Internet Marketing Tips, Suggestions, & Ramblings

How an HTML Sitemap Can Improve your SEO

Many people consider HTML sitemaps as only being valuable from a usability perspective, regarding them as simply a means of helping people navigate back from lost corners of websites and frustrating 404 pages. HTML sitemaps do of course have implications from a navigational perspective, but they also provide an option to search engine optimization experts looking to increase a websites ability to be crawled.

Why HTML Sitemaps Help SEO

It is always a best case scenario to have a flat navigational structure that is appropriately tiered from the home page. This will enable an interlinking relationship which maximizes the authority of the home page; allowing the homepages link-weight to be distributed optimally throughout the site. Most people understand this concept but you would be surprised how often we run into websites that could be better utilizing their home page authority. While an SEO company will always look to correct this, it is not always a quick fix to reconstruct navigation.

By adding a link to an HTML sitemap on the home page or simply globally in the footer, you can ensure that search engines have the ability to crawl every page on your website. Search engines will appreciate being able to skip from page to page through this means. Furthermore, if the sitemap is configured appropriately, it will direct the search engines throughout the site with the correct anchor text which you would like to optimize the destination URL for. Therefore, make sure you take a good look at your keyword assignment when creating link anchor text and titles.

HTML Sitemap Link Anchor Text
HTML Sitemap Link Anchor Text

How to Address Bigger Sites

Now we do have to keep in mind the number of on page links when creating an HTML sitemap. First, remember that Google recommends no more than 100 links per page. We can of course go slightly over this number if need be, but if you start hitting the 150 or 200 link range it is time to consider breaking up the sitemap into multiple pages. This is a fairly simple task actually. When creating your sitemap break it up into a top level sitemap and then a category sitemap. If needed, you can even create a subcategory sitemap. On each sitemap, make sure to have a section titled sitemap which links to the next level of sitemaps.

html-sitemap

Adding an HTML sitemap can, in many cases, improve a websites performance in the search engines. If you are having problems getting all of your pages crawled by Google consider adding a link to your HTML sitemap on the home page or globally to your website. If you would like to learn more about this subject contact us or you can read an indepth post on SEOmoz.

Have a question about HTML sitemaps? Leave it below!

About Garry Grant

Garry Grant is a veteran expert in search engine optimization and the digital marketing industry. With nearly 20 years of experience, Garry has successfully built a multi-service operation at SEO, Inc., developing proprietary technologies through complex strategic solutions. He has extensive experience in key initiatives and operational responsibilities grounded in information technology and performance management.

Garry’s expertise and esteemed reputation, coupled with SEO Inc.’s impressive client success record has earned him such accolades as Entrepreneur Magazine's 2005 Hot List for the Hottest Internet Property, Inc. 500 2007 Honorary award for Fastest Growing Private Company in America, an Inc. 500 top 50 Company in San Diego, and interviews with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

Garry Grant began his online career in 1993 creating strategic Web and e-business solutions for Homepage.com, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Premiere Radio Networks, Clear Channel Communications, EarthLink and Artisan Motion Pictures. Today, Garry and SEO Inc.’s highly skilled digital strategists develop proprietary technology and strategic digital marketing direction for Fortune 500 companies including, SC Johnson, McAfee, Entrepreneur.com., Inc Magazine, IGN, Tacorri, LPL Financial, National Kidney Foundation, G4 TV, Fuel TV and Sony, just to name a few.