When creating a new site, there are numerous things you have to pay attention to.
There is a list of demands by search engines most of which revolving around user experience. You need to create a website that will help visitors find best information possible in least amount of time.
In that regard, sitemaps are one of the important SEO ingredients.
Luckily for you there are a lot of free tools that can generate a sitemap.
But before I start talking about all these awesome tools, let’s see what sitemaps actually are.
What are sitemaps?
All websites have a certain number of pages or URLs.
As the amount of content increases categorization becomes a problem. This is why we have to place them within one file.
Sitemap is precisely the file that contains all pages on your site.
There are several types of sitemaps:
- Visual sitemap
- XML sitemap
- HTML sitemap
Let’s say some words about each of them.
Visual sitemaps are primarily a planning tool. It helps website owners decide what content to include and how the site should look like. It will definitely save you a lot of time so make sure to use it when you build sitemaps.
XML sitemaps are files that you will primarily add for search engines, to set priority between pages. They tell Google how often they are updated and which version is being used. XML sitemap helps search engines crawl sites and index pages easier. In other words, it helps engines understand the hierarchy of your website.
HTML sitemaps are used to support users and to help them browse through the different pages on a blog.
Why are sitemap generators used?
Sitemap generator will automatically code a sitemap for you.
But why are they generated and what are all the things they can help you with?
Crawling and indexing
As I already mentioned, crawlers can easily be confused with clunky, big websites.
They need a proper URL hierarchy in order to check all the pages. Sitemaps help in terms of that as they guide robots though the content on a site.
Please remember that crawlers will check all the pages on your website regardless of sitemaps so you will have to create a robots.txt file in order to exclude pages you don’t wish to be crawled.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
There are several reasons why sitemaps are so important for site optimization.
By including sitemap you are allowing your content to be crawled quicker. At the same time you are making sure that your links are quickly noticed.
With that in mind, you can rest assure that Google will quickly notice any change and rank your pages accordingly. Each internal link can affect your pages and their rankings and can help you with your SEO efforts.
Managing your web business
Sitemaps have certain advantages that are hard to instantly notice. They are a great way of managing your site in 2017.
Keep in mind that a sitemap is actual representation and categorization of your content. If you click on the file and check it out you can get a useful insight to the things that are present on your domain.
This is especially important for internet stores as it shows you all the products and services and help you make a breakdown.
It can also help you to quickly browse through content as you’re searching for new article ideas.
Great for big websites and such with poor interlinking
If there are a lot of internal links on your website, robots will use them to go from one page to another.
But if you have a poor internal link structure, it is possible that crawlers will not be able to reach these pages by default.
Instead, you will need to guide them and what better way than with a link structure called sitemap.
Browsing rich media
Search engines can have some issues with rich media. If you have a sitemap, these files will be properly submitted and can be used by engines when required.
10 cool sitemap generator tools
Now that you understand the basics, it is time to check some solid sitemap generator tools used to create them.
When creators of Dynomapper made this tool, they wanted to give us something new and exciting.
Of course, it is a sitemap generator tool like any other on this list but what’s really intriguing about it is its interactive features. You are able to share your projects with others, comment on them, etc.
This is especially great if you’re working with other people. It also has some premium features such as:
- content inventory
- content audit
- keyword tracking
In a nutshell, Dynomapper is everything you need to manage your pages.
Although every product on this list gives user some sort of control over sitemaps, Writemaps is really specific as it allows you complete control over the project.
This is great for users who know what they’re doing and can create a sitemap with minimal assistance by the tool itself.
Sitemap can then be shared or exported into XML or PDF format.
There are a lot of things you can do with this sitemap generator tool.
For example, it allows you to make various types of sitemaps depending on the platform or file you’re using:
The biggest issue with this program is the fact that it is no longer managed so you won’t get anything else besides the current version.
Google Sitemap Generator for MS2
As I mentioned, sitemaps are extremely important for e-commerce sites.
This tool can help you with just that. It has various options for creating commercial sitemaps such as changing language or categories.
However, it has a limit when it comes to the total number of pages it can support.
Google (XML) Sitemap Generator for WordPress
This is yet another specialized sitemap generator software which creates sitemaps specifically for WordPress.
However, as you can tell based on the title, it can only do XML files.
Still, it supports everything you can create in WordPress and what is even more important, if you make changes to sitemap, plug-in will immediately notify search engines.
Weblight is a sitemap generator tool that can check the Markup and CSS of a site. It can be used on any type of hardware. Lastly, one cool feature of this tool is that you can run sitemap diagnostics through it.
This software can be directly downloaded from the website and then installed on your PC. The tool offers basic options for XML sitemap creation and is ideal for all those who are creating a such a file for the first time.
When you start using this product, you will be able to create XML and TXT sitemaps.
It works with almost any operative system meaning that people with older ones can also use it. You can also check all the links on your website by using its diagnostics.
Most software on this list is mainly concerned with sitemap generation.
Only a handful of them gives you additional options such as Visual SEO.
Unlike its competition, this generator can be used regardless of whether your sitemap has been created or not. It can be used to modify and audit sitemaps at any time.
There are numerous styles and options that are available with this sitemap generator.
Even though it is officially free (at least trial), you are unable to save a sitemap unless you register online. Unfortunately, you will have to pay in order to do so.
Whether you have a regular blog or a big e-commerce website it is necessary to consider creating a sitemap.
There are numerous SEO benefits that come with having it and your visitors will also appreciate it.
When it comes to a particular tool you can use, these on the list will do good job for you. Just make sure to pick one which you find easy to work with.
Have you used one of these sitemap generators? How did you like it? Give me your feedback in the comment section below or send me an email with your thoughts!