What is a Sitemap and Why is it Important?
A sitemap is essential for your SEO ranking. When you have every page of your website on your site map the search engine crawls your site map and follows every link listed.
Meaning, every page of your website is indexed by the search engine. When the search engine has indexed your pages, and added them to the database, it is more likely that your pages will be pushed to the top of the search results.
It is also essential to know there are two different types of site maps.
These site maps help google discover and navigate your website. They give search engines a website URL and offer the complete map of all the website pages. This helps search engines crawl the website and prioritize the pages. These are used for large websites where it normally takes a long time to crawl the site map. Every site has a specific amount of crawl budget, no search engine will crawl the entire URL the first time. So the XML site map is a good way to give the search engine the site map with the priority pages that you want it to crawl first.
These site maps push the entire site map to the search engine to crawl. It is a clickable list of pages on the website that you might find on the bottom footer of the website. These are better suited to smaller websites.
In summary, when you have a site map the search engine can easily find and identify the content on your website, adding it to its database so that your site is ranked highly and has more opportunity to be pushed to consumers when they are searching. It then helps the consumer through the buyer journey leading to conversion.