A Sitemap is important as it enables web crawlers such as Google spiders, along with users to navigate the information on a site. As explained in “What is a sitemap?” it is visual index to a website showing where pages are and what they contain.
They are created for search engines and users so they can easily navigate through your site. If you have a large website with lots of pages and links, it is imperative that you create a sitemap to aid with optimisation, however, websites should be well structured enough for users not to need it.
Today a sitemap is usually XML, which means they are in a document (XML) designed specifically for search engines. This crawler-friendly document allows easy navigation for the search engine (as opposed to HTML document which are readable for users).
A XML sitemap displays the framework of the site’s content to the web crawlers who are on the look out for keywords. Think about the search engine spider crawling through your site looking for relevant information for their results. A spider that has more flies to collect (links to all areas of your site) will find it more useful than those who only collect a few.
Your sitemap gives the spider a pathway for your links to follow instead of randomly searching your site. This pathway is important for SEO as Google will generally rank sites with a search engine dedicated sitemap higher than those without.