Does having an HTML sitemap help with SEO?
The growing trend toward using main navigation menus with dynamic elements and fat footers with links to some top-level site content has led to a decline in the use of HTML sitemaps. But is eliminating an HTML sitemap really the best choice for your website? The answer is no.
Implementing an HTML sitemap that is accessible from each page on your site has multiple strategic advantages that can increase search rankings and overall domain authority for your website including:
- Enhancing the efficiency with which search engines can crawl your site
- Improving indexation of site content
- Increasing customer engagement
- Reducing bounce rate
HTML sitemaps help flatten your site by ensuring that all of your site content is within 2-3 clicks for the user and 2-3 links for search. Content can be easily located by the user helping retain them on the site.
Plus, search engines use HTML sitemaps to understand site architecture and content hierarchy. Then they use that information to help assign rank and authority to your site.
Search engines will also the HTML sitemap preferentially to quickly access, crawl, and index site content – making them particularly useful for sites with parameter-driven, faceted navigation menus that generate dynamic URLs.
Here’s a great video from Google’s own Matt Cutts that explains why HTML sitemaps matter to search: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5LIlkhxl2s
From Jax and the Team at New Example
Jacqueline Harvey is a regular contributor to New Example’s SEM Center. Jax brings more than 15 years of technical SEO, web development, UX design, and ecommerce strategy experience to the team through our partnership with Yummy Consulting, where she is Principal Consultant.
New Example Internet Consulting is a Florida, New York, and Los Angeles based Search Engine Marketing agency that delivers comprehensive, integrated Technical SEO solutions and Pay-Per-Click advertising campaign plans developed using proven SEM strategies that meet, and exceed, the search engine industry’s current best practices.