Back in the early 2000s, websites used to have an URL on their main page named, Sitemap. This sitemap was the URL that contained all the Urls present on that website. It used to be an HTML URL. Even today, many websites have an HTML sitemap but most of the Sitemaps are XML published instead of HTML.
And these site maps do not target audience on that website like earlier ones, they target the search engines results. Many people have these questions about sitemaps in their mind. This article will guide you about what sitemaps are, why they are necessary, and how you get a sitemap for your website.
Read Article: What is an XML Sitemap?
Why You Need An XML Sitemap?
From the point of view of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), XML sitemaps are very important. Although it is wrong to think that this sitemap will increase your search engine ranking but if there are some pages that are not indexed in the proper way, the search engines will index them properly.
For beginners, sitemaps can be very beneficial. Search engines can crawl more efficiently to your website, find out your important links and pages and help bring them out in search results.
Since it is very uncommon to have good backlinks on your website in the beginning therefore, it becomes hard for search engines to see the links on your page. Sitemaps are important to help solve this problem.
Even for popular websites, it is quite important and beneficial to have sitemaps on your website. To let search engines to look closer into the pages of your website and let it see which ones are more frequently updated, which are more important, all this helps the audience get to your website and pages easily.
How to create a Sitemap in WordPress?
There are quite a few ways to create an XML sitemap in WordPress. We can use Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin to create our sitemaps. This plugin is used more often because it allows not only to optimize blog posts but also offers other features such as sitemaps, social integration, and more.
It is also noted that it works more efficiently and better than other standalone sitemap creators for WordPress. And last but not the least, it also offers custom sitemaps like the Video Sitemap.
Now, for adding a sitemap to your site, the first thing you should be doing is installing and activating WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. WordPress SEO does not enable XML sitemap function in it’s default settings so you will have to turn it on. For doing that, go to SEO » XML Sitemaps and click tick the box to enable XML sitemap function.
How to Tell Search Engines About Sitemaps
Search engines are quite sharp in detecting any changes you make in your websites and any update on your pages is sent to Google and Bing instantly. But even still, it is recommended that you submit your site to Google with Google WebMaster Tools. This way, Google will warn you of any irrelevant and unindexed page on your site.
To do this, sign in to your Google account if you are not already signed in and click ‘Add a site’.
In the next step, you will have to verify that you own the website. The easiest method is to copy the HTML Meta tag value and paste it in WordPress SEO plugin.
Copy the value in the content=”” (Without copying the commas). Leave the webmaster tools site verification page open. Go to your WordPress admin page and then click on the SEO tab.
You will be redirected to WordPress SEO plugin’s dashboard. On this page, you will find Webmaster Tools. Paste the meta tag value you copied next to Google Webmaster tools and Save Settings.
Go back to the verification page and click the verify button. On the next screen you will see Sitemaps column with no sitemaps in it. Clicking on it will take you to a Sitemaps page where you can add your sitemaps.
You have successfully added your sitemap.
Now it will appear as pending because it will take Google time to register but as soon as your site gets older, you will see information about your site that helps you learn how good or bad your site is doing.