How to create a Sitemap for Google?
This article covers a piece of detailed information as to how to create a sitemap for Google and the benefits of using them; you can submit it to Google Search Console. You may follow this article if you want to properly create an XML sitemap using different tools.
When it comes to SEO, there are over a couple of hundreds of Google ranking factors that you need to master on and also you must know how to execute them in order to increase the search engine visibility of your website.
Trust me, being a website owner, you need to accomplish different tasks in order to get your website visible in the search engine. Right from the keyword research, create unique and high-quality content, building backlinks, auditing your website, etc. requires a lot of effort, time, and techniques.
A sigh of relief at the same time, since there are some SEO techniques that are easier to perform and having a massive impact on SEO. One of them is submitting an XML sitemap to Google, it is a part of “Technical SEO” though, but even if you do not have any technical knowledge, you can easily create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google. It just takes 10 minutes to do so.
What is an XML Sitemap?
In a general term, it’s a list of a website’s URLs, and that’s why it’s called a sitemap. Whereas XML stands for “Extensible Markup Language”, a language of displaying information on websites.
An XML sitemap specifies what pages, posts, or media files to be indexed by Google crawlers. Sitemaps are extensible markup language that are written especially for search engines, and not for humans. So, it would be hard for the one to understand if not seen before.
I Hope, you have an idea about the term “XML Sitemap”, but one should still ask; what is the purpose of creating an XML sitemap?
Purpose of an XML Sitemap?
Google uses its crawlers to organize and index information on your website, and while crawling, they use both internal as well as external links to discover new content.
These crawlers can be able to read all kinds of information that you have on your website, and an XML sitemap makes it easier for the crawler to find out your website and index it. Once crawling has been done by Google, your website has every chance to improve its rank in the search engine.
Sitemaps tell Google when a particular page was created or updated, how many times a particular page was updated, it also tells Google to crawl and index the content found within the site’s structure.
Once you successfully submit your XML sitemap files to Google, you will notice that all new posts and pages that you have published recently are available somewhere on Google search results. All of this because of an XML sitemap file.
How to create an XML Sitemap?
To create a sitemap is quite simple, whether your website is on WordPress or you use any other online tool to generate an XML sitemap. We will walk you through both ways.
Create a Sitemap with or without a CMS
The Screaming Frog will be the best option to create an XML sitemap for any website, it doesn’t matter what CMS you are using, what size of your website is, and how old your website is.
Screaming Frog allows free crawling for up to 500 pages, and if you want to crawl websites having more than 500 pages, you will need to purchase a Screaming Frog license, which is GBP 149 annually.
We are using the free version of Screaming Frog here:
Step 1: First of all, open Screaming Frog, and enter your URL where it says, “Enter URL to Spider” and click “Start”.
Step 2: Crawling will be started and it will take from a few minutes to a few hours to crawl the site, depending on your website’s size. Once crawling is done, it will display “Crawl 100%”. Now, click on “Sitemaps” then “XML Sitemap” on top of the menu bar.
Step 3: The below page will appear on your screen, if you are in doubt or you have no idea about the terms as mentioned (Noindex pages, canonicalised, paginated URL’s, PDF’s, Last modified, priority, change frequency, Images, hreflang, etc.) on the page, then you can keep these setting as default, or else you are free to go ahead to include or exclude any options that you want in your sitemap file.
Once done, click on “Export” and the file will save on your computer. So, your XML Sitemap is ready and you can now “Submit your XML sitemap to Google”.
Create a Sitemap in WordPress
There are many WordPress plugins you will find that allow you to create an XML sitemap, but my favourite is Yoast SEO, also for a change, we will let you know how to use Rank Math SEO to create an XML sitemap.
Create sitemap using Yoast SEO
Yoast is one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress. Yoast plugin helps you to optimize your page titles, meta descriptions, SEO analysis, etc. This plugin also has a feature to create an XML Sitemap.
If you are not using the Yoast SEO plugin, download and install it from WordPress. Once you activate Yoast into your WordPress Dashboard, follow these simple steps to create an XML Sitemap.
Click on SEO, then go to “General”, then select “Features”, and go to “XML Sitemaps” and click on “See the XML Sitemaps”.
Create sitemap using Rank Math SEO
If you do not have Rank Math SEO plugin, download and get it activated from WordPress. After activation,
Go to Rank Math and then Sitemap Settings. You can now set how many links you want on per sitemap page, exclude URLs, images in posts, etc.
On the top of the page, you will see your sitemap URL which looks something like this – “https://www.yourwebsitename.com/sitemap_index.xml”
How to Submit Your XML Sitemap to Google
Now you are done with the creation of XML Sitemap, and it’s time to submit it to Google.
To do this, go to Google Search Console and select your website.
From the dashboard, click “Sitemaps”, and then click “Add a new Sitemap.”
Enter the URL where you’ve saved your sitemap, make sure that your URL ending “.xml” since it’s an XML file.
Now, your part has been completed, now it’s Google turn, and it will take care of the rest.
Your sitemap allows Google to quickly and seamlessly index your site, in order to boost your rankings in search engines.
Many bloggers and small website owners are unaware of the term “XML sitemap”, but going through the above article, you can easily figure out how to create XML Sitemap and how to submit it to Google Search Engine.
You can create a sitemap within just 10-12 minutes either through Screaming Frog or via WordPress plugins like Yoast or Rank Math.
If you are new to sitemaps and knew nothing about them, just go through the complete process as explained in the above article. Do comment us below, if you need any help from this side, we will be happy to reply to any of your queries!