What Is A SiteMap? Best WordPress Sitemap Plugin For Indexing
What Is A SiteMap? Best WordPress Sitemap Plugin For Indexing.
So, you’ve developed an amazing site. You’ve put together some seriously valuable contents, iterated on the design. Now, you publish on your new site for the world to see all of your contents, you immediately start showing up in Google, right? But you later discover your contents is not targeting the audiences you want. And you have to share your posts link on other social network before you get people reading your contents once a while.
Well, maybe It takes a little more than just hitting the publish button. If that is your current challenges, understand the need of search engine site map to get your site listed on search results, Google needs to “crawl” and “index” your contents. This happens automatically over periods of days or weeks, but if you’re a site owner, you can manually submit your site to Google and accelerate this process.
To fix that, we’re going to take a deep dive into WordPress sitemaps. Here’s everything that you’ll learn in this post:
- What an XML sitemap is
- How google find your content
- How XML sitemap benefits your WordPress site
- How to create an XML sitemap with a WordPress plugin
- How to submit your sitemap to Google and other tools
What Is An XML Sitemap?
According to techopedia, An XML site map is a model of a website’s content designed to help both users and search engines navigate the site. A site map can be a hierarchical list of pages (with links) organized by topic, an organization chart, or an XML document that provides instructions to search engine crawl bots. Beyond a raw list of URLs, you can also include other helpful “metadata” in your sitemap to further aid search engines in their attempts to index your site. These options are outlined in the Sitemaps protocol and let you specify things like:
1. When a page was last modified
2. What priority you’d like search engines to give to the page (though search engines won’t necessarily follow this).
3. How often the page will change.
Beyond those core pieces of metadata, it’s also possible to provide search engines with information on your video and image content.
How do Google Finds Your Content?
Google, in its own words, uses a huge set of computers to crawl billions of pages on the web. This crawler, called the Googlebot, essentially begins with a list of web page URLs generated from previous crawls and then augments those pages with sitemap data provided within Google Search Console. During the crawling process, the Googlebot also known as a “spider” — looks for new sites, updates to existing pages, and any broken links. If new pages are within your sitemap, Google will discover them and crawl the content and then potentially list the page within search results based on its evaluation of 200+ criteria.
Once the crawling process is complete, all of the results are fetched into Google’s index, and any new sites or updated content will be listed accordingly. During the processing of results, Google looks at information on your page such as title tags, meta description, alt tags, and more. If you have dynamic content on a page, the Googlebot may not be able to read it and will crawl the default version — it’s recommended that your default version is optimized for search. [ What Is SEO, How It Works (Beginners Practical And Video)
As a result of Google’s crawling, you may never need to submit your website as it will be discovered automatically. The downside to this approach has always been that it’s reliant on Google’s timeframe to crawl and index your site content, which may not happen as quickly as you would like. Want to check if a particular site is listed in Google? Just begin your search with “Site:Sitename.com.” For example, here’s what is displayed in Google for Hkitnob.com:
If no content is indexed yet for a site, Google will let you know that your search did not match any results. If no content is found, your next step should be to create a sitemap that can be submitted to Google. [ 7 Unique SEO Tools To Help You Write Killer Headlines ]
How XML Sitemap Benefits Your WordPress Site
The main benefit of an XML sitemap is mainly to improve crawlability. In Google’s own words, “search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site.” Here are some specific ways in which XML sitemaps improve your site’s crawlability:
1. Prioritized crawls – Sitemaps let you ask Google to prioritize crawling certain pages on your site by adding metadata.
2. Rich media content – if you use lots of media like videos and images, “Google can take additional information from sitemaps into account for search, where appropriate.”
Assuming you submit your sitemap to Google Search Console, you can use your sitemap to quickly ascertain how effective you are at getting your pages indexed in Google.
How To Create An XML Sitemap For Your WordPress Site With Yoast SEO
Now that you know what an XML sitemap is and how it can benefit your site, how can you actually create a WordPress sitemap for all your content? The easiest way is using Yoast SEO, which is our recommended plugin. To create an XML sitemap with Yoast SEO, you don’t actually need to do anything beyond installing and activating the free Yoast SEO plugin. By default, Yoast SEO creates a sitemap at:
That’s easy enough! But what many people don’t know is that Yoast SEO also lets you customize how your XML sitemap functions. Here’s how to do it:
Go to SEO → Features and enable Advanced settings pages:
Make sure to save your changes. Once you do that, you can access the new XML Sitemaps option under the SEO menu in your dashboard sidebar:
There, you can use the tabs at the top to:
1. Choose whether or not to include a sitemap of your authors
2. Choose which post types/taxonomies to include in your sitemap
3. Manually exclude individual pieces of content from your sitemap via their Post ID – this is especially helpful if you’ve added a noindex tag to certain pieces of content.
Other WordPress Plugins To Help You Create An XML Sitemap
Most people are familiar with Yoast SEO plugins, but there are other ways of creating WordPress site sitemap. While Yoast SEO is our recommended tool to help you create an XML sitemap for WordPress, it’s by no means the only option. Other quality plugins include:
1. All in One SEO Pack – you just need to activate XML Sitemaps in the All in One SEO Feature Manager.
2. Google XML Sitemaps – a popular plugin dedicated specifically to XML sitemaps, rather than SEO in general.
3. The SEO Framework – an up-and-coming SEO plugin that includes XML sitemap functionality.
Simple Steps To Create A Sitemap For Your Website Using Xml Sitemap Generator
There are different ways you can generate sitemap, if maybe you are not using WordPress site, there are other ways you can also create an XML sitemap using a standalone tool called XML Sitemap Generator. The tool lets you create an XML sitemap for your site via:
1.Enter the URL to your website’s homepage
2.Choose how to calculate the last modified date
3.Select the change frequency (how often your pages change)
4.Choose the default crawl priority
5.Enter your email address
6.Click Generate sitemap
Once you click Generate sitemap, there will be a delay while XML Sitemap Generator crawls your site. If you have a small site, it will only take a little time, but large sites might take longer. Once it finishes, you’ll be able to download your various sitemaps:
Once you download the sitemap file, you’ll need to upload it to the root folder of your website. How Do I Submit My Site to Google? With a web domain already launched, you can still submit new pages for Google to index and rank them accordingly. If you’re launching a website for the first time, you should first verify you own the site within Google Search Console. Then, submit it here – select the “submit a sitemap” option once you land on this page. You can also download some best auto sitemap plugin to install to your wordpress if you do not want to follow this process if you click here
Submit an Updated Sitemap
First, you can submit an updated sitemap to ensure it gets listed as quickly as possible. To submit an updated sitemap, log in to Google Search Console and select “Add a Property.”
Once you have a working XML sitemap, you’ll want to take things one step further and actually submit that sitemap to the major search engines.
To submit your website to Google, you can either add an updated sitemap to your Google account, or submit an indexing request for the desired URL through Fetch as Google. Both processes require site owners to register with Google Search Console. submit a sitemap by going to Crawl → Sitemaps and clicking the ADD/TEST SITEMAP here’s how to sign up and verify your website with Google Search Console.
Then, add the location of your sitemap and click Submit. If you used Yoast SEO to create your sitemap, all you need to do is paste in “sitemap_index.xml”:
After doing that, next thing is to enable Google fetch your files. This allows you to view webpages on your site as Google sees them. As a site owner, you can also use this tool to reindex individual URLs once you’ve fetched them. To do this, log into Google Search Console and select the property you have currently listed with Google.
This will enable you enter a URL path following your domain name, and “Fetch” this particular webpage on your website. See what this looks like below:
As you can see from the two sample Fetch pictures requests have been listed below the Fetch bar. The status of these fetches is “Partial,” but once these fetches are complete, Google will assess their eligibility for reindexing. If the URL you’ve fetched qualifies, you’ll see a “Request Indexing” option appear where the red box is in the screenshot above. Select this option, and Google will begin the process of re-crawling and reindexing the webpage.
How do sitemap errors affect your ranking?
Sitemap errors include compression error, empty sitemap, HTTP error, or incorrect namespace. These errors can “dirty up” your sitemap, making your website harder to crawl. If certain pages cannot be crawled properly, then they cannot be indexed. If your pages aren’t indexed, you will not get favorable ranking in Google and lose out on lots of organic traffic.
And after generating your sitemap and uploaded to your site, you are not sure if what you did was correct you can [click here] to read if your site has error from the sitemap.
As stated earlier in this article, indexing requests can take anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks to complete. So, check your Fetch as Google table periodically to see the status of your active indexing requests.
This video may also helpful to you, for easy guide to add and submit sitemap