Sitemap generation is one of the important factor to be carried out while performing onsite Optimization ,Sitemap shows your site architecture and navigation both for users and search engines .Sitemap can be in html or xml So lets go deeper
What is sitemap?
A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for web design, or a web page that lists the pages on a web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. This helps visitors and search engine bots find pages on the site.
While some developers argue that site index is a more appropriately used term to relay page function, web visitors are used to seeing each term and generally associate both as one and the same. However, a site index is often used to mean an A-Z index that provides access to particular content, while a site map provides a general top-down view of the overall site contents.
Benefits of sitemap
Site maps can improve search engine optimization of a site by making sure that all the pages can be found
Most search engines will only follow a finite number of links from a page, so if the number of links is very large, the site map may be required so that search engines and visitors can access all content on the site.
Google introduced Google Sitemaps so web developers can publish lists of links from across their sites. The basic premise is that some sites have a large number of dynamic pages that are only available through the use of forms and user entries. The sitemap files can then be used to indicate to a web crawler how such pages can be found. Google, MSN, Yahoo and Ask now jointly support the Sitemaps protocol.
After the completion of your site with full fledge meta information ,you must a generate sitemap
in a xml format .You can use these tool for generating sitemap online or using specific softwares
A1 sitemap Generator –Software
Audit my PC –Online Tool
In these software and tools you just have to enter your web address ,it will spider your links and generate the map with desired format ,You can save it as in XML or HTML
After generation you have to submit your sitemap in major players like google ,yahoo,MSN
You can register here with your ids and submit your sitemap ,you must carry out some specific verification process to prove your ownership .This is done for effective crawl of search engines on your website and to index all your pages and also it will check your broken links .If you use google webmaster thoroughly you will have a better idea of why we use sitemaps.If you any queries you can comment me