Creating a Sitemap: From Hiring to Learning It
Search engine optimization is an inescapable tool of the 21st century. There are so many companies employing these strategies that it can be quite overwhelming. If you are still not familiar with it, you might be missing out. There are a lot of ways that search engine optimization can truly help you and your company. It starts with your website.
Most of the businesses and companies do have websites these days. After all, it is the prerequisite of all SEO strategies. Without even a web address, you will be nothing to the entire SEO concept. However, it doesn’t just stop from a website. It must be a site that is worth the time to peruse by its users and potential customers.
There are so many aspects that you need to learn about building a website. For one, the content should be of good quality. The links should also be from authoritative and trustworthy sites. Lastly, it should be usable by anyone who has an idea of how the internet works. This is where a sitemap comes in. It is a series of sites that are composing your entire webpage. In other words, It is a simpler way of organizing the content on your page.
Why Is Having A Sitemap Important?
Search engines work in a rather complicated manner. Some of the ways the developers employ is also a mystery to most people. This is known as algorithms, the rules that the search engine follows when determining a good quality website. Always remember that search engines provide the best answers to their users. Once they deem your site as not on par with their standards, your rankings will tank.
Another way of determining if a website is also delivering good content is through the indexing bots or crawlers. These AI will scour through the internet to look for the best answers to any search. Following the algorithm, they can differentiate unreliable sites to the ones with better and consistent content. A sitemap is one of the tools that make the crawlers work easier. Once they use this sitemap, they can track your website’s content and the links associated with it.
If you create a sitemap for your website, the crawlers can easily find and index your website so that they can redirect searches related to your content. This may not be a guarantee that your site will be indexed, but it increases the chances of a higher ranking if they do. You just need to update it often for your site’s benefit.
It can be quite challenging and (frankly) intimidating to make your sitemap. For one, it is a part of the technical side of SEO. Most people do not touch this part since not everyone has a degree in information technology and computer science. However, with a few steps, you can do it yourself. There are just some things that you need to prepare and some resourcefulness on the side, but it is entirely doable. It requires a bit of coding as well.
However, it can be rather difficult for someone who is not entirely familiar with anything here. There are a lot of nuances in each step that you need to familiarize yourself with. As you are dealing with codes, you need to be very careful about how to execute these steps. As previously implied, this is not a job for those who are just starting with SEO. However, there are several ways that you can still have it on your website.
Creating a Sitemap
- Hire someone to do it for you.
This is by far the easiest method of the entire bunch. You can have an IT or computer expert install a sitemap for your site. This can be a part of the entire package if you have commissioned them to build all of it from scratch. You can just instruct them on what they need to include from the contents. However, it would still be under your responsibility to update all of it from time to time. You need to remember that the algorithms and the bots change their rules and regulations. Updating yourself with all the information needed would make it easier for you.
- Install plug-ins depending on what you are using.
If you are familiar with Wordpress, they have a plug-in called Yoast which can create the sitemap for you. Even better, you can turn it on and off whenever you want to. This is a neat feature of the said website creator since it minimizes all the effort that you need to do. All you need to exert any effort into is the learning of the functions of the plug-in. However, you cannot use this if you are not a paid subscriber of WordPress. It is also not included in your WordPress fees, but it has a free version available for download.
- Find applications that can guide you through the entire process.
There are so many other sites that can help you outside of WordPress though. Some of them are even a part of a bigger package with all other SEO related tools at their disposal. One of the best examples of this one is Screaming Frog, which has the sitemap generator in its package. All you need to do is just fill-in some spaces in the generator and it will do the work for you. Others can generate a sitemap template that you can use as well. Most of them are paid ones though, so you need to take advantage of any free offer whenever you can.
- Learn how to do it yourself online.
If you are getting desperate, then you need to allot time into learning the said skill. As previously stated, it isn’t necessarily hard. The complicated part of the entire process is changing the codes into a sitemap-friendly one. There is also the adding of other links that would make up the entire map along with the other codes to direct the indexing process. Videos and articles are dime a dozen online, all you have to do is look for the best ones and start coding. It is going to be a long process, but it will all be worth it.