A sitemap is a map of your website which tells search engine crawlers all the URLs in your page that has to be crawled. If you don,t have a sitemap, there are possibilities of certain pages being dropped from Google’s search index.This is because a sitemap acts as a file providing valuable information about your page to the crawlers. It also provides the search engine (say Google) with information like ‘frequency of a page getting updated’ or’ last updated on of a page’.
Here are top reasons to have a sitemap according to Google-
- Your site is large- If you have a large number of pages, Google’s crawlers might miss some pages
- Your site has large content pages that are not well linked– A crawler crawls based on how your website is linked. It goes to the home page and then follows link in an order. If your site linking is not good, Google might miss some pages. If you mention all the important pages in a sitemap, this reduces this issue.
- Your site is new and has very few backlinks-When a new website is launched, Google’s crawlers don’t find your website unless some site links to your website.
- Rich media-Sitemaps can tell Google crawlers that certain posts are news and certain posts are recipes etc. This helps in getting your website results shown in Google rich snippets
Additionally there are SEO Benefits of sitemaps as well. Linking all the pages in a website, internally, has been a success mantra in SEO best practices. A sitemap links all the pages in a website and considering its free and helps your website get discovered faster its is advised to make a sitemap of your website.