What is an XML sitemap?
An XML (Extensible Markup Language) sitemap is a file of code that search engines like Google use to crawl and index the relevant pages of your hotel’s website. By creating an XML sitemap, you are telling Google what you think is important on your hospitality business’s website so that Google knows what’s worth showing.
Why does my hotel website need an XML sitemap?
Whilst your hotel’s webpages can be indexed on a search engine results page (SERP) without an XML sitemap, sitemaps make it easier for Google to crawl your website for information relevant to the searched-for keywords (e.g. ‘hotels in central London’, ‘luxury Barcelona hotels’, etc.). In short, a sitemap increases the chances of your hospitality business’s website appearing on an SERP.
Another advantage of XML sitemaps is that they help prevent internal linking issues within your hotel website.
Bottom line is, XML sitemaps are a basic feature that can only help your hospitality business.
Which XML sitemap is right for me?
There are two types of XML sitemaps:
- Static Sitemap — Static sitemaps are suited for those who want greater control of what appears on their sitemaps. Webmasters of static sitemaps must manually index which pages they would like on their sitemaps. This means that if someone adds or removes a web page, the webmaster must manually input the change on the sitemap in order for Google to be able to index it.
- Dynamic Sitemap — Dynamic sitemaps use plug-ins to automatically update the sitemap when a web page is added or removed. As such, this makes dynamic sitemaps ideal for e-commerce websites or small or mid-sized businesses. For these reasons, dynamic sitemaps are also perfect for hotels or any businesses within the hospitality industry.
How do I make an XML sitemap?
Here at Umi, we use Yoast SEO’s excellent XML sitemapping technology to build the best dynamic sitemaps for our clients.
However, if you wish to manually customise your own sitemap, you should consult your hotel website’s marketing and development teams. Your marketing team will design the navigation structure, and your development team will build a sitemap based on the structure designed by the marketing team.
As we’ve seen here, XML sitemaps boost your hotel website’s chances of appearing on an SERP, and they also help prevent internal linking issues. Both will improve your guests’ experiences when using your hospitality business website. What’s more, we here at Umi are more than happy to provide an XML sitemap for your hotel website. Happy mapping!