Any good site owner, webmaster or SEO will constantly be on the hunt for ways to get pages indexed more efficiently and as quick as possible. The bad news is that getting pages indexed is, for the most part, completely up to the search engines and we have no say as to the what and when. We do, however, have many ways available that can help the indexing process flow much smoother.
One of these methods is Sitemaps. Search engines use Sitemaps to find all of the content on your site. Not only can Sitemaps help search engines find your content, but the file itself will ping search engines every time you make a change to your pages.
How Does the Sitemap Work?
The Sitemap is a file, or separate HTML page that works similar to a link directory. The Sitemap page creates a full listing of internal hyperlinks to every one of your existing pages, which in turn helps search engines crawl deeper in to your site, and passes link juice throughout your pages. This in and of itself is a great tool in making sure your site is search engines friendly.
Also see the official Google explanation of what a Sitemap is:
In general, there are two types of sitemaps. The first type of sitemap is a HTML page listing the pages of your site – often by section – and is meant to help users find the information they need.
XML Sitemaps – usually called Sitemaps, with a capital S – are a way for you to give Google information about your site. This is the type of Sitemap we’ll be discussing in this article.
In its simplest terms, a Sitemap is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process.
Sitemaps are vital in SEO, and every site should have one. If you’re using WordPress, you can try this simple Sitemap plugin that will do all the work for you. If you’re not on WordPress, you can use this guide to building a Sitemap for your site.