What Is A Sitemap And Why Is It Good For SEO?

A sitemap, also know as a site map, is a dedicated web page within a web site that lists all of the pages that make up the web site. It is used as an easily navigable arrangement of links which can take you to the exact page you are interested in finding. This can be a handy shortcut to finding a particular web page within a larger web site. Locating and viewing the sitemap is also a good way to save time when you have an exact idea of what page you are looking for.

Although the sitemap is a wonderful tool for navigation it also serves a dual purpose. Search engines tend to give more weight in rankings to web sites which poses a properly formatted sitemap. This is good information because it will help you to optimize your web site for the search engines, which can only mean more traffic to your site.

A site map which is used for navigation should be designed with humans in mind, not search engines. This means you should focus on a logical layout of the links which make up the sitemap. One of the best design approaches is to list the pages alphabetically in columns from left to right. This will make it easiest for your visitors to locate the page link they are looking for.

Typical file extensions for the sitemap designed for human visitors are.html,.htm or.php. It is a good idea to place a link to the sitemap on every single page within your web site. Usually the link to the sitemap will be found in the footer, or occasionally the header of a page. This is both convenient and conservative of the valuable sidebar and content space on your pages.

As for the sitemap which is created for the search engine spiders, it should be placed in the root directory of your web server. For example you would have your protocol, dot, your domain name, dot, your Top Level Domain, slash, sitemap. The file extension you want to use is.xml.

The.xml sitemap will essentially tell the search engine spiders that your site has a handy list of all of its pages, and where those pages are located. Along with the list of pages is metadata information which tells the search engine about how often the page is updated and how important it is within the site in general.

Search engines usually discover your web site pages based on the informative instructions within your sitemap, and then follow the links from them. As you can see, the sitemap is very important when it comes to getting your site indexed and kept up to date with the search engines.

Author: Keri Cooper | Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?What-Is-A-Sitemap-And-Why-Is-It-Good-For-SEO?&id=1193507

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Essential SEO Strategies

Search engine optimization is a marketing technique to enhance the strategies and tactics used to improve a websites ranking in the search engines. There are strategies you can do in order to increase your sites ranking. If done effectively there should be an apparent increase in your sites placement on search engines.

The choice of your keywords is central for the success of your sites rankings. You need to begin to think about your conversion goals. An application such as ‘Google Analytics’ will help you with this, as it enables you to see which key phrases result in most conversion goals. Try and stay away from popular keywords that have thousands of competitive sites in search results. ‘AdWords keyword suggestion’ tool can assist you in your choice. This will suggest niche key phrases that will have a high search volume, and with low competition.

Site structure and content is imperative when trying to increase your ranking status. Having good, relevant and useful content will more than likely provoke search engines to rank your page higher in appropriate searches. Other sites will be more inclined to link to your pages, if the content is good, therefore further increasing your ranking. Regularly updated content will help, as many visitors like fresh content. This results in them visiting the site more often equalling to more visits, more links and more traffic. The structure of your site is valuable also. If your site’s navigation is simple, it will be easier for visitors and search engines to find your content. Include many links on your pages to other pages in your website, as this will enhance your navigation for visitors and search engines also.

Try not to duplicate any of your content on your pages, as search engines really dislike pages that have almost the same content on them. They will often give these pages a much lower ranking. Description and Keyword Meta tags are to not be forgotten either; your description tag should be a useful and convincing summary of the page content. This tag is used to display the summary of your page in search results, so be sure to make it full of central keywords. It is key however, to make sure your Keyword and Description Meta tags are different; if not, a search engine will see these as less important pages.

Lastly, it is essential to track your sites SEO performance. You can do this through ‘Google Webmaster’ tool, or ‘Google Analytics’. This will enable you to see your sites current ranking, and to see if there’s an increase or a decrease. This permits you make some changes to your strategies if needed.

Author: Louise Gandolfi | Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Louise_Gandolfi

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Basic SEO Essentials

I build websites for a number of people, and i get asked ALL the time, what are the essential SEO changes to make. The fact is, this is a hard question to answer, because you could optimize every single word and chances are there could be more you could do.

However, there is a short list of things that I consider the very most basic SEO essentials. These are changes every website should make regardless of it’s purpose, design or reason for being online.

  1. Meta Tags
  2. IMG Tags
  3. Head Tags
  4. Sitemap
  5. Generic content pages

Sounds simple enough, right? That’s because it is. I’ll explain.
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