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The Importance of an XML Sitemap in SEO

The importance of an XML sitemap in SEO Is generally difficult for laypeople to understand, but only because they do not have a basic comprehension of the technical terms. The good news is, that it's not complicated at all. In fact, it can be related to a much older form of media, printed text. Once you understand the benefits of an XML sitemap, you'll most definitely want one for your web property to gain as much search optimization advantage as possible. So, read on to learn more about the benefits of having an XML sitemap for your website's strategic search optimization.

Just What is an XML Sitemap Exactly?

An XML sitemap is simply a file that's uploaded to the internet that details the pages on a given web property. In other words, it's basically a digital table of contents that lists every page and puts them in a structural, easy-to-follow order. Google's web crawler, along with Bing's web crawler, follows a website XML site map in order to discover new pages, recrawl existing pages that are updated, and find pages that are not linked to other pages on the site.

Essentially, an XML sitemap Acts as a guide for Googlebot and Bing bot to follow. The search engines crawl the contents and then include said contents into their databases, making those pages discoverable to anyone searching for related topics on the internet.

Without a proper site map, the search engines will mostly crawl pages already discovered and interlinked with one another across the same site, and across other sites linking to the target property. This makes for very disorganized and uninclusive indexing of a website, which is precisely why web developers upload XML sitemap files in the first place.

The importance of an XML sitemap in SEO begins with arranging the file in an easy-to-follow manner. Once a site map is uploaded, Google and Bing can call through the index in order to include those pages in their search databases. If the site map is not easy to follow, or incomplete, neither Google nor Bing will be able to discover those pages through the site map file and must rely on links from within the target website or from third-party sites in order to discover those orphaned pages.

So, the primary and overall function of an XML sitemap is to give Google and Bing a road map to follow to include all of the pages of a website in their search data index.

The Importance of SEO For Small Businesses

The importance of SEO for small businesses really comes down to being relevant in today's digital world. Right now, there has never been a time when people are more reliant on the internet, since its public adoption in the 1990s. It's no longer enough to rely on non-digital promotion and advertising, especially with the prominence of social media and search in the current consumer environment. So, read on to learn more about the importance of SEO for small businesses.

SEO Explained

Although the term has been around for some time, SEO or search engine optimization is simply the practice of making a website user-friendly and discoverable by search engines like Google and Bing. The latter two companies make available certain best practice guidelines for optimizing a web property. Fortunately, most of these suggestions are fairly straightforward to adopt, but some of them do require technical expertise. However, with just a bit of research, business owners can begin to reap the benefits of SEO.

The importance of SEO for small businesses begins with being able to be found by potential customers and returning customers as well, online. If your business isn't optimized for search, people simply will not be able to find it on the internet easily. Because the Internet is all about convenience, this means that people will simply turn to alternative vendors for products and services if they can't find your business right away. This is precisely why it is critical for businesses to adopt good SEO practices because it provides the following big benefits:

  1.  SEO for small businesses increases website traffic. When your website is optimized for search, it can readily be found by current and new customers with a simple query. So, they are not only able to find your business online but also contact you and/or purchase products and services right from your site

  2. SEO for small businesses enhances consumer trust. Websites that are outdated do not gain people's trust, simply because they are not kept up to date. If you imagine visiting a website with information outdated by many years, you'll understand why this is so much an essential factor.

  3.  SEO for small businesses improves visitors’ experience. User experience is one of the most important aspects of any website because customers must be able to find what they're looking for with very little effort and find the answers they need right away.

  4. Local SEO for small businesses means more engagement. Websites that are optimized not only provide a good user experience but also encourage people to stay on them longer and utilize the resources that are made available.

  5. SEO for small businesses is also measurable and quantifiable. Additionally, by optimizing your website, you'll be able to track and understand how people interact and behave in regard to your site, which is very advantageous.

Lastly, SEO for small businesses provides the option to identify new opportunities to explore and use to your business’ benefit.