How to keep your sitemap up-to-date

A sitemap page provides a comprehensive overview of a website’s structure and organization, aiding visitors and search engines in effectively navigating and understanding its content.

website sitemap

Seo Sitemap

A file that explains the search engines about the pages on your website is known as a sitemap. A sitemap is of utmost importance to websites because it enables seamless crawling and indexing of websites by search engines. As a result, you will observe a higher ranking in search results.

Suppose you wish to keep your sitemap up-to-date. In that case, you must ensure it includes all the latest changes associated with your website. What elements does this include? The new pages, updated pages, and deleted pages on your website.

But how will you do this? Listed below are the various ways in which you can keep your sitemap up-to-date:

Manually: It is possible to update your sitemap manually. You can do this by adding new pages, editing existing pages, and deleting old ones. The manual method for sitemap updates is the most time-consuming one. Still, it also gives you convenience and control of your sitemap.

Automatically: You can also use the numerous available tools to update your sitemap automatically. These employ various methods to track the changes occurring on your website. They also monitor your web server logs and crawl your website.

Hybrid: The hybrid approach involves the manual updating of your sitemap regularly, along with the use of automatic tools to keep it updated between two manual checks.

What is a Sitemap?

The map of your website is known as a sitemap. It can be a visual representation of the structure of your website or a text file with a list of all the pages present on your website. Sitemaps are of extreme importance to individuals who visit your website. Why? Because they are a great way to find the information they are trying to find quickly. Furthermore, they promote the indexing of your website by search engines more conveniently.

A file that comprises the list of all the pages on your website is known as the sitemap. It makes it helpful for search engines to find, crawl, and index your website quickly and swiftly. As a result, you will notice better website rankings on SERPs.

What are the different types of sitemaps?

The best part about sitemaps is that they offer benefits not just to the users but also to the search engines. How? Sitemaps help users quickly find all the information they have been searching for. Furthermore, sitemaps help search engines crawl and index a specific website more efficiently.

Suppose you have a large website or one with high quantities of dynamic content. In both of these cases, creating a sitemap is the best bet! Why? Because they are beneficial if you want to enhance your visibility on your website on search results. Moreover, they also make navigation easier for your website.

Listed below are the types of sitemaps:

XML Sitemaps

These versions of sitemaps are machine-readable and are meant to help search engines in crawling and indexing a website. XML sitemaps usually include information about each page present on the website. These include the URL, the page’s last modified date, and its priority. Such sitemaps are crawled by search engines like Google. Hence, they are instrumental in improving your website’s visibility in search results.

XML sitemaps typically include the following details about each of your web pages:

  • The page’s URL
  • The page’s language
  • The page’s last modified date
  • The page’s frequency of updates
  • The page’s robots meta tags instructions
  • The page’s priority (i.e., how significant it is to search engines)

HTML Sitemaps

These versions of the sitemaps are human-readable and are meant to help your users navigate your website. HTML sitemaps are typically segregated using factors such as category or date. They include the links to all of your website’s pages. Search engines do not crawl these, but they benefit visitors trying to find a particular page on your website.

The characteristic feature of HTML sitemaps is that they are arranged hierarchically, and the most important ones get the top place. These comprise the links to all pages and the specific sections or categories of pages.

Image Sitemaps

These are the kinds of XML sitemaps that enlist all the images present on a website. Image sitemaps entail details about each image. These include the URL, the alt text, and the image size. Their purpose is to help search engines crawl and index the images on your website. Hence, they help improve the visibility of images on SERPs.

So, the information that image sitemaps have about each image includes:

  • The image’s URL
  • The image’s alt text
  • The image’s file name
  • The image’s caption
  • The image’s dimension

Video Sitemaps

These are the kinds of XML sitemaps that enlist all the videos present on a website. This means that they include all the details about each video published, which includes the URL, the description, and the duration. Video sitemaps are meant to help search engines crawl and index your videos. Hence, they are also important for improving the visibility of your videos in search results.

Usually, video sitemaps are known to include the information stated below about each of your videos:

  • The video’s file name
  • The video’s duration
  • The video’s description
  • The video’s URL
  • The video’s title

News Sitemaps

These are the kinds of XML sitemaps that enlist all the news articles present on a website. Hence, news sitemaps have information regarding each article, including the title, author, and date. They can help get search engines to crawl and index your news articles, thereby enhancing your visibility on search engine result pages.

News sitemaps also include the below-stated information about your news articles:

  • The news article’s title
  • The news article’s URL
  • The news article’s summary
  • The news article’s publication date
  • The news article’s author

Mobile Sitemaps

These are the kinds of XML sitemaps that enlist all the mobile-friendly pages present on a website. Mobile sitemaps typically include the information about each page, including its URL and the viewport width. These also help the search engines in crawling and indexing these mobile-compatible pages. Furthermore, they also help improve your mobile pages’ visibility on SERPs.

As a rule of thumb, your mobile sitemaps will comprise the exact details as your XML sitemaps, adding details about the mobile-friendly versions of each page.

All in all, the kind of sitemap you require will depend on your website as well as what goals you have set for it. But if you wish the search engines to crawl and index your website’s pages, then it is essential that you create an XML sitemap. If you want to help your visitors easily navigate your website, an HTML sitemap is necessary for you. Finally, you have images, videos, or news articles. In that case, you must ensure that you are creating a separate sitemap for each of these.

The Top Benefits of A Sitemap

Having a sitemap has various benefits, just like an XML sitemap. Listed below are the most popular ones:

Helps visitors find the information they are looking for: Your sitemap is an excellent way to help users find the information they came looking for. This can be made quicker and easier if the sitemap is well organized. It is essential for improving the user experience of your website.

Helps improve your website’s navigation: Your sitemap is also helpful in making your website’s navigation more user-friendly and intuitive. This is a great way to encourage your visitors to spend longer on your website and explore many pages.

Helps you track your website’s performance: You can also monitor the sitemap to understand how much traffic each page receives. Knowing this is essential for the identification of popular pages and also the ones that need improvement.

Understanding The Importance of A Sitemap

Listed below are the primary reasons why sitemaps are important:

  • Sitemaps help search engines find all the pages on your website.
  • Sitemaps help the search engines in understanding the structure of your website.
  • Sitemaps help search engines prioritize the pages present on your website.
  • Sitemaps also help you prevent issues like duplicate content.

Why Do You Need A Sitemap?

A file that informs the search engines about the pages present on your website is known as a sitemap. The purpose of a sitemap is to ensure that search engines crawl and index your website. As a result, your ranking on search engine result pages will be improved. Furthermore, sitemaps are helpful for users as well. This is because they make finding information easier for them.

Listed below are the top benefits of having a sitemap:

Better ranking on search engines: Sitemaps are used by search engines to crawl and index your website, which in turn can help improve your ranking in search results.

Improved user experience: Sitemapsare also instrumental in helping visitors quickly find the information they are looking for. As a result, your website’s user experience will be enhanced, which will have visitors coming repeatedly.

Boosted traffic: Sitemaps are also helpful for bringing more traffic to your website. When search engines find that you have a well-organized sitemap, they are more likely to crawl and index your website, improving its visibility.

Reduced crawl budget: Search engines usually don’t have many resources or much time to crawl websites. By providing them with a sitemap, you can make sure that search engines place a premium on the pages present on your website that are more significant.

Preventing duplicate content: Sitemaps also help you avoid issues like the same content. Search engines usually don’t index all pages if there is duplicate content. But when you provide a sitemap, you indicate to search engines about the original and the duplicate pages.

The Process of Creating a Sitemap

Sitemaps are typically of two formats: XML and HTML. While XML sitemaps are the more common ones used by search engines, HTML sitemaps are more human-readable, but search engines don’t crawl them.

If you are willing to create an XML sitemap, you can employ a sitemap generator or a web crawler. Once your sitemap is ready, you can submit it to search engines using Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools.

The following are the two ways in which you can create a sitemap:

  • Through a sitemap generator: Numerous free and paid sitemap generators are available today, which help you create an XML sitemap quickly and easily.
  • Manually: You can also create a sitemap manually if you know HTML. Although this seems complex, it is better because it gives you more control of the content in your sitemap.

Select the Correct Format for Your Sitemap

Your needs will determine the correct format for the sitemap. Suppose you are genuinely interested in enhancing the ranking of your website, then consider using an XML sitemap. On the contrary, if you want to make it easier for your users to find the information they are looking for on your website, then using an HTML sitemap is the idea.

Listed below are some valuable tips for creating a sitemap:

  • Use unique URLs for all pages
  • Refrain from using redirects in your sitemap
  • Update the sitemap regularly, especially upon adding new pages or making changes to existing ones

Understanding The Difference Between A Sitemap And A robots.txt File





Explains to search engines about what pages are present on your website

Explains to search engines which of your pages they should crawl and which they should refrain from crawling





Contains a list of the URLs present on your website, as well as additional information, e.g., last modified date and the priority of the page

Contains the necessary instructions for search engines, including which of the pages on your site to crawl and which pages to avoid


It is present in the root directory of a website

This is also present in the root directory of your website


Usually not necessary, but it is recommended

Not necessary


You must update it on a regular basis, especially when you add new pages or make changes to existing ones

You must update it only when you need to make changes to the instructions for the search engines


It can boost your existing rankings on SERPs

It can help you prevent the crawling and indexing pages by the search engines that you do not wish for them to crawl or index

List All The Pages Present On Your Site In The Sitemap

This is considered a crucial step in creating a sitemap. All of the pages of your site must be included in the sitemap. If you miss a page, search engines will not crawl or index it.

The first step includes listing all the pages present on your site in the sitemap. You can do this with the help of a sitemap generator or even manually.

If you are listing your pages manually, it is important to remember that you will need a text file containing one URL per line. Moreover, the URL must be full, including the protocol (http or https).

If you use a sitemap generator, you need to enter the URLs of all the pages on your site, and the generator will create a sitemap for you.

Add Additional Information to The Sitemap

Along with the URL, you also need to add some additional information to the sitemap, like the last modified date and the priority of a page. This is important because this information is helpful for search engines to crawl as well as index your website more efficiently.

Here’s a list of the necessary additional information that you must add to your sitemap:

  • The page’s priority
  • The page’s language
  • The page’s last modified date
  • The page’s frequency
  • The page’s robots instructions

Submit The Sitemap to Seach Engines

Once the sitemap is created, you are supposed to submit the sitemap to search engines by using Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools.

For the submission of the sitemap to Google Search Console, you need to follow the steps stated below:

  • Visit Google Seach Console.
  • Sign in to your account.
  • Click the tab – “Sitemaps”.
  • Click the button – “Add a Sitemap”.
  • Enter the URL of your sitemap.
  • Click on the button – “Submit”.

To submit your sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools, the following are the steps you have to take:

  • Visit Bing Webmaster Tools.
  • Sign in to your account.
  • Click on the tab – “Sitemaps”.
  • Click the button – “Add a Sitemap”.
  • Enter the URL of your sitemap.
  • Click on the button – “Submit”.

Verify The Successful Submission of Your Sitemap

This step is important if you wish for search engines to efficiently crawl and index your websites. If you don’t submit your sitemap successfully, it will be unlikely for search engines to find it.

Once the sitemap is submitted to search engines, it is time to verify the successful submission. How can you do this? By checking the status of your sitemap in Search Console.

Let us have a look at the steps you need to follow to achieve this in Google Search Console:

  • Visit Google Search Console.
  • Sign in to your account.
  • Click on the tab – “Sitemaps”.
  • Find your sitemap in the list of the submitted sitemaps.
  • You can view the status of your sitemap in the column – “Status”.

Suppose you see that the column displays the status of your sitemap as “Success”. In that case, you can be assured that the sitemap has been submitted successfully. If the status states “Pending, it is still being processed. Lastly, if it states “Error”, you can understand that your sitemap has an error.

Monitor your sitemap to make sure it is up-to-date.

This is a very important step if you’re willing to ensure that the sitemap is up-to-date with the latest changes made to your website. Without an up-to-date sitemap, search engines will not seamlessly find all the pages on your website.

Once you verify the successful submission of the sitemap, it is necessary to monitor it regularly to ensure that it is also up-to-date as your website keeps evolving. What does this imply? Assessing the sitemap when a new page is updated on the website. You also need to check whether your sitemaps’ URLs are valid.

You can do this by manually checking the sitemap or using a sitemap monitoring tool.

  • If you want to check the sitemap manually, open the sitemap file and identify any new pages to changes to the current URLs.
  • If you want to check the sitemap using a monitoring tool, the tool will automatically check it for you, and you will receive a notification if there are any changes.

All in all, you must always ensure that your sitemap is up-to-date since it is necessary for search engines to crawl and index all the pages on your site successfully. On the contrary, if your sitemap is updated, it will be easier for search engines to find all these pages, which can have adverse effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Search engines help place your website on top through crawling and other processes, which results in increased traffic and engaged visitors.

Sitemap is significant in listing your web pages that can help your business get a high rank on search engines. Through SEO services, sitemap helps search engines understand your website structure, increasing your website’s online appearance.

In search engine optimization the use of sitemaps is significant in various ways, like:

  • It increases the crawlability of your website.
  • It assists search engines in indexing your website.
  • It helps understand the structure of your website for search engines.

Search engine optimization in Mumbai can provide the best service related to the sitemap. A well-designed sitemap can help ensure that a website is being indexed accurately and efficiently, making it easier for people to find the information they need and for search engines to understand the content and structure of the site. The search engine uses it to crawl your website and discover any errors.


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