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All About Sitemaps(XML Sitemaps, HTML Sitemaps, Video Sitemaps)

Posted by Atish Ranjan | 11 Comments

Today I am writing the 9th part of Summarized SEO world. Today I am writing about the different types of Sitemaps for websites.

Sitemap are generally files with the list of all the urls of your website. Many times it is built with the meta data for each urls which gives full information about each urls.

Sitemaps are of normally 3 types:-

  1. XML Sitemaps.
  2. HTML sitemaps.
  3. Video Sitemaps.

simple-sitemap

1. XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps are built for  search engines. The xml sitemap makes it easy for search engine crawlers to find all urls on single page. Hence it helps in increasing the crawling and indexing rate of your website. This is how the XML sitemaps looks:-

<urlset>
<url><loc>https://www.website.com/</loc><lastmod>2012-12-12</lastmod><changefreq>daily</changefreq><priority>1</priority></url>

But many times it can be just the list of urls. Both work fine.

Details of Tags
<urlset> =
It encloses every information about the urls listed in the sitemap.

<url> =It encloses information about a particular url.
<loc> = It encloses the specific url.
<lastmod> = It encloses the date of the last modification of particular URL
<changefreq> =
It provides the information about how frequently a URL changes. It might be as daily, monthly, yearly,weekly, hourly, always, never.
<priority> =
It indicates the importance of the url within the site. Its ranges from 0.0 to 1.0.

Creating a XML sitemap for your website:

Either you can generate a sitemap through any online tools such as www.xml-sitemaps.com or You can do it manually by making text file named sitemap in which you should follow the format which is shown in above code snippet then just change the extension of the text file as .xml.

Now your xml sitemap is ready. Now upload it to your website’s root directory so that it’s url will be yoursite.com/sitemap.xml
The next work is to submit this sitemap into the Google’s webmaster tools.  Before you submit the sitemap.xml file into the webmaster tool you need to add your site in the webmaster tools and get the tracking code from there and install it on your website.

How to add XML sitemap to Google Webmasters

Doing this will verify your site in Google webmaster tools. After this, In the webmaster’s dashboard navigate to Optimization >> Sitemaps. Click on ADD/TEST SITEMAP and In the box you will see your site’s link is already there so you need to put only sitemap.xml there and Click on Submit Sitemap.

Your are done!

I will later write a separate post in details about adding website into Google Webmasters tools and adding sitemaps.    

2. HTML Sitemap

HTML sitemaps are the sitemaps basically built for the visitors which may help them navigate to any page of the website through a single page. These are easy to create and it just reflect the site’s design architecture.

Creating HTML Sitemap:
Simple HTML and CSS is used to build this kind of sitemaps. A web designer’s work is to create HTML sitemap. However these sitemaps are built for users, these are also beneficial  in your website’s SEO too. This is like just another page of the website.

3. Video Sitemaps

People don’t use video sitemaps most often but its possible to add a video sitemap too for the videos available on your website or you may add the video information in your XML sitemap only.

If you are making a video sitemap separately then it should look like this:-

<urlset xmlns=”https://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9
“xmlns:video=”https://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-video/1.1”><url><loc>https://www.website.com/video-page.html</loc><video:video><video:thumbnail_loc>https://www.website.com/video-thumbnail.jpg
</video:thumbnail_loc><video:title>Most Awesome Video Ever</video:title><video:description>As the title says: this is the most awesome video ever.
</video:description><video:content_loc>https://www.website.com/video.mp4</video:content_loc><video:duration>120</video:duration></video:video></url></urlset> 

Details of Tags

<video:thumbnail>: It is used to create the rich snippet preview image.

<loc>: It encloses the page url where the video can be found
<video:title>:
 It enclose the title of the video

<video:description>:- It encloses the description of the video

 <video:content>:- it encloses links to the location of the video on the domain.

<video:duration>: it  should be added in seconds.

these are just the basic tags which is used in the video sitemap. There are a lot of other tags you may use in the video sitemap.

I think you have now a better idea of different sitemaps for your website. Enjoy reading!

About Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is a web enthusiast and blogger who loves blogging. He enjoys the challenges of creativity by providing information from the field of technology, SEO, social media and blogging. Connect him on Google+.