Running a website today is very complex. Some websites have a link on their main page called “sitemaps”. This page usually contained a list of all pages of the website. This article explains about what is a sitemap, why do we need a sitemap?
What is Sitemap?
Sitemap is a list of pages on a website that is accessible to all users. Sitemaps allows search engines to better crawl the website. Today sitemaps are published in XML instead of HTML and their target audience is search engines and not people.
Do we need a sitemap? What is the need of using a sitemap?
Creating Sitemaps makes that your content is found on your website easily. Usually, Google uses external links to find new content, but not every site has sufficient backlinks. This makes creating sitemaps ensures that your content is found by the search engines.
Also there are some of the benefits of using Google sitemaps that you cannot ignore are:
- Content Modification
- Efficient crawling
- Attract more traffic
How to create a sitemap?
Creating a sitemap is a easy process with the below process:
- If your website does not have more than 500 pages, you can use the free online XML sitemaps.com to generate an XML sitemap.
- Once the XML sitemap is generated, you have the ability to download the files.
How to create a sitemap in WordPress?
There are several ways to create an XML sitemap in WordPress. Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress. Yoast makes it easy to create and submit an XML sitemap. We use this plugin because it allows us to optimize our blog posts.
We’ll explain how to do it step-by-step, but first, here’s what you need:
- In your org site, you must have the Yoast plugin installed.
- Then your website must be connected to Google Search Console.
To do this, just follow the below steps:
- Log in to your WordPress admin.
- Click on the Yoast plugin(a “Y” icon named “SEO” which is located in the left side bar)
Note: In the screenshot above, my WordPress admin might look a little bit different from yours. That shouldn’t keep you from being able to follow each step.
- Click the “Dashboard” option.
From the Dashboard, click “Features.”
In the Features tab, find “Advanced settings pages.”
Switch the advanced settings to “enabled.”
Now, scroll to the bottom and click “Save Changes.”
Now you’ve enable the plugin, So now you will find that Yoast menu in the left sidebar has changed. There are a few additional options.
- In the Yoast menu, click XML sitemaps.
Note: Click on the “Y SEO” main menu to get the dropdown menu.
Make sure that XML sitemap functionality is “Enabled”.
Click the blue “save changes” button at the bottom.
If you Click the User sitemap tab.
WordPress site has multiple authors, and if you want author archive URLs to be indexed, you can enable this tab.
Click on Post Types.
In this section, you have to decide which types of posts should be indexed. In most cases, you’ll want to include everything (including media) “in sitemap.”
If you prefer to keep some of your content hidden, then leave it off the sitemap.
Again, click “save changes.”
Now, click “Excluded posts.”
Do you have any posts that you want to exclude? If so, add them here.
Note: If you keep excluded posts, people can still find it, access it, and view it.
After adding the posts to the exclusion list, click “save changes.”
Finally, click “Taxonomies.”
In this section, you will find more categories to classify your website. If you keep more tabs “in sitemap,” then it will be more helpful to your XML sitemap. click “save changes” if you done any change
Finally, your sitemap is ready! Let’s take a look at it!
Go back to the “General tab.”
Under the title “Your XML Sitemap,” click to view your XML sitemap.
That’s your XML sitemap.
When you open it, you’ll be taken to an actual page on your site. It may look something like this.
Submit a Sitemap to Google:
Copy the last part of the URL, that you’re going to submit to Google.
Select your website from the list.
In the left sidebar, click “Crawl.”
Then, click “Sitemaps.”
If this is the first time you have created or submitted a sitemap, there will be nothing to show.
Click on Add/ Test sitemap, where a small box will appear to add your sitemap URL.
This is where you need to paste the copied URL from your sitemap
Google Search console will confirm your submission with the message, “Item submitted.”
Refresh the page.
Your newly submitted sitemap will appear as below.
It will take few minutes for processing and then Google will provide a full report of how your sitemap is functioning.
That’s it! You’ve successfully generated an XML sitemap, submitted it to Google.
However, SEO benefits will be enormous. If you’ve never created an XML sitemap for your website, then get one made immediately. Tell us the kind of SEO boost you’ve experienced!