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Update: Two New Features to Help With SEO: Sitemaps and Canonical Tags

August 26th, 2014Posted by akassover in Insurance Agent Websites, AgentMethods, Search Engine Optimization

We’re happy to announce that we’ve just updated your website with two new features that will help your site’s search engine optimization. Let’s take a quick look at these improvements.

Sitemap.xml File

Your site now automatically generates a sitemap.xml file. This file provides search engines indexing your site with a complete list of all of the pages on your site. This ensures that every page gets crawled and indexed. Sitemap.xml files are especially handy if you have any files that can’t be navigated to from the home page (have a hidden section on your site? This is for you!).

Search engines should automatically find your sitemap file. In case you want to nudge them in the right direction or if you aren’t sure they’re finding it, you can login to (Google Webmaster Tools)[https://www.google.com/webmasters/] and go to “Crawl > Sitemaps” to explicitly tell them about your sitemap.

You can see your sitemap.xml file by going to www.yourdomain.com/sitemap (replace “yourdomain.com” with your site’s domain).

Canonical Tags

When a single web page can be visited from multiple URLs, canonical tags tell search engines which URL is the definitive version.

Consider this example: my demo site’s homepage can be visited by going to www.seattleinsurancepartners.com and www.seattleinsurancepartners.com/home (note the “/home” at the end of the second version). If some people link to my site using the first URL and others link using the second, search engines may split the “credit” to the page, hurting their search engine results page rankings. The canonical tag tells search engines to count all links to the different variations of that URL as links to the same page.

Lots more to come!

We’re constantly updating our platform to make your site better. Many updates are small refinements, but they add up to big improvements. We also have some VERY big new features in the works - stay tuned for the big announcement. And thanks for using AgentMethods to power your insurance website.