When it comes to getting your website to rank, you should use as many SEO techniques as feasible. Create a sitemap is a technique that will undoubtedly aid in the enhancement of your SEO strategy.
A sitemap is a web page where you list all of the pages on your website. This allows search engines to crawl your website more efficiently, which in turn helps boost your SEO.
Here, in this article, I will share one of those most important techniques, creating an XML sitemap.
What is Sitemap in SEO?
A sitemap is a blueprint of your website that helps search engines find, crawl, and index all of your website’s content. When search engines discover new content on your site, they add it to their indexes to ensure their users can find it.
Your sitemap allows you to have more control over the indexing process and helps you keep track of what is being indexed.
There are two types of sitemaps, HTML and XML formats. An HTML sitemap is a text document that lists the website’s contents in the form of hyperlinks. You can create an HTML sitemap manually or use a special program to do it.
An XML sitemap is a file that allows search engine crawlers to fully understand the organization of your site’s content, including its structure and hierarchy.
I think you can understand that the sitemap has four main types-
- News Sitemap.
- Video Sitemap.
- Image Sitemap.
- Normal XML Sitemap.
What is the use of Sitemap?
A sitemap will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing to find your website’s content and everything that your website has.
Because we all know more than a million websites are being published every day on the search engine.
And that site also has different types of content.
So, how will the search engine find your website, and how can the search engine crawl your website’s content to rank them?
So, you can understand the use of a sitemap. Precisely that is-
- To improve your SEO.
- To let the search engine know or crawl and rank your website.
How to Create a Sitemap for your Website
You can create a sitemap on your own or you can use SEO plugins like- Yoast SEO, Rank Math, to generate it automatically.
Note: If you are creating a sitemap using Rankmath or Yoast SEO plugin then your URL is like https://example.com/sitemap_index.xml and if you are creating a sitemap manually like a sitemap generator website then it will be like this https:// example.com/sitemap.xml
If you are using WordPress then you can use these plugins.
If you are using Yoast SEO then the ultimate benefit of using this plugin is- It will update your sitemap automatically.
So, whenever you are adding any page or content to your website it will automatically be added to your sitemap.
You just have to click on the Dashboard >> SEO >> general >> features >> then click on the XML sitemap option.
And then just click on the Save button. Here your job is done through Yoast SEO.
This is also one of the best SEO plugins. If you are using this plugin the process is almost the same.
Here also if you are adding any page or content or any blog post to your website then it will track automatically.
And then it will be submitted to the sitemap. And then Search Engine will track the sitemap and can find all the pages or contents altogether.
To create a sitemap using Rank math follow this step go to WordPress dashboard >> Rankmath >> sitemap setting >> then click on this link and you can see your sitemap.
A sidebar section has more pages that you can add to your sitemap if you want categories, images, landing pages, FAQs, and more.
Usually, in a normal blog, you can see only two pages in the sitemap which are the Posts sitemap and Pages sitemap.
#XML Sitemap Generator Website
This is a manual way to create a sitemap. Maybe you are using any SEO plugins to create a sitemap.
But you should know about the manual process. You can find the sitemap usually at site.com/sitemap.xml.
But it is depending on your CMS and the program you are using to create the sitemap.
Process of creating sitemap manually go to XML sitemap generator website >> paste your Site URL and click on start.
Wait a few minutes for sites to crawl your URL, then click View sitemap details. Now you can see here that your sitemap has been generated.
Now click on Download Your XML Sitemap File. SEO plugins automatically generate and add a sitemap to your website but in the manual process, you need to add your sitemap to your site manually.
Go to your website root folder that your hosting provider provides to you and then go to your Files Manager >> public_html >> click on upload >> and upload your sitemap that you create manually.
You can use screaming frog to create a sitemap for your website. No matter you are using any CMS, no matter your website’s age, website’s size, etc.
Here you do not need to log in to the website to access the sitemap.
This amazing tool is providing 500 pages of crawling for free.
But if you want to make a search engine crawl a website that has more than 500 pages then you need to purchase the license of screaming frog.
If you do not have this tool then you can install this tool first. It is a powerful desktop software program.
As I said before, the basic plan is free here. Now if you want to create a sitemap by using a screaming frog then first open it.
Then put your URL at the top and then click on start.
Now it is depending on your website’s size it will take a few times to crawl. After completing you will see a 100 percent bar.
And then click on create an XML sitemap in the header menu, and then choose which section of your website you want to include your XML sitemap.
Then choose the PDF option and include images also.
Here let the other options as default. Here you can add images to your sitemap.
And then click on the Export button. Then you will see a save button in your desktop files do not miss to add .xml in your file extension. Just click on that and your job is done.
How to Submit a Sitemap in Google?
Now it is time to submit your sitemap to Google. For this, you should have Google Search Console connected with your website.
If you are new to blogging and you don’t know about How to add Search Console then read our article by clicking here.
After that first, go to the Google Search Console and then just choose your website.
And then click on the Sitemap section.
After that just click on Add new Sitemap section. Now open your sitemap https://example.com/sitemap.xml or sitemap_index.xml copy this URL and then enter this URL in the search console sitemap.
After that, you just have to take care of all the errors. Rest, Google will do it for you.
So, here you have completed your job.
Submit your Sitemap in robots.txt file
Here the thing that you need to do first is- just locate the root folder of your website and then add the sitemap to this folder.
The two-three important steps to do this are-
- Locate your sitemap URL.
- Locate your robots.txt file.
- Add sitemap location to robots.txt file.
So, before you have created a sitemap that will be located in http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml or sitemap_index.xml( likely ).
To check that you can type that in the browser and you will see the sitemap. Or if there is any problem then you will see a 404 error.
If you are using Yoast SEO plugins here you can edit or create a robots.txt file. Go To Dashboard >> click on SEO >> Tools >> File editor.
Then in robots files, you can add your sitemap URL and click on save.
You can now check your robots.txt file in the browser https://example.com/robots.txt If the file is updated you are all done here.
After this, your robots file will look like this-
- User-agent: *
- Disallow: /wp-admin/
- Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php
- Sitemap: http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml
Now, I think you should know What is HTML Sitemap?. Do you know about this? Ok, let me inform you-
What is HTML Sitemap?
In the previous part of this article, you get to know about how to create a sitemap?
An HTML sitemap is a file that lists all the important pages of your website that you want search engines like Google and Bing to index.
By doing this, your website will be able to be found more easily by these search engines, and it will increase the number of visitors to your website.
The sitemap is a great way of telling search engines which pages you would like them to index so they can do so. Because this is a free service and is a great way to increase your website’s traffic, it is a must-have for most websites.
HTML sitemaps are mostly preferred by site visitors and not search engines, and XML sitemaps are used by Search engines to index your URLs.
Here is an example of an HTML sitemap on Amazon.com.
How to create an HTML Sitemap?
Here are some simple steps to create a sitemap or HTML sitemap. If you want to create an HTML sitemap using plugins then read by clicking here how to create an HTML sitemap using the plugin.
Now if you want to create manually then follow the same step go to XML-sitemap.com >> put your site URL and start >> click on View sitemap >> then scrawl down to last you can see here other downloads.
Now click on view HTML sitemap, you successfully created HTML sitemap.
You don’t need to add this HTML sitemap in the search console just create a link in a Footer section of your website.
Frequently Ask Questions
- How do I create a Sitemap?
You have to follow a few important steps for that.
1. Review the structure of your pages.
2. Then code your URLs.
3. Validate the Code.
4. Add your sitemap to the root and robots.
5. And the last step is to submit the sitemap.
- What is the best tool to create a sitemap?
1. Dyno Mapper.
These are some tools to create a sitemap.
In a conclusion, I would say that you also know that create a sitemap is a very important thing for SEO.
So, you should surely create a sitemap to improve your SEO.
If you have a big website like affiliate, eCommerce, news then you have to create an HTML sitemap or for a blog website, you don’t need to create an HTML sitemap.