Hi again everyone :).
Today, I will write briefly about what a sitemap is all about and how vital it is for SEO. A sitemap is basically a list of all the pages on your website. Creating one allows for easy navigation by web crawlers. Think of it as a shortcut. That is because having a sitemap means the web crawlers/search engines don’t necessarily have to go to your website and search from page to page to find content. Instead, they can simply read the content on your sitemap and then find a spot to rank it in within the search index. In simpler terms, having a sitemap is extremely beneficial for your website if you want to rank better in Google.
I am sure most of you are here because you may have tried to add/test a sitemap in Google Webmasters and got the error message below:
Whatever the error may be, it usually comes down to the fact that your HTML link has not been converted to XML format yet. As a Worpress user, simply follow the below guidelines to do the conversion.
DOWNLOAD YOAST SEO.
In your WordPress dashboard, if you have not downloaded the Yoast SEO already, do it now. Simply scroll down your dashboard and click ‘Plugins’, then click ‘Add New’ and then type in ‘Yoast SEO’ in the search bar. Click ‘Install Now’ after you find it and then ‘Activate.’
The reason why Yoast SEO is very good is because it generates the xml sitemaps for you automatically. Amongst other things, Yoast SEO is a very handy tool for website configuration and security. You wouldn’t have to download another plugin for each task you have to carry out. Other non WordPress platforms will require the user to go through lengthy processes to get it done.
2. CREATE SITEMAPS.
After downloading, scroll down through your dashboard and find Yoast SEO . Hover your mouse pointer over it and click ‘Add Sitemaps’.
Once that is done, make sure to check if XML Sitemap Functionality is Enabled. See below.
If you want to keep the default settings, simply click Save Changes. Once that is done, you can then retrieve your sitemaps by clicking the ‘XML Sitemap’ link highlighted on the snip above.
3. COPY LINKS INTO GOOGLE WEBMASTERS.
Once you click your link to retrieve your sitemaps, another tab opens up with the complete list of your sitemaps. See the screenshot below. All you have to do is copy each xml sitemap and submit into Google Webmasters. AND THAT IS ALL YOU NEED TO DO :).
Sometimes you will get a lot of sitemap links, especially if you have a large website. But bear in mind that your most important sitemaps would be sitemaps for your posts, pages, images and videos. For more information on how to change your sitemap default settings, please click here to watch a simple, yet brilliant video on how to change those settings.
I have also decided to include the video below should you prefer to watch it on the same window.
And that brings us to the end of this tutorial. I hope this was of benefit to you. And if you liked it or have any constructive criticism, please do share and leave a comment as it would be of benefit to both of us. Also make sure to see my other articles on this website for great content on online entrepreneurship and learning material from Wealthy Affiliate.
Thank you :).