Types of Sitemaps & Best Practices

Types of Sitemaps & Best Practices


For business owners and digital marketers, a website sitemap plays a crucial role in optimizing their website’s visibility and enhancing user experience. A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages of a website and provides information to search engines about the content of each page. A sitemap, if appropriately structured, can notably improve search engine rankings and help search engine crawlers index your website effortlessly.

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the different types of sitemaps available and the best practices for creating them.


1. XML Sitemap

XML sitemap is the most widely used sitemap format for search engine optimization. This sitemap lists all the pages of a website in an organized way and includes information about each page, such as last modified date, priority, and the frequency it’s likely to change. The XML sitemap communicates these details to search engine crawlers, enhancing the crawlability of your website.

2. HTML Sitemap

An HTML sitemap is primarily designed for users to navigate your website easily. It’s a page that lists all the pages of a website in a hierarchical order. HTML sitemaps include links to all the site’s pages and sections and aid in quickly getting an overview of your website’s structure. HTML sitemaps are useful for users who want to understand your website’s layout and can increase website user experience.

3. Image Sitemap

As the name suggests, an image sitemap lists all the images on a website, including additional details about each image, like the name, date, and caption. This sitemap can enhance the rankings of websites with a lot of images, by providing search engines with additional metadata. The better search engines understand the content of the images, the more likely they are to appear in search engine image results, potentially increasing traffic to your website.

4. Video Sitemap

Just like image sitemaps, video sitemaps list all the videos on a website, along with relevant details such as the name, length, and description of the video. A video sitemap helps search engines index video content on your website, providing more information about your videos than they would typically extract from the page. Providing such detailed metadata translates to better rankings and visibility for your website.

5. News Sitemap

A news sitemap is used explicitly for websites that generate news content frequently. News sitemaps help search engine crawlers index the content faster than the typical sitemap, thus improving search engine rankings for the content on your site. News sitemaps are structured to include data elements such as the date of publication and how long the content will stay fresh, making it easier for search engine crawlers to identify relevant content.

Best Practices for Sitemaps

Now that you have a better understanding of the types of sitemaps let’s look at some best practices for them:

  • Keep it simple
    Ensure that sitemaps are simple to navigate, easy to comprehend, and follow a logical hierarchy.
  • Update frequently
    Regularly update sitemaps to reflect changes made on your website, such as newly added pages, sections or deleted pages.
  • Use metadata
    Metadata about pages and media linked to your sitemap aid in providing valuable information to search engine crawlers, improving rankings.
  • Prioritize
    Inform search engines of pages that need special attention with the priority tag, helping to increase the crawlability of critical pages.
  • Submit to search engines
    Once completed, be sure to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools.


In conclusion, sitemaps play a valuable role in optimizing your website for search engines, providing valuable information about the content of your pages. Understanding the different types of sitemaps available and best practices for creating them can enhance search engine visibility for your website and provide a better user experience. Remember, a well-structured sitemap can make search engines’ work easier, please your users, and ultimately help your website rank higher in search engine results pages. If you're looking for a professional website and SEO service, contact REK Marketing & Design today for more information.

To Top