Site Maps: A Force to be Reckoned With

By: Kristy Meghreblian

Another important component of search engine optimization is the use of site maps. If you want visitors -- and search engine spiders -- to find every page on your Web site, a site map can be your biggest ally especially if you have a lot of content on your site (and if you’ve been reading all the advice on our site, you should know by now that the more content you have the better your chances are for top ranking).

So, what is a site map? Basically, it is a navigation tool. It lets visitors know what information you have, how it is organized, where it is located with respect to other information, and how to get to that information with the least amount of clicks possible.

A good site map is more than a hyperlinked index, which only provides the user with a list of alphabetically arranged terms.

Site maps also provide lots of nutritious spider food for search engine robots that crawl your site and eventually index it. Once the robot gets to the site map, it can visit every page on your entire site because all the information is clearly indicated on that one page. However, in order for your site map to work most effectively, you must include a link to your site map in the navigation on every page of your site.

To make your site map most appealing to both the search engine robots and human visitors, be sure to include descriptive text along with the page URLs and links. Be sure to use your targeted keywords in that text. Remember not to be too repetitive with your keyword phrases, though, or you may be penalized.

When you make it easy for people to navigate your site, they will find what they are looking for and will most likely be a repeat visitor. Likewise, when your site is easily navigable by search engine spiders, you increase your chances of being favorably listed in their search results.

So, if creating a site map isn’t part of your current search engine optimization strategy, maybe it’s time you thought about adding this beneficial -- and fairly simple -- tool to your repertoire.

For an example of Submit Today’s site map, go to: http://www.submittoday.com/site_map.htm.

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