Article About Website HTML Sitemaps

Started by Webhelpforums, February 09, 2017, 06:51:03 PM


Sitemaps Help Keep People on Your Website
Have you been thinking about what a HTML sitemap could do for your web site and why you may need it?If your visitor found your site through a search engine, but can not immediately find what he was looking for, chances are he will immediately click back to search results before giving it a second thought.However, some will first check to see if your website provides a sitemap. If it does, chances are they will click that instead of leaving your website.Therefore, having a sitemap linked prominently gives you an additional chance of keeping visitors and reduce bounces.

Help Search Engines By Giving Link Juice to More Pages
HTML sitemaps will help you rank more of your important pages since you can distribute link juice to them all. Thus, unlike XML sitemaps that only help search engines find your pages, HTML sitemaps can potentially even help rank your important pages.Therefore, when creating a HTML site map for your website, you should make sure to:
  • Include both new and important pages.
  • Have all site map links contain anchor text relevant to the pages they link.
By doing this, you can improve chances for having your pages rank in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.Assuming you have all your important pages linked in your website sitemap, you should link to your sitemap from all pages in your website. This can help you get new pages indexed and ranked faster.

Remember: Do not use noindex and nofollow for this.

Technical Information: HTML Versus XHTML
You can also build site map files that use XHTML. However, the only difference between XHTML and HTML is miniscule: XHTML is an application of XML while HTML is an application of SGML.This might make you believe the two are much different until you take note that XML is dervied from SGML. All this means that HTML and XHTML is so closely related you can refer to both as HTML when discussing sitemaps.If you use a server-side language, e.g. PHP or ASP, on a web site, you can still make and benefit from creating a HTML sitemap.

Remember: It is no the server-side language that matters to browsers and site crawlers, but instead what the actual data the browser / crawler receives back from the server, i.e. the HTML/CSS/Javascript and similar client-side content.

Making Your Sitemap User Friendly
When creating a HTML sitemap that contains links to all your important pages, it becomes especially important that it is easy to use. This is true whether you build the HTML sitemap manually or by using an automated solution. If you use a tool, make sure to understand all of its options fully to create the best possible result.

Group and Indent Links
If you are showing the links in your site map using a tree style presentation, it can often be useful to group and indent all the links.By doing so, you can present the URLs of your website in a way that corresponds to the physical layout (at least as seen from the outside) of URLs in your website. This in turn makes it easier for humans to understand how your site is organized and find the content they are looking for.An example of listing of pages in a site using "tree style":
  • Directory 1
      Page Q1
    • Page Q2
  • Directory B
      Page FAQ 1
    • Page FAQ 2
Splitting Sitemap Links Across Columns
To lessen scrolling and maximize screen estate, you can create your HTML sitemaps, so they use a 2 or 3 column presentation style. Before you do this, consider how to make it work responsive for browsers on mobile smart phones.

Splitting Sitemap Links Across Pages
If you operate a very large website, it may not be enough showing e.g. 100-200 links. In such cases, you can choose to split your sitemap across multiple pages.Every situation is unique, but splitting links across multiple pages may be a better option both for human visitors and search engines which may not appreciate thousands of links on a single page :)

Better Page Titles and Headers in Sitemaps
For the best SEO effect, ensure all your page titles in your website are unique and contain relevant keywords.If you have keywords in your page URLs, it will help some sitemap tools to ensure all links have relevant anchor text.If you are using a CMS or blog platform that does not support this "out-of-the-box", try search for plugins or read up on mod_rewrite to solve the problem.An example of a good keyword rich page URL is this the above will help:
  • People who use your sitemap to navigate your website.
  • Search engines to understand your website better.
Easy Way to Build Your HTML Sitemaps
If you want an automated sitemapping solution, but still have not found one that can create the sitemaps you want, you can always get started with ours, A1 Sitemap Generator. Alternatively, you can either create a small optimized HTML sitemap manually or search for other options. If you choose to use a tool for HTML sitemaps, remember you should always be able to try out the tool and support before purchasing it.

Links to General Information About HTML Sitemaps
This list contains links to general articles and information about HTML sitemaps:
General summary of what sitemaps are:
An analysis by Jacob Nielsen about sitemaps and usability:
A technical run-through of varous SEO and usability topics:

  • How sitemaps help reduce site bounces.
  • Technical information on HTML versus XHTML.
  • How to make user and SEO friendly sitemaps.
  • How it helps getting internal link juice to more pages.
Links to A1 Sitemap Generator Specific Information
This list only includes links to articles and tutorials that are specific to our product:

Article 1/3:
Tutorial on how to create simple HTML sitemaps.

Article 2/3:
Information on how to customize and configure generated code in HTML/CSS sitemaps.

Article 3/3:
Shows how to create, but also how to use existing built-in, code and configuration presets for making visual sitemaps that use HTML/CSS/Javascript.

If You Need Help With HTML Sitemaps
List of places where you can get further help:
Section at WebHelpForums where you can get support on A1 Sitemap Generator
TechSEO360 |  | A1 Sitemap Generator, A1 Website Analyzer etc.

More About Our Webmaster Tools for Windows and Mac

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