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sitemaps: the basics

sitemaps: the basics

sitemaps: the basics

home / Archives for October 2018

Our latest blog is all about sitemaps – a vital component of online performance which show users and search engines the structure of your site…

what is a sitemap?

A sitemap is a list of website pages.  It can be either a HTML sitemap, which is a list of page links for users, or an XML sitemap, which is used by search engines to crawl and index your site. Either way, a sitemap gives an indication/visualisation of your site’s navigation and structure.

why are sitemaps important?

XML sitemaps guide search engines to your site and help them index your pages, thus increasing the chances that your content will appear in search results. This is particularly important if your website is new, has a lot of rich media content such as audio, graphics or video, is large and difficult to navigate, and/or has few backlinks, as all of these factors will make it more difficult for search engines to find and index your pages.

HTML sitemaps are useful to help users navigate around your site and reach the most relevant information. Sitemaps can also be a valuable way to visualise your site structure during a redesign or rebuild, as they give an idea of what the user experience will be like and demonstrate whether or not content is arranged logically.

how do you produce a sitemap?

Sitemaps can be created using free online programmes such as XML-sitemaps (HTML and XML) or Screaming Frog (XML only). Alternatively, if you have a WordPress site, you can use a plugin, such as Yoast or Google XML Sitemap Generator, to produce sitemaps. Once you have your XML sitemap, you’ll need to upload this to the Google Search Console (in: crawl > ‘sitemaps > add/test sitemap) in order for it to be picked-up by Google. You can also submit it to other search engines. You’ll need to add the HTML version to the front-end of your site for users.

However you create your sitemap, you’ll need to edit it according to its purpose. For example, in XML sitemaps, you should remove pages that wouldn’t be appropriate in search results, such as thank you pages following when a contact form is submitted. For HTML sitemaps, it may be useful to arrange links alphabetically or by topic to aid in navigation.

where can you find more information?

Here are some great resources for further reading:

If you’d like help with your website sitemap or enhancing online performance in any other way, please get in touch – we’d be delighted to discuss our range of collaborative, on-demand digital services.

how offline marketing works with online marketing

how offline marketing works with online marketing

how offline marketing works with online marketing

home / Archives for October 2018

Many people wonder whether offline marketing still works, or if it’s best to focus solely on online marketing. Offline marketing is usually seen as a more traditional method of marketing your company and website, so it’s easy to make the mistake of saying it’s not needed anymore. But we explain how both offline and online marketing work together to help your business or charity achieves success…

what is offline marketing?

Offline marketing is marketing that doesn’t make use of the internet. For example, by advertising in magazines or on billboards, or by handing out paper flyers. Although most people use the internet, offline marketing can help you reach a wider audience by finding those without online access. It may also help to target people who are not specifically seeking your services or who are not aware of your company.

what is online marketing?

Online marketing makes use of the internet – for example, through e-newsletters, social media, blogs, search engine optimisation (SEO) or Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. Online marketing pushes your website digitally – it helps create an online community and gives you instant analytics in terms of who your audience is, where they are from and what they are interested in.

online and offline marketing as a team

As with any team, each member has its own role to play. Your website is typically considered your number one marketing tool. Most people who want to know more about your organisation, services, products or events will at some point visit your website for information, contact details and so on. But to get people there, combining online and offline marketing gives the greatest reach.

Your website and social media details needs to be shared as widely as possible. Imagine you are at a trade show and are handing out business cards, flyers and booklets for potential customers/supporters to take away. How are they going to find out more about you? Where can they go to keep in contact with you? By providing this online information, you give your audience the option to follow you, subscribe, or simply to just find out more information.

If you have a particular event or product you want to promote, you can also try using tracked links (for example, via bit.ly) on your offline marketing information. This will help you establish how people have reached your link and which offline marketing strategies were most effective.

A key point is to make sure your offline and online marketing match. Consistency is key to helping your audience register your brand. If you have straplines, keywords or important messages, make sure they appear both online and offline. The look, feel and tone of your marketing should also be the same across channels.

in conclusion

It’s not time to rule out all that is offline. It’s still possible to use the power of offline marketing to empower your online marketing and give you greater reach with a larger audience.

If you’d like support with online or offline marketing, our on-demand services are flexible and cost-effective – get in touch for more information.