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Sitemapping Your Website

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It's Memorial Day in the United States, which means all our subscribers there are probably watching a parade, sitting out next to their pools, on the beach, or having a back yard barbecue.

It's not supposed to be a work day, so let's keep this Daily Nugget brief.

Sitemap pages were very common back in the early days of the web because none of us really knew anything about navigation menus or buttons. If you wanted to get from one page to another on a site you simply looked at the sitemap page.

All pages of a website used to be listed on sitemap pages; of course, that was back when a large website was 20 pages. Today you can click through 20 pages of a site faster than counting to ten.

In the early 2000's, the sitemap page seemed to fall out of usefulness. But then as SEO strategies matured, we all realized the sitemap page was a valuable tool to distribute PageRank within a site.

Typically, there is a link to a sitemap.html page in the footer of your website. On this HTML page you can list all the pages within your site, or you could limit it to the top pages for each section of your site. If the top page (i.e. your section landing page) has links to all other pages within that section, this would be a good strategy. If your site isn't sectionalized, then simply list all the pages in your sitemap.

Other than distributing Google PageRank throughout your site, a visitor uses the sitemap page as a fast way to find a page where otherwise nested navigation may confuse them.

Additionally, a mobile user will find themselves stuck on your home page if your website has fancy CSS or JavaScript dropdown menus. In this case, the sitemap page is a rescue feature, especially when the mobile user is simply trying to click on your store hours page.

So that's it for today. Short and sweet: Add a sitemap page to the footer of your website since it helps to flow PageRank between your pages and is a useful tool for many users.
AT: 05/27/2011 09:48:45 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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