What is an HTML Sitemap? An HTML Sitemap is a page on your website with links to every single page of important content on your website. Any pages on your site that can be indexed by search or are navigable from your menus should be linked to by your sitemap page!
But I already have an XML Sitemap! An XML Sitemap is purely for search engines, and all of the pages you submit via XML are not guaranteed to be indexed. XML Sitemaps are of no use to your end user. They are made for robots and look like they are made for robots. See ours here.
What Does an HTML Sitemap Look Like? A simple list of important pages with links to each one. Check out our Mockingbird Marketing sitemap page!
Why Your HTML Sitemap is Important
All of the content on your site should be navigable with clicks. But, some of your really old blog posts or deep pages may take quite a few page links and clicks to reach. When you create an HTML Sitemap page and place that page link in your footer, you provide links to all the important content on your site within 2 clicks! This is useful for visitors and the search engines alike. It may increase the likelihood of that old, yet important content, being indexed by search. All of this increases the chances of people finding your website and content through search.
This video may be a few years old, but Matt Cutts explanation still rings true, see below:
It’s unclear if HTML sitemaps are still a major SEO force/factor…. However, they are easy to create and possibly useful for search and users, every site should have one.
How To Create Your WordPress HTML Sitemap: Our Favorite Solution
WordPress has thousands of free and premium plugins available to do anything under the sun on your website. Some plugins we love make certain SEO tasks a breeze. We use WordPress SEO by Yoast to do all sorts of on site SEO tasks, like creating XML Sitemaps. That plugin has amazing functionality, but is missing an HTML Sitemap generator. And trust me, you don’t want to manually create an HTML sitemap. This would require creating a link to every page on your website, and adding a link every time you create a new page.
That’s why we use this amazing plugin – WP SEO HTML Sitemap. It integrates with your Yoast XML Sitemap settings, but does not require Yoast to function. With Yoast, this HTML Sitemap plugin will create one link to every page on your website that exists in your XML Sitemap. You should already have your XML Sitemap configured to include all indexed, important content on your site.
Steps to Setup your HTML Sitemap Page:
- Install the plugin on your WordPress site.
- Create a page titled “Site Map”.
- From your site’s WordPress admin screen, hover over “Settings” and click “SEO HTML Sitemap”.
- Sitemap Page: Select “Site Map”.
- Location on Page: Select “After Page’s Content”.
- Disable Plugin’s CSS?: Select “Disable the CSS Styles”. This will disable the column setting. Hint: you don’t want to load unnecessary extra css resources on your site.
- Link to XML Sitemap: Select “No, Don’t Link to the Sitemap XML”.
- Credit Link: Select “Don’t add”. Sorry Plugin Author..
- Hit “Save Changes” button.
- Add a link to your new HTML Sitemap page in your websites footer.
- You’re done!
See how easy that was? A few quick steps to increasing the quality of your website!