What is an XML sitemap and why should you have one? Tips & Best Practices
One of the most powerful strategies for search engine optimization (SEO) is to equip your website with an XML Sitemap. A file that is known as an XML sitemap is one that stores the URLs of numerous websites. Its primary application is in assisting search engines in comprehending the composition and organization of websites.
Because it acts as a gateway for search engines and as a guide that outlines the contents of the website and how they may be accessed, we consider it to be significant. Additionally, it serves as a guide that outlines the contents of the website. Because of this, we think it has a lot of significance. It is necessary for a website to have a suitable XML Sitemap in order for it to perform well in search engines.
The image below shows what an XML sitemap looks like once it has been built by Yoast SEO.
Different kinds of XML sitemaps XML sitemaps can be split into two categories: dynamic XML sitemaps and static XML sitemaps. XML sitemaps can also be combined.
Dynamic XML Sitemap: This refers to a file that contains an XML sitemap and is automatically generated by the website. Large e-commerce websites typically make use of this particular format for their sitemap files.
This is a sitemap that is formatted in static XML. For the purpose of generating a static XML sitemap, Screaming Frog is just one of the many free apps that are accessible. This particular kind of sitemap is also known as an XML sitemap in some circles. When it comes to small websites that are not frequently updated, your best bet is to go with a static XML sitemap.
Important Fundamental Elements of an XML Sitemap
An XML Sitemap should have fewer than 500 pages in a perfect world; otherwise, it would be too long for search engines to crawl, which would result in a higher crawl budget. The elements that must be present in an XML Sitemap are detailed in the following list.
The <loc> sign points to the URL that is situated between the tags in the document. It shows the most recent date that the page's content was modified.
The frequency at which the page is refreshed is indicated by the changefreq variable (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or annually).
<priority> Between 0 and 1, the possible levels of priority are as follows: (With 1.0 being the most essential part of the equation.)
The priority of a page is initially set to a value of 0.5 when it is created. If you give each of your pages the same level of importance, you will be wasting your time because priority is a relative notion. The only use it serves is to differentiate one page from another in the sitemap you've created.
Additional varieties of XML sitemaps, such as Image XML Sitemap and Video XML Sitemap, ought to be made available as well. These XML sitemap types are essential for delivering a concise description of the movies and photographs hosted on a website in a style that is simple to read.
Diagram of the Website for Images
A conventional XML sitemap and an image sitemap both follow the same format for their structures. The sole difference is an XML sitemap for images, which helps search engines correctly scan and index images on a page. This is the only difference. It has a huge impact on the rankings of picture searches, which is why I would recommend doing it.
In addition to the standard XML sitemap, it is beneficial to have an imageable sitemap. Especially if you want to be found by people using picture search engines.
Video XML Sitemap An XML video sitemap focuses mostly on the videos that are hosted on your website as its major subject matter. As a recommended strategy for search engine optimization (SEO), you should also provide a video sitemap in addition to the standard sitemap on your website. It is essential to produce a static website that will house information regarding each individual movie.