One of the most underestimated SEO concepts is that of the sitemap. While creating a sitemap isn’t a new thing – it’s definitely something that’s been remediated as a simple, and unremarkable task. You will never look at sitemaps the same, after hearing what we have to say. It’s crazy, but what if I told you a sitemap helped increase SEO traffic by 10% in just one month?
Background info about sitemaps
Sitemaps, as the name suggests, are a map of your website. It’s a page, that shows the navigation structure of your site. Sitemaps enable users, and search engines, to navigate your site – and updating it frequently is a good way to ensure search engines are aware of new pages. Sitemaps have been a part of best Web design practices, for a while now. Typically, they are created, and then never looked at again.
What we did
We created a global sitemap, that is crawlable, and renderable, by Google. After creating it, we embedded it into the footer navigation bar (thus making it so internal links were created to it, from every single page of the BBC Shop website). It was added into the footer June of 2015.
The SEO results
Point blank, within a period of 30-35 days, we saw a 10% increase in organic traffic to the website. Without “revealing,” any info that might disclose confidential information, i’ve attached a screenshot from Google analytics. The link to the sitemap was added into footer in the month of June.
The BBC shop has ALWAYS had a sitemap. The results of this case study should not be misinterpreted. It’s not that we didn’t have a sitemap, and then created one out of the blue. What we did was embed an internal, site-wide, link to the sitemap.
At the very least, a new “best practice,” of hyperlinking to the sitemap from every single page of your website – may have advisable. If you are similar to the BBC shop, and have an issue with Google being unable to crawl your pages, then this may act as a mechanism through which you can funnel link juice to product pages.
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