Creating a Business Website Map - dummies

By Jan Zimmerman

If you have a large site, ask your web developer to convert your business website index to a site map in XML and submit it to Yahoo! and Google. Site maps allow search engines to identify dynamically generated pages as well as static ones.

A Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feed for your Google site map automatically notifies Google whenever your site content changes. RSS is excellent for a large site or for one with a continually updated product or information database that already has a feed. Give the links in the following list to your developer if he or she isn’t familiar with the site map process:

Google accounted for more than 65 percent of all explicit searches in early 2011; with Yahoo! sites at 16.1 percent and Microsoft sites at 13.6 percent, Google won’t lose its search engine dominance any time soon. It makes its own rules for ranking sites in search results and changes them often. Some changes result from its own, continuing research or from competitive pressures.

Google also shakes things up to prevent large, well-funded companies from dominating results permanently or to counteract the dynamic of people gaming the system to enhance search engine results.

Site relevance, as a human being would determine it, guides the Google approach to search results. This approach puts extraordinary pressure on sites to obtain inbound links from related sites. In theory, a site that’s well designed from a human perspective and well connected with other sites does well on Google. That’s the theory, anyway.

Set reasonable expectations for your search marketing efforts. Your goal is to have some pages of your website appear on page 1 of search results for some of the search terms that real people use. You don’t need to have every page appear on page 1 results for every keyword.

Decide which search terms are the most critical for you, especially if you have a limited time to devote to SEO and have no funds to hire someone to help.