You may have heard this term and thought why do I need a site map when I have a main menu? It is true, your main menu acts as sort of a site map but depending on how your website is constructed, it may be difficult for Google to index your website’s content.
A site map is an XML file that contains links to all your content. It is structured in a way that helps the Google bots spider and index your website for search.
If you are working with an SEO person, great, they are probably connecting your website to Google’s webmaster tools. This is a page that helps introduce your website to Google. This introduction helps Google find your website faster and index it properly. One of the tools is a place to submit your site map. Usually this is a file named sitemap.xml. Maybe ask your SEO person if they are doing this for you.
With wordpress, you can install a plugin that makes sitemap generation easy. The plugin also keeps the sitemap.xml file up to date and sends a ping to Google and other search engines about the site changes.
When this term came up many years ago there was a lot of confusion. Some website designers made graphical maps of their clients’ site content. That would do no good because the search engine spider can not read graphics. There where other sites that simply made a page called “Site Map” with bullet-ed links to all pages. That would almost work if they used the XML format.
If your website is developed as a static HTML site there are 3rd party places online that you can go to have a site map generated for your website. It only takes a couple minutes. You can try it here at https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/. Just type in your website address and download the file it produces. That file will need to be uploaded to your website using FTP (File Transfer Protocol). If you do not know how to do this consult with a web designer or contact Site Mechanix. We’ll be glad to help!