When we need to work on the SEO of a website to improve our positioning in Google, the work that we have to do is considerable. Creating an XML sitemap and submitting it to Google is one of the factors that will help our site to appear in the search engine.
There are hundreds of factors that can positively or negatively influence the positioning of our website. From creating high quality content, researching keywords, generating ideas for the site, auditing the site, building internal and external links, etc. It is not a simple job and requires a lot of effort.
However, creating an XML sitemap or a sitemap to submit to Google is too quick and easy. In turn, it is extremely helpful to appear on Google when we create new content. Maybe in less than 10 minutes you will have your sitemap created. If you use a CMS like WordPress, even less.
What is an XML sitemap or sitemap?
A sitemap or XML sitemap is a list of URLs on our website. It would be a kind of roadmap that tells Google what information is available, what articles we want to share, and where to find them.
The sitemap contains very important information about the different URLs we have on our website, since: when was it last updated, how often a page changes, etc.
The best thing is that we can specify the type of content we want to index by search engines. Another thing that we have to keep in mind is that the sitemap is designed exclusively for search engines, it is not something that we should post anywhere.
Why do we need an XML sitemap?
The problem occurs when a site does not have links from other popular pages. This way the search engines will have problems indexing our site. Therefore, a sitemap not only helps crawlers point out the addresses we want to add to the search engine itself. It also helps them find everything faster and therefore index it quickly.
However, not all websites need to have a sitemap. Although this is not a bad idea, as it costs next to nothing. But in general, sites that are too big, new, with few links pointing to them and internal links not working, should have a sitemap.
Likewise, having a sitemap is extremely positive and depending on the CMS you are using it is extremely easy and quick to create one. Without going too far, if your website is built with WordPress, you can have an updated sitemap without doing anything at all.
Just over 35% of sites on the internet use WordPress and it’s no wonder. It’s a CMS too easy to handle, you don’t need to have great knowledge and you can create sites on any subject.
There are several plugins that allow us to create an XML sitemap: Yoast SEO, Rank Match SEO, Jetpack, etc.
Create a sitemap with Yoast SEO
From the admin panel, we will go to the left sidebar and click on “Add-ons” or “Plugins”. Then we will have to click on “Add new” at the top and in the search box we will write “Yoast SEO”.
The Yoast plugin will appear and we will have to click on “Install now”. The installation will take a few seconds. When complete, the button will change to say “Activate”. We therefore proceed to the activation of the plugin.
After activating it we will go to the left sidebar and we can see that a new section called “SEO. We enter it then we go to General> Functions. The first option asks us if we want to activate the XML sitemap, in the button below we press to keep it saying “Activated”.
Create a sitemap without CMS
If you don’t use any type of CMS, you can create a sitemap without any problem. For this, we will be using Screaming Frog which is a desktop program that has a premium and free version.
In the free version, this allows us to add up to 500 URLs to our site. If you have more, you will have to pay for the Premium version.
Once the program is installed, we will have to open it and at the top write our website address and then click on the “Start” button on the right side.
The program will start to crawl the site, we have to keep in mind that this may take a while, so we have to be patient. Once done, we’ll just have to go to the “Sitemap” tab at the top of the program.
A small window opens in which we can export the sitemap. We will also have several options to modify, it is better to leave all the default values. Hence, we will click on the button that says “Export” at the bottom.
We upload an XML file that we have to upload to our hosting and then send it to Google.
Create a sitemap or sitemap in Wix
Wix is a fairly popular platform and it also allows us to have a sitemap. Wix creates the same thing by default, so you really don’t have to do anything at all.
All you need to do is add “/sitemap.xml” to your Wix site URL. Although something quite negative is that we have no control over it, there is little we can change.
All we can do is decide whether or not we want to send the sitemap to Google. For this we will have to go to the configuration tab “SEO (Google)” and in the page configuration we can disable “Show this page for search results”.
Once we have created our XML sitemap. The most important part is sending it to Google. For this we will have to enter Google Search Console where we will have to sign in with a Google account.
Once logged in we will need to select our website and in the left panel we will need to click on “Sitemaps”. Here we can click on “Add new sitemap” and we will have to enter the url of the sitemap in question.
Share this with your friends!