Do you have a doubt about what is an XML sitemap?, and how to add it to your WordPress website?
Today, you’ll learn what a WordPress XML sitemap is and how to create one in your WordPress website.
XML site maps are really important when it comes to SEO, Both have really important parts to play in helping Google understand and find all of your content on the google. What are these XML sitemaps? and how do they work and what are the implications on your website’s SEO?
In this article, we will explain What is Sitemap, and how you can easily create a sitemap in a WordPress website, so let’s jump into it.
What is an XML Sitemap?
An XML sitemap is a feed to the search engine of where all the pages on your website reside. It includes information like the address of the pages, the date the pages were changed, and the importance of the pages related to other pages on your website.
This is the best way for Google to index and crawl your site deeply. Every site that is committed to Search engine optimization (SEO) should have an XML sitemap.
Sometimes you can create pages across your website that don’t have anything linking to them, in particular, but you still want Google to be able to find them and index them.
Well, that’s where you can define those pages within your XML site map and make sure Google can find them, so they don’t just have to rely on links to crawl your website and find all your content.
Your main navigation and your links are the first port of call but your site map could also instruct Google to index content that can’t be found with the first attempt at crawling.
A sitemap is just a list of pages on a website and an XML sitemap is a way for website owners to tell search engines about all the pages that exist on their website.
Will Google Sitemaps affect my ranking?
There is no evidence that a Google Sitemap will directly affect your ranking. However, it can help Google to index and crawl your page better which may result in a more complete index of your page.
This helps search engines crawl your site and makes sure links that are important are shared it also shares how frequently you update your website.
Why would you need to create an XML sitemap?
Well when it comes to SEO, it tells the search engines about all the pages that are available on your site. This should help get your pages indexed properly by Google.
One of the main benefits of a Sitemap is that when you change your site, update, or you add new pages because Google’s aware of your Sitemap, it’s more likely to see those pages more quickly and, therefore, they can get indexed and ranking quicker.
Sitemaps aren’t the golden bullet that’s gonna transform your ranking overnight though, so let’s get into it, how you can create an XML sitemap in your WordPress website.
How to generate a WordPress website?
After knowing about XML Sitemap and also knowing about the need to create an XML sitemap, let’s now know- How to add a sitemap on a WordPress website.
There are several ways to create an XML sitemap in WordPress. We will show you a popular method to create an XML sitemap in WordPress through Best Free Popular Plugins.
In This Tutorial, we will use these two plugins given below
Google XML Sitemaps
How to Create a WordPress Sitemap with Yoast Plugin
The easiest way to create an XML sitemap in WordPress is by using the Yoast SEO plugin.
So first you need to install the Yoast SEO Plugin, from the left sidebar of your WordPress Dashboard Plugins > Add New
After installing and activating the Yoast SEO Plugin you need to set up the Yoast SEO Plugin first.
1- go-to SEO > General page and switch to the ‘Features tab‘.
2- From the ‘Features tab‘, you need to scroll down to the ‘XML Sitemap’ option and make sure that it is turned on, just as shown in the screenshot below.
3- after checking the XML Sitemaps are properly turned on, now click on the save button to store your changes.
now you have to check that Yoast SEO has created an XML Sitemap for you or not.
and for that, you need to click on the question mark icon next to the XML Sitemap option on the page and click on the ‘See the XML Sitemap’ link. just as shown in the screenshot below.
When you click on the ‘See the XML Sitemap’ link, you will see the Sitemaps Generated by the Yoast Plugin.
You can also find your XML sitemap by simply adding sitemap_index.xml at the end of your website address.
Just Like- https://www.yoursite.com/sitemap_index.xml
you can also see the results as shown in the screenshot below.
Now as you can see on the above screenshot that, it will automatically generate for posts, pages, author, and categories.
how do Search Engines can know About Sitemaps? you need to submit the sitemap to search engines, show that they can crawl your website quicker.
How to Submit a sitemap to search engines Like Google.
Submitting Your XML Sitemap to Google
for submitting it to google you need to login to your Google Search Console account.
1- Go to Google Search Console and you will be asked to select a property type. You can choose a domain or a URL prefix. We recommend choosing URL prefix as it is easier to setup.
Now after entering URL Prefix (your website’s URL) Click on the continue button.
Now, you will be asked to verify ownership of the website. You will see multiple methods to do that, we recommend using the HTML tag method.
Click on the HTML Tag, and Copy the code given in it.
Now you will need to add the code into Head section of your sites’s homepage.
Now you will need to add the code into the head section of your site’s home page.
(1) For adding the code you need to navigate Dashboard Appearance > Theme Editor, just as shown in the screenshot below.
(2) When you click on Theme Editor it will take you on the Theme Editor panel, here you can see Theme Files on the right side.
(3) just Scroll Down and find Theme Header (header.php) file, and click on it.
(4) Next, you have to paste Tag on the Header. It should go in the
<head> section, before the first
<body> section. as shown in the screenshot below.
(5) After adding Tag, click on the Update File Button, to save your settings.
Now go back to search Console and click on the Verify Button.
Now you will need to add a sitemap to search console, so let’s add your XML sitemap as well.
go to the search console dashboard and navigate to the left sidebar and click on the Sitemaps.
After clicking on the Sitemaps, now you need to add the last part of your sitemap URL under the ‘Add new sitemap’ section and click the Submit button.
once sitemaps added, Google will now add your sitemap URL to your Google Search Console.
How to Create a WordPress Sitemap with Google XML Sitemaps Plugin
Another way to create an XML sitemap in WordPress is by using the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.
So first you need to install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin, from the left sidebar of your WordPress Dashboard Plugins > Add New
For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
After installing and activating the Google XML Sitemaps plugin you need to set up the Plugin.
go to Settings > XML-Sitemap to see more options
The default settings of this plugin are fine for most blogs. Feel free to change the priorities, change frequencies or what you want to include in your sitemap.
This plugin will ping Google every time you publish a new post or edit an old one. Google will fetch your sitemap afterwards and probably index your new post soon.
All posts will have the same priority in your sitemap. It can be defined under “Priorities”
It Uses the number of comments to calculate the priority of the posts.
after checking and editing your settings don’t forget to save the settings, click on the Update options button.
We hope this article helps you to find the solution to your problems. if you have any doubts and want to ask something just comment below we will love to help you 🙂
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