A quick search on Google for advice on creating a site map initially threw up many links to software you could buy or download for free to create a site map.
But why do you need a site map?
Basically as websites get larger and more complex both the human browser and the search engine spiders need an easy to follow map to find all the pages within your site. A site map gives them a simple navigational tool.
Site maps have 3 main benefits:
1) A site map allows visitors to easily find what they are looking for by simply visiting your site map and clicking on the link to go directly to the page they want to visit.
2) Often technologies employed to assist in reading webpages such as web page readers and screen readers can only follow text links. For practical reasons it may not always be possible to show a text link to every other page within your site on your main page and other pages within your website and so use a site map.
3) Search engine spiders like text and text links. If they cannot follow a text link to a page of your site it may not get indexed. Make it easy for the spider to index all your pages through a site map.
A site map consists of the two things search engines love - text and keywords. To build a good site map combine relevant keywords with a hyper text links. For example on your site map you may have a link to your webpage about website promotion so your hyperlink should contains the words 'website promotion' and link directly to that page within your site.
A site map does not need and indeed should not be fancy, but should be clear and easy to navigate.
Here are some tips for a good site map:
1. Place a prominent link to your site map on every page and lable it SITE MAP.
2. It should show all your webpages through different levels as basic text links.
3. Use standard colours for links and visited links.
4. It should show a quick, easy to follow over view of the site without the need to scroll around in the web browser.
Google started allowing people to submit site maps to their account as a way of letting google know about all your webpages and updates to your site. It does not increase your page ranking at all but is worth taking the time to set up properly.
You can find free software for creating site maps at:
And when you are done, don't forget to tell Google about your site map so they can trawl and hopefully index all the pages of your site.
A well planned site map can ensure your Web site is fully indexed by search engines.