Sitemaps are an essential piece of a website and are extremely important for SEO, yet not all websites have them and not everyone knows exactly what they are. In short: an XML sitemap is a map of your website that shows every page of your website and all of the links to those pages and allows search engines to know how your website and content is organized.
1. Efficient Crawling and Indexing: Search engines pull information from hundreds of millions of sources every single day in order to show results to someone who has submitted a query by using algorithms. When a website has an XML Sitemap and submits it, it allows for easier crawling and indexing by search engines because all of the content is neatly laid out in a “roadmap” form. The sitemaps also alert search engines of information that has been changed or added to a website.
2. Original Content Creation: In the age of Google’s Panda algorithm, it’s important for websites to produce original, good quality content. By referencing your website’s XML sitemap, it is easier to check to see if there is any duplicate content on a website and the sitemap also allows search engines to know where the original content came from if it is shared elsewhere on the Web.
3. Getting Noticed: When you’re spending hours creating content and working hard to have a strong business, you’re going to want your website to be found. Having an XML sitemap is an SEO ranking factor, so having one that search engines can pull from (especially when content is added and updated!) will increase your rankings over time, thus being seen by more users.