You must be wondering what is an XML sitemap and how can it be helpful to rank your website. We will learn “How to Rank your website high with Google XML Sitemap submission”.
Google has an option to add a sitemap of your website which is an XML file so that it can read the links present on your website.
An XML sitemap helps a search engine like Google to easily navigate through your website content referring to the links present in the sitemap file. XML file gives them a list of all your content i.e. links in a machine-readable format.
Unlike the regular sitemaps which are created on our website using HTML syntax which is clearly visible to the visitor, XML sitemaps are not typically visible to your website visitors.
In this article, we will learn more about XML sitemap and know about a Plugin for WordPress websites. By using which you can easily generate and get an XML sitemap link to submit to Google search engine console or Google webmaster console.
First, let us understand what is an XML Sitemap?
An XML sitemap is a file in XML format that lists all the links present on your website so that search engines like Google can easily discover and index your content.
Earlier, government websites used to have a link on their main pages, titled “Sitemap”. This page usually contained a list of all the pages on that website, still many websites have such links so that visitors can easily reach the desired page.
Most of the websites publish an XML sitemap instead of HTML, targetting search engines and not people.
An XML sitemap tells the search engine about the links present on the website along with information such as the creation date of the page, the modification date of the page as well.
ML sitemaps will not directly boost your search engine rankings, however, they allow search engines to crawl your website in an easy manner. This way they can find more content in a short span of time and start showing it in the search results, which will in turn help in higher search engine rankings.
I hope you must have understood the need for an XML Sitemap?
XML Sitemaps are extremely important for search engine optimization (SEO) of your website.
Now once you create an XML sitemap, you have to submit it to the search engine console. Without submitting it will not fulfill the objective to create a sitemap as we need to tell the search engine that the link of your sitemap file.
Sitemaps are extremely useful if you are starting a blog website or you create a website for your business. Once your website gets listed to search engine then the search engine bots keep on tracking the changes and update their search engine database.
Sitemaps help improve the overall visibility of your website in search engine rankings. Now we will see how we can create a Sitemap in an HTML website and also a WordPress website.
How to create a sitemap for an HTML website?
Although XML is a markup language which uses tags as HTML does, one can create the tags using notepad, but I have a better way to share with you i.e. an XML editor tool EditPad Pro, this application is an editor for creating an XML file just like you use MS Word or MS Excel.
Another way to create an XML sitemap file for your HTML website or any website is by using online tools where you have to submit your website URL or Website address and it generates the XML sitemap file immediately. like you can use xml-sitemaps.com to generate an XML sitemap of your website. The websites providing such services are known as Google XML sitemap generator.
I hope not it must be clear to you that How to Rank your website high with Google XML Sitemap submission. We have discussed 2 ways to create an XML sitemap for a website, now we will see 2 ways by which we can get an XML sitemap for a WordPress website.
How to Create a Sitemap in WordPress?
There are many ways to create an XML sitemap in WordPress. I will share 2 methods which I personally use to create an XML sitemap in
WordPress, you can use any of the 2 ways to generate an XML sitemap for your WordPress website.
Method 1. Creating an XML Sitemap using Yoast SEO a plugin for SEO optimization in WordPress
This is the easiest way to create an XML sitemap as Yoast SEO is a plugin. Experts in the field recommend this on a WordPress website to optimize the website for on-page SEO.
Yoast SEO is one of the best WordPress SEO plugin available for a WordPress website. It offers a comprehensive set of tools to optimize your blog posts for SEO.
If Yoast SEO is not installed in your WordPress plugins then you need to install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. For more details, read our Setup WordPress Blog in 5 easy steps, its a step by step guide to install WordPress plugins.
Once you install and activate the plugin, go to SEO » General page and switch to the ‘Features’ tab. From here, you need to scroll down to the ‘XML Sitemap’ option and make sure that it is turned on.
Now, click on the save changes button once you switch the button to On for XML sitemaps.
We will verify that Yoast SEO has created an XML Sitemap, click on the question mark icon next to the XML Sitemap option on the page.
Now, Click on the ‘See the XML Sitemap’ link to view the XML sitemap generated by Yoast SEO.
XML sitemap by simply adding sitemap_index.xml at the end of your website address. For example:
Because the default filename created by Yoast Seo is sitemap_index.xml
The plugin Yoast SEO creates multiple sitemaps for different types of content. By default, it generates sitemaps for posts, pages, authors, and categories.
If you have an online store then it will generate a sitemap for your products.
However, to submitting the sitemap to search engines, you need the name of the XML file generated.
Method 2. Generate an XML Sitemap in WordPress using Google XML Sitemap Plugin
If you don’t want to use Yoast SEO then you can install and activate the plugin Google XML sitemap plugin to generate an XML sitemap for your WordPress website.
We will learn the step by step process to generate XML sitemap using Google XML sitemap plugin through the video below. This plugin is known as Google XML sitemap generator.
I hope you have understood the importance of XML sitemaps for your website and “How to rank your website high with Google XML Sitemap submission”. You need to inform the search engines about your website and the blogs or pages it consists till then they won’t be listed on web search and you cannot receive traffic on it.
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Gaurav is an IT Professional with 17+ years experience, a blogger, entrepreneur, digital marketing expert and trainer. He is founder of InfoTalks and on a mission to help startups, businesses and individuals to grow online to earn money online. You can follow him via his social handles.