Higher Education Marketing

The Benefits of Using a Sitemap

Date posted: February 16, 2012

As we discussed in a previous post, sitemaps can help boost your online presence. Why, then, are they so underestimated?

The issue tends to center on the idea that if a site is well optimized, it won’t gain much from submitting a sitemap to Google (with the flip side being that a site with very poor navigation and on-page SEO has to submit a sitemap). There may be value to this point of view, but we tend to believe that giving Google extra clues about your site helps. Why not cover all your bases?

Here are some advantages to using a sitemap:

  • Quickly inform search engines about changes
     A lot happens at your college, and it’s normal for there to be a lot of changes to program pages. Search engines, however, will not index those changes instantly. A sitemap, which informs search engines right away about changes, can potentially get changes indexed faster.
  • Help with canonical URLs
    With a sitemap, Google can decipher what page is the main URL, which may help resolve certain canonical issues. Of course, a 301 redirect is a better solution, but a sitemap submission can also help the process.
  • Improved website planning
    A sitemap helps you plan your site before you even start creating it. Think of it like a building. It’s a lot easier to build once you’ve created a structural layout. A sitemap can work in the same way, helping designers understand the number of pages on the site and how they are laid out.
  • Forward-thinking development
    Most search engine sitemap programs are still growing, but as they improve, sitemaps will become a more important part of the indexing process. It’s beneficial, therefore, to already have sitemaps as part of your SEO arsenal.

Here is more from Google on the topic of sitemaps:

What are you thoughts on the sitemap debate?

As a certified Digital Analyst, Philippe Taza founded and created Higher Education Marketing, providing Internet marketing solutions for education institutions, such as K-12 schools, universities, and community colleges. In all, he has been working in the education market since 2001, specializing in Google Analytics, Education Lead Generation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Pay Per Click Marketing, among many other education marketing tactics and tools.

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