What is Google XML sitemap
XML means Extensible markup language used to store data for world wide web. and sitemap allows search engines bots to crawl the website for indexing in search engines.
For SEO, XML sitemap gives instruction to the search engine to crawl the website Url’s for indexing
Through XML sitemap you can rank your website pages in search engines results and your website will be visible to the internet users. This will help you to increase traffic on the website.
How to check XML Sitemap is present or not on the website?
If you want to check XML sitemap for your websites or competitor websites. Then search in google your website name and give /sitemap.xml. or www.bloggertarget.com/sitemap_index.xml
You can check my website blogger target sitemap how it looks
Search in Google: www.bloggertarget.com/sitemap.xml
If you have a WordPress website and you are using Yost SEO WordPress plugins to generate sitemap then
Search in Google: www.bloggertarget.com/sitemap_index.xml
You can submit all 6 sitemap_index.xml in google webmaster tool to index a website.
Why XML sitemap is important in SEO
- XML sitemap helps Google to find your websites to index in search engines
- XML sitemap are understood by all search engines like yahoo, bing, Yandex and ask.com
- Sitemap helps to rank website pages in search engines
- Increase website visibility in search engines results and traffic on the website.
- XML Sitemap tells the search engine what to crawl on the website and what kind of information is present in the website.
How to create an XML sitemap for WordPress website
Yoast SEO WordPress plugins is the best plugins to generate a sitemap for the website. This plugin will generate an XML sitemap and tell Google how important is your content.
WordPress Plugin Name for XML Sitemap: Google Sitemap Generator or Yoast Seo WordPress Plugin.
If you are using Yoast Seo WordPress plugin then don’t install google sitemap generator plugin. Use only one plugin to generate a sitemap for your website. If you install both plugins and generate two sitemaps then XML sitemap will be not beneficial for search engines. and your website speed will get slow.
When I started blogging I have done lots of mistakes, I installed both plugins due to this my website loading speed was very slow and affect the SEO also.
I will suggest you use Yoast SEO WordPress plugin to generate a sitemap for your websites
How to set up Yoast SEO WordPress plugins for XML sitemap
- Install Yoast SEO WordPress plugin and
- Click on y Seo on the left-hand side and select General
- Click on the features tab
- Switch on the XML Sitemap’
- Click save changes to activate XML sitemaps.
How to create an XML sitemap for blog and static website
There are lots of free online XML sitemap generator websites available on the internet put your website URL there and download XML sitemap data. These websites will scan the whole website to generate XML sitemap data.
Top 5 free XML sitemap generator tools list:
You can use any tools to generate a sitemap for your websites.
Learn How to submit XML sitemap in google webmaster tools
Before submitting a sitemap in webmaster first create a sitemap for your website.
Step 1: Open Google webmaster tool dashboard, on the left-hand side you will see an option crawl. Click the crawl button and select the sitemap from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: click on the right-hand side ADD/TEST SITEMAP. Once you click you can submit a new sitemap for your website. But before submission, any sitemap first select test and check is there any problem or not in your sitemap.
This test tool will tell you about the problem with your website sitemap then go to your website and rectify the problems and generate a new sitemap and test again. If you don’t find any problems then submit your sitemap.
Here i am testing my website bloggertarget.com
Step 3: You can see error details from here. In my website, there are no errors so that I can submit my sitemap in search console.
Step 4: click ADD/TEST SITEMAP and write sitemap.xml and Submit your sitemap in search console. Once you submit your sitemap it will show how many pages got submitted and how many pages got indexed in google search engines. If you have a new website then it will take sometimes to show submitted and indexed staus
If you have lots of images and videos in website then you can create image site map and video sitemap for your website and submit in google search console. If you submit an image and video sitemap then you can easily rank your images and videos keywords in search engines.
That why it is very important to add keywords in images. I suggest you to read once how to do image optimization and how to do generate & submit Image sitemap.
Once you submit XML sitemap in webmaster then no need to generate or submit new XML sitemap. Whenever you create a new Post for your website then sitemap files will automatically update the post file.
After Submission How much time it takes to show website index status in Google Search Console
Its completely depend on the website contents and website status. Some website gets indexed within 24 hours but some websites take 1 month. If you have a new website then submit and wait for some days. It will show your website index status in search console.
Guidelines for Sitemap:
- Always add sitemap page links in the footer of your website. Whenever google search engine spider visit website so that they can easily find the sitemap pages for crawling and indexing.
- Never install 2 sitemaps WordPress Plugins in your WordPress website
- Never Submit 2 sitemaps in Google Search Console for indexing of a website.
- Submit your XML sitemap in other search engines like yahoo, ask, bing and Yandex.
- What is meta tags in Seo and how to optimize for WordPress website
- What is anchor text in SEO
- How to write Title and Description for WordPress website
If you have any questions regarding XML sitemap. Then let us know via comments. If you liked this article, then please subscribe to my Email newsletter for more such updates.
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Naveen Ekka is an online marketer and entrepreneur. He blogs on Making money online through blogs and seo.