Last week, on the Skytrain, I had an interesting conversation about website optimization with a business owner . The man was comfortable using the Internet and managed his own website but, like most people, that was it – he wasn’t a web developer, designer or techy guy. At one point we talked about sitemaps, and then here I am writing this…
A sitemap.xml file is important for your rankings. It’s a relatively small document that gives the Web spiders, the ones who check your site for content, a blueprint of your site.
The good news, it takes almost no time to make one. The bad one, it’s a XML file.
But no problemo, if you don’t know and/or don’t care about XML, you can still get one, for free, at www.XML-sitemaps.com. It has an ultra-easy to use sitemap.xml file generator. When you go to the site, just type in your Web address, the Sitemap spiders will crawl it and create it for you.
That’s no the only place you can visit to get your free sitemap.xml file; the Help section of Google Webmaster’s Central recommends other sites. I found www.xml-sitemaps.com to be the easiest to use AND it doesn’t ask for any personal information – major bonus points.
Once you have the file, you can edit it with Wordpad (or a similar program) and upload it to the site’s “root folder.”
Ah, almost forgot, if you have a WordPress blog, make sure you install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.