In this guide, you will learn what HTML sitemaps are and how to use them to boost your site’s SEO.
Ready to learn and improve your site in a quick and easy way?
3 Awesome Benefits of Having an HTML Sitemap Installed on Your WordPress Site
There are quite a few more but I feel these 3 best illustrate how important HTML sitemap can be to your blog.
1. Google Can Crawl Your Site Better
Each site on the web that Google knows about has its monthly crawl budget dedicated to it.
Basically, that’s how often Google is willing to crawl that site in one month’s time.
Now it’s possible to increase crawl budget (by increasing link authority) but it’s best to optimize the way Google crawls your site.
And HTML sitemaps help a tonne here.
Because Google-bot follows links and your sitemap is going to be a BIG list of links, all going places.
Also, this ensures you won’t be having orphaned pages anywhere on your site.
2. People Can Navigate Your Site Better
While XML sitemaps are just for robots, their HTML brethren are safe for human consumption too:)
So folks who want to quickly find something and you don’t have search function enabled on your blog.
Can simply pop on over to your sitemap and search for what they need.
3. Helps With Page Rank Distribution
As I explained in this post on Vishwajeet Kumar’s blog, when you’re a very small site with not a lot of links pointing to you.
It’s crucial to use what little equity you have with the greatest efficiency.
And then it’s even more crucial to make sales with what traffic you do get (here are some tips to boost your affiliate income)
HTML sitemaps are a true boon there as PR flows through those links baby!
Here’s an old but still relevant video from Matt Cutts that confirms it.
Bonus Tip – Optimizing PR Flow
There are ways to ensure that maximum Page Rank flows to your most important pages.
Have Your Sitemap in Your Menu
Because your menu is ever-present throughout your site. Everything links to it and if, for example, you have 400 posts indexed in Google, then that’s at least 400 internal links pointing to that page.
This makes it very authoritative and your sitemap is then able to strategically pass on PR elsewhere.
Think of your sitemap as a pool of water and links on that page are pipes. And your pages are dying of thirst. 🙂
Link to Your Categories And Your MOST Important Posts
Because I say so! Just DO IT!
Link to categories so that PR flows through them and to the rest of your site.
Link to your most important pages because that way you send a tonne of juice directly to your money page.
For example on my site, my Wealthy Affiliate Review is my money page.
And that guide has found its place in my sitemap, and with keyword-rich anchor too.
How to Install a Sitemap on Your WordPress Site (2 ways)?
First, there is the manual way. Simply create a new page in WP and add in your most important links.
That is how I did it on my site.
Second way is with a plugin and here are the steps.
Go and install a Simple Sitemap plugin.
Then in your WP dashboard on the left find the Sitemap tab and click on “Simple Sitemap.”
Then click on the “available shortcodes” tab and choose one of the shortcodes that’s available for free.
Then just paste the shortcode in the editor and publish your brand new HTML sitemap.
2 Awesome Examples of HTML Sitemaps Done Right!
This is how Navin set up his.
At the top of the page, he has jump links that pull you further down the page when you click on them.
And his posts are listed under their respective categories giving a nice overview of what QuestionCage is all about.
I like it.
This sitemap is very effective at passing PR because ever post gets a direct link from it. But the downside to that is that since there are so many links PR is pretty diluted.
But that’s ok as Navin has obviously created his Sitemap with a human-first mindset.
And here’s an example of an HTML sitemap that’s built with robots in mind, at least that’s how it seems to me.
You can see that this sitemap consists of category links and shortlists of important links beneath each category.
This is ideal for SEO and I won’t say anything more.
Note: Crazy Egg keeps their sitemap in footer. If they moved it to the menu, even partially hidden, it would probably give them a larger SEO boost.
That is because menu links are above the fold and inherently more valuable than footer links which are always hidden and out of sight.
To Conclude… HTML Sitemaps – A Boon To Your SEO
HTML sitemaps are in many ways a rarity in SEO. It’s because when you create them intending to boost your SEO, you’re boosting your UX as well.
Because where bots go, people follow or is it the other way around?
With HTML sitemaps- it doesn’t matter.
It’s all good!
I want to thank Navin for letting me share my expertise, and YOU, leave me a comment below, lemme know what you think.
Guest Author: Nikola Roza is an SEO nerd. But never mind that. He can help you get more free search engine traffic. And then convert that traffic into affiliate sales. For more info- visit nikolaroza.com