You want Google to crawl every important page of your website. But sometimes, pages end up without any internal links pointing to them, making them hard to find. An XML sitemap lists a website’s important pages, making sure Google can find and crawl them all, also helping it understand your website structure:
As you can see, the keryar.com XML sitemap shows several ‘index’ sitemaps: post-sitemap.xml, page-sitemap.xml, video-sitemap.xml etc. This categorization makes a site’s structure as clear as possible. So if you click on one of the index sitemaps, you’ll see all URLs in that particular sitemap. For example, if you click on post-sitemap.xml you’ll see all keryar.com’s post URLs (click on the image to enlarge):
You’ll notice a date at the end of each line. This tells Google when each post was last updated and helps with SEO because you want Google to crawl your updated content as soon as possible. When a date changes in the XML sitemap, Google knows there is new content to crawl and index.
What websites need an XML sitemap?
Google’s documentation says XML sitemaps are beneficial for “really large websites”, for “websites with large archives”, for “new websites with just a few external links to it” and for “websites which use rich media content”.
While we agree that these kinds of websites will definitely benefit the most from having one, at keryar, we think XML sitemaps are beneficial for every website. Every single website needs Google to be able to easily find the most important pages and to know when they’re last updated
Check your own XML sitemap!
Now, you know how important it is to have an XML sitemap: having one can help your site’s SEO. Google can easily access your most important pages and posts if you add the right URLs to it. Google will also be able to find updated content easily, so they know when a URL needs to be crawled again. Lastly, adding your XML sitemap to Google Search Console helps Google find your sitemap fast and allows you to check for sitemap errors. Now go check your own XML sitemap and make sure you’re doing it right!