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Learn sitemaps with online courses and programs

Whether you’re interested in web development or search engine optimization (SEO), understanding what sitemaps are can be critical. Discover how to learn about sitemaps with edX.

What are sitemaps?

A sitemap contains the list of the URLs within a website. As the name suggests, it is essentially a map that offers directions to major search engines, such as Google and Bing, and provides them with information about the types of content that exist on the website.Footnote 1

Sitemaps make it easier for popular search engine crawlers to find and crawl pages on your website more efficiently. They also provide additional attributes about the pages, such as the date it was last updated or alternate language versions of website pages.Footnote 2

Sitemaps | Introduction Image Description

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What are the different types of sitemaps?

There are a number of different types of sitemaps including:Footnote 3

  • Page sitemaps: Also known as regular sitemaps, these sitemaps list all pages on a website. These are the most common types of sitemaps.

  • News sitemaps: These help search engines discover the latest news articles on news websites and feature them on top stories and Google News.

  • Image sitemaps: These provide information about image files on a website. They are helpful on websites that predominantly focus on images, such as stock photography sites.

  • Video sitemaps: These sitemaps provide information about video content on a website. Just like image sitemaps, they are helpful on websites where video content is critical.

Sitemaps course curriculum

Sitemaps may form an essential component of digital marketing or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) courses. A sitemaps tutorial could broadly cover some of the following topics:

  • Types of sitemaps and their uses

  • The benefits of sitemaps for SEO and digital marketing

  • Guidelines for sitemap creation

An intermediate or advanced sitemaps course may delve further into how to create XML sitemaps using online tools and how to upload them to the Google Search Console. Other advanced topics include special sitemap types and custom XML tags.

Are you interested in propelling your professional development forward? Start building the knowledge you need with edX. From accelerated boot camps to comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s program, there are many different learning formats available to fit your needs. Busy professionals can even take advantage of executive education courses tailored to those in leadership and management positions. Find the right course for you.

Explore jobs that involve sitemaps

A fundamental understanding of sitemaps can be useful in a range of jobs in web development, digital marketing, and SEO. Some of them include:

  • UI/UX developer: This role involves the design, layout, and defining experience of a website in the initial stages. In the initial planning stage of website development, UI/UX designers and developers use the hierarchical list of key pages to visualize the structure of the website through visual sitemaps.

  • Web developer: A web developer works on the development of the website from the UI and UX. Front-end developers work on the visual aspects of the website, whereas back-end developers deal with the database, logic, structure, and back-end infrastructure of the website.Footnote 4

  • SEO manager: An SEO manager oversees the entire website in terms of its presence on search engines. They ensure that all major components of SEO (such as content, backlinks, and technical SEO) work in tandem with one another to build an authoritative website that ranks higher on search results.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different skills requirements. You can start learning skills in an edX boot camp. A digital marketing boot camp can teach about SEO fundamentals, while a coding boot camp can cover the building blocks of web development. In a UI/UX boot camp, you can learn how to visualize a website structure before the development process. Jump-start your learning with convenient virtual classes. 

How to use sitemaps in your career

SEO professionals and digital marketers predominantly use sitemaps in their jobs to achieve different objectives.

For example, a technical SEO specialist might create and upload Google sitemaps in the Google Search Console so that it can discover, crawl, and index the website. On the other hand, an SEO manager might analyze organic website traffic and ensure that the key pages reflect in the updated sitemap of the website.

A content marketing professional or a growth marketer can also analyze sitemaps of competitor websites to get an understanding of the topics they need to cover, for SEO purposes. Sitemaps can also help them plan their pillar pages to attract high-quality, organic traffic from search engines.

If you are interested in these careers, explore the educational opportunities made available through edX that can prepare you for the field.

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