. Has a 30-day free trial period, and different pricing plans starting at $8.99/month.
- XML-Sitemaps Includes image and video sitemaps and a mobile app. Offers a free sitemap generator and a Pro version. In a free version, you can make a sitemap for your website in just 4 steps!
- Dynomapper Allows you to choose one of three sitemap designs and customize it with your logo or color scheme. Also provides a drag-and-drop functionality and is highly customizable. A 14-day free trial period allows you to check its functions.
- Yoast SEO A WordPress plugin that helps those who aren't experts in SEO. Basic, but functional.
- Google XML Sitemaps (plugin) Another Wordpress plugin, that is very easy to use if you want to create a sitemap for your site.
Without registration, you can get ready-made sitemaps for free, provided that there are less than 500 pages on the website. Transfer the maps created by the tool to the root folder. Before that, check the correctness of the XML sitemap through the integrated Google Search Console panel.
What should be included in HTML sitemap?
The main requirements for an HTML sitemap are simplicity, clarity, and informativeness. It should help the site to keep visitors, and not repel them with bulky content, an abundance of sections and menu items.
Do I need HTML sitemap?
We totally recommend creating an HTML sitemap. A sitemap is a very useful tool for indexing your website effectively. Sitemaps are useful tools for search robots as they "lurk" through your site.
What is the use of HTML sitemap in SEO?
Sitemaps improve a website's ranking in SERPs, thus boosting SEO. When a website gets a high ranking on a search engine results page, it becomes more visible to a larger number of users, resulting in increased traffic.
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