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Often overlooked in search engine marketing strategies, a sitemap can not only help your visitors navigate your site more effectively, it can also be a guide to search engine spiders. There are ways that a sitemap can be structured to work to your SE marketing advantage, which we will discuss in this edition of Traffic Talk.

The purpose of a sitemap is to create an "index" or "table of contents" of your site. With this in mind, create a new page of your site and list each page by section using strong keyword phrases as descriptive text links found on the page being linked to. For example, if you have a links page to promote the affiliate program of your site or programs used on your site, name the link to that page on your sitemap "Gambling Webmaster Affiliate Programs Links Page" (and make sure the page is optimized for the keywords you use to link to it).

Using keyword text links in your sitemap, as well as when linking to pages within your site to other pages within your site, will help lend more keyword relevance to the pages being linked to. Even more important is designating early a specific way for other sites to link to you and formulating keyword rich descriptions and titles for use when submitting to (Gambling) search engines and exchanging links with other sites. This is often why sites with their primary keyword in the standard title of their sites tend to rank higher and higher over time in the search engines. Recognize and decide early what your primary keyword for your site are/will be and formulate your linking titles from there.

An Index for Indexes
Back to creating sitemaps, if you create a table in an html page with 4-5 columns, begin with the main sections from left to right. These will be your first navigational options when entering your site. Expand in the next column the sub section link options and move right one column per click represented. Soon you should have user paths outlined and duplicate/cross links represented from within your site. But what about the pages, such as doorways, that are only used for marketing? These should also be included, linked using keywords, and listed however you feel are appropriate.

If you have yet to uncover the awesome search and replace features in Dreamweaver and/or NoteTab Lite, I highly recommend you check and test them out, it is a huge timesaver when maintaining all the pages of your site. Here is an example of a sitemap I have created.

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The Online School For Gambling Webmasters. Gambling design, affiliate programs, promotion, all for Free. Your source to Online Gambling Industry Success