The Importance of XML Site Maps

This month SearchRankings.Net is busy at work putting the finishing touches on a new website redesign. We’ve spent most of Q1 2010 focusing in on our core business and we want our website to reflect what we do, and we continue to search for ways to do what we do even better than we did it before. So as I sent a number of draft versions of our new site to staff and requested feedback, I was surprised that even a top notch SEO company can learn a thing or two when it comes to the details of On-Page Optimization. Our web site is pretty simple, and given that we are a fully managed SEO firm, most of our existing clients don’t spend a lot of time on our website, it’s primarily used to generate qualified leads and new business.

The following information is from one of our top programmers and it talks about the importance of both an XML and HTML Site Maps. SearchRankings.Net has always had a site map, but it was a good time to improve, update and resubmit. At the same time I learned about a process that Google is using to verify websites. Just a couple of additional tips that will help your website rank even higher. As Jerry Maguire would say “help me, help you”…

From SearchRankings Programmer G: The sitemap is hugely important, even if the website has 3 pages, it should have a sitemap. XML sitemaps are a bit more purpose-specific than HTML sitemaps (which are basically just a page with links) because in addition to the URL, they contain “Last Mod Date”, “Change Frequency” and “Priority” (decimal 0-1 i think).

Here is the link for the first result in Google for “xml sitemaps”. It says some things about ROR, Text and HTML sitemaps, you can read up more on that if you want, although I think an XML sitemap would do the trick just fine. There is also a place in Google Webmaster Tools to put the URL of your sitemap.

Separate note: Have you “verified” your website through Google? This involves uploading a file called something like google9284923923433.html, basically so they know that you own it. Add the site in webmaster tools, then there will be an option to verify the site, and it will tell you the correct filename… It just needs to be an empty file…

For more information on how to verify your website sitemap, and even more details on how to make sure your blog is also included in your sitemap, please contact SearchRankings.Net