Does your website have an XML sitemap? Do you know why they are important? Do you know how to get one?

The purpose of an XML sitemap is to list a website’s important pages.

Why Do I Need A Sitemap?

Sitemaps allow search engines to “crawl” your website and understand its structure.

Google and the other search engines discover your website via links. But some of your pages might not have any links pointing to them. A sitemap makes sure Google can access all of your site.

Submitting a sitemap helps new websites get indexed quicker. It also helps your posts, tags and category pages searchable as well.

Perhaps you run a web-based business with 2 million pages. Unless your internal link structure is flawless, and you have a huge number of external links, Google will have an tough time discovering those pages. That is where sitemaps come in.

How Do I Get A Sitemap?

There a few different ways to submit a XML file.

There are some WordPress plugins that will do it for you automatically. Yoast SEO is always a good place to start.

If your website doesn’t let you do it automatically, you can upload one manually. This obviously takes a bit longer and requires a bit more knowledge of code. To register the sitemap, log in to Google webmaster tools and follow the instructions.

How Do Sitemaps Affect SEO?

There are a few misconceptions when it comes to SEO.

Sitemaps will not, by themselves, get you higher up the rankings. And they won’t force Google (or Bing. or Yahoo) to come to your site. They just mean that your website is easy to visit and crawl and index.

If you’d like to discuss sitemaps, or any aspect of website maintenance, please get in touch.

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