Today We’re going to talk about how to add a sitemap to Google webmaster tools to help improve your sites rankings, and visibility in Google.
What is a sitemap?
Simply put, a sitemap is a map of your website; A single ‘page’ on your website that lists every other page on your website.
Do I need a sitemap?
Whilst the importance of using site-maps for SEO purposes is sometimes underestimated, using sitemaps has many benefits. Sitemaps offer easier navigation, and better visibility to Google, and in turn, your visitors. If you’re still not sure, then these 3 reasons should convince you to follow our step by step guide and add a sitemap to your WordPress blog.
1. Using a sitemap will mean changes to your website are indexed in Google quicker.
2. By using a sitemap, you rely less on external links (links from other websites) to get your pages indexed, you provide Google a list of every page on your site!
3. If you have a new website, or have a lot of new content, then using a sitemap can help get these changes out there.
Ok, you’ve convinced me, so do I need to manually create a list of every single page on my website?
No! Simply follow our simple step-by-step guide below and your sitemap will be created for you, automatically. What’s More, if you update your blog, edit a page, or add a new post, the sitemap will be updated for you without any further work.
So, lets get started, follow these 4 easy steps to create your sitemap, and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools!
1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard and go to Plugins -> Add New:
2. Search for ‘BWP Google XML Sitemaps’ and then select ‘Install Now’:
3. Click on ‘Activate Plugin’ and then select the option ‘BWP GXS’ from the WordPress admin menu.
4. Now you need to add your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools account and follow these steps:
I. Add your site by clicking the red “Add Site” button on the top right.
II. Enter the URL of your site in the next box and click ‘Continue’ .
III. If you have a google analytics account, click verify, if not select the tab ‘Alternative Methods’ and follow the verification process.
IV. Click on ‘Optimization’ at the left, and then click on ‘Sitemaps’.
V. Click on ‘Add/Test Sitemap’ at the right of the page, and input your sitemap page (sitemap.xml).
VI. Click on ‘Submit Sitemap’ and you’re done. Google will now have a copy of your sitemap, and stats on the listed pages. You can return to the Sitemaps page in your google webmaster tools at any time to see any issues, and whether or not the sitemap has been processed yet.
And thats it! Within a few days you will notice better visibility of your site in Google, and within a few months you should notice better rankings for your pages!.#
Remember the quicker your WordPress hosting, the better you will rank in google, so choose a fast wordpress web host, like us!
If you have any other tips on creating your sitemap, or submitting it to search engines to improve SEO, let us know in the comments below.