There are many details to consider when launching a new website, including content creation, site design, menus, SEO, etc. One of the most basic tasks is getting your site indexed by search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex. In order to do that, you’ll need to create an XML sitemap.
SEO theory says that Google, Bing, Baidu, and Yandex give priority in search results to websites that can crawl and index most completely and efficiently. An XML sitemap is one way you can help the search console do a better job of this, and as a result, give your website a boost in the rankings.
Search engines like Google consider XML sitemaps a strong signal about the importance of new and updated pages on your site. And many search engines will use information in sitemaps to gather metadata about images on your site. The following is a complete guide on what is the XML sitemap, and why to use it.
What is an XML sitemap?
An XML sitemap lists the web pages of your website and tells Google and other search engines how the content of your website is organized. Website crawlers like Googlebot read this file in order to index your site.
A sitemap is a great way to ensure that search engine crawlers are able to find all the important pages on your site. As well as that, you can prioritize your XML sitemap, so you know which pages you want to be crawled first, and control how frequently your content is crawled.
How does an XML sitemap work
Search engine spiders crawl the web by following links from one page to another. Because they can’t always find all of the pages on a site just by crawling, XML sitemaps help them discover more of your site’s content.
In addition, an XML sitemap helps search engines to understand important information about each page on your site, like when it was last updated, how often it changes, and its relative importance within the site.
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Why do you need an XML sitemap
Actually, search engines love them. Anyone with a website these days knows the importance of search engines. Having great content and hoping for the best is simply not enough. The web is a vast place, and there are many reasons your site might not show up in Google’s search results.
An XML sitemap, on the other hand, can help both search engines and users find their way around your website more easily. Every time you publish new content on your WordPress site, you have to tell Google and other search engines about it, so they can index it in search results.
How can you benefit from an XML sitemap
With so many new websites being created on a daily basis, search engines need to be able to find and index them. This is where XML sitemaps can make a big difference. An XML sitemap is not only used by search engines but also by other types of bots, like those that crawl a website for backlinks or site errors.
It provides webmasters with valuable information about where problems may lie in the structure of their websites, which will help them improve their sites for both search engines and users.
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How to create an XML sitemap
If you are using WordPress then you can use plugins such as Rank Math, and Yoast SEO to automatically generate and update both XML and HTML sitemaps for you and reference them in your robots.txt file.
To create an XML sitemap manually, you can either use a tool like Screaming Frog or SEMrush to create one for you, or you can create one manually. The manual process is more time-consuming, as you would need to keep the list updated each time you make changes to the website. There are so many FREE tools available on the internet to create an XML sitemap.
The XML sitemap is a way to submit or send your sites or blogs to the search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, Baidu, and Yahoo. It is structured in XML, so search engines can easily read it. It helps the search engine identify and index all pages of your website, including images and videos.