Making sure that your websites are fully crawlable is a key component
for any search strategy, especially if you want your sites to rank well
for multiple related keyword phrases or different products.



One of the ways that you can insure that a search engine spider crawls
your site deeply is to provide it a road map of your site. This road
map, called a "site map" is a very simple page (from a design
standpoint) that only serves one purpose from a search engine optimizers
point of view, to get those interior pages into a search engine's index.



A brief history of site maps . . .Before site maps were recognized by
the search engine optimization community as a tool for good search
results, it was used by fortune 1000 companies to help visitors to their
site find out where a particular service or product was located. For
example: If you want to do some sort of business with your bank online,
you might find that their home page doesn't quite get you to the exact
location on their site that you want. After all, a typical bank might
offer car loans, student loans, home loans, credit cards, investment
accounts, mutual funds, etc. If per chance you arrived at this banking
site on a page other than the home page, you might get a little turned
around from a site navigation standpoint.



So, site maps were created. What is a site map? A site map is a page
that contains a basic HTML link to every page on that web site. Every
page, not just your main topics but every page. Site maps do not need to
be fancy (in fact, it's better if they are not), they just need to
contain a logical order and links to all of your pages.



How does this benefit us? Three ways . . .First, a site map gives your
customers an easy navigation system to every page in your web site. Now,
don't confuse the use of a site map as a replacement for logical
navigation on your regular pages. You want to make sure that your site
can be navigated simply and easily from any page on your site. However,
some folks (a very small percentage) prefer to see the entire site's
structure on one page and choose their destination from it. Second, a
site map is a fantastic way to get a search engine spider to see and
crawl every single page in your site. When optimizing different pages in
your web site for different keywords, a Site map is a perfect solution
for ensuring that a spider can get to every one of those optimized
pages. Third, and this is big: A Site Map provides an opportunity to
send link reputation to a particular page.



Now, link reputation is a discussion that's beyond the scope of this
article, but it is perhaps one of the most important factors in off Page
search engine optimization. You want the links on your Site Map Page to
Say the right thing about the pages that they are linking to. It's like
a vote. So, make sure that your site map is voting correctly for all of
your interior pages. Fourth, site maps are also an additional way to
distribute Google Page Rank. If your site map is just one link off of
the first page, it can pass a significant amount of Google page rank
deep into your web site. This helps create a site structure where just
about every internal page has the same chance of ranking as well as your
home page. Finally, site maps allow you to use dynamic linking
strategies to control where page rank does and does not go throughout
your site. For example, a common mistake is to have a normal link to
your privacy policy on every page of your site. In actuality, giving
your privacy policy page the same page rank as every other page of the
site is a big waste of whatever page rank you have available. So use a
good site map and you will reap the rewards.

2 comment:

Tina said...

Hoang:

Thank you for this post. I had planned to put my website in my comment for you to have a look at and suggest some good tips, but in order to not to be considered a spam, I have stopped myself to do that. However, May I look in the situation to send you an email or reach yourself.

I apology as my comment is other than this post this time.

Regards - Tina

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