Understanding Sitemaps and Indexing for SEO

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Sitemaps and Indexing

Imagine you write and post content on your site daily to get traffic to your website. Every Week you produce a dozen content likely in different formats like blogs, videos, and images. However, you fail to do so as there are no visitors to your site. Nevertheless, Sitemaps can help you achieve that.

You’ve likely to hear the term ‘indexing’ and ‘sitemap’ several times, but if technical aspects of a website aren’t your forte, you may not be 100 per cent certain how these relate to you and what is the role of sitemap to get traffic on your site. You want your website to be neat, organized, and easy to navigate. This guide will address your all your queries regarding indexing and sitemaps along with how to generate sitemaps. 

What is Sitemap?

A sitemap is a webpages list created for web crawlers (search engine bots) so that they can find your content easily and fast. When a user enters keywords in the search engine to find a result, the web crawlers use a sitemap to see the newest pages on a website, or a webpage, including videos, images, blogs, etc.

A sitemap is a visual layout of your website content structure indeed designed specifically for both humans and search engines. In general, a sitemap serves two primary functions. Firstly, they help website developers to organize a layout for a website. However, a website layout is an outline that directs links on a webpage to what pages to travel.

Secondly, web crawlers index and organize all the different website using sitemaps to update their indexes. This function is less direct but of equal importance. Clearly, it means that a sitemap helps website easiest to find, search, and use.

Your website sitemap is located at www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml

How to Generate a Sitemap?

Now, as you’ve learned what are sitemaps and why it is important to submit your sitemaps for indexing. The next step, is to learn ‘how to submit your sitemap’? In the section, you’ll learn the steps to submit XML sitemaps to different browsers. To learn about how to generate sitemap check at www.sitemap.org

If you’re using WordPress, there are plenty of plugins available for seamless the process. Some of the popular WordPress sitemap generator plugins are:

1. How to Submit Website Sitemap to Google

Google is the world’s largest search engine with 45 million searches per day. The primary element in the production of the XML sitemap is very powerful for a web browser that it changes standard sitemap ‘text’ into ‘XML’, by a mere presence. Furthermore, video site mapping, image site mapping, news site mapping etc requires a direct response from Google’s search engines. It enables users to narrow down their search to specific images, news, and videos. Luckily, Google has made it easier for you, which is likely it is so popular. Here’s how you do it:

Connecting your Site:

  • Click on ‘Start Now’
  • Login to your Gmail account
  • Click on property selector dropdown in search console page
  • Select ‘+ property’ on the dropdown
  • Type the URL of the site to create property. Ensure to add www/HTTPS is necessary.

Prove that you own the site:

  • In the verification pop up, select verification method.
  • Click on ‘Download the file’, to download the HTML file.
  • Open the downloaded file in the web browser.
  • Copy the code generated eg: google-site-verification: googlef253a55d154bf06e.html

Your full web address is required.

  • Input your HTML Tag under Alternate Methods.
  • Log into WordPress website account.
  • On the left-hand side, menu select ‘SEO’.
  • Select ‘General’.
  • Select ‘Webmaster Tools’ and add the code to Google Search Console.
  • Return to Google Console.
  • Select ‘Verify’.

Note: Google-hosted sites (such as Blogger or Sites pages) are automatically verified.

Voila! Your website will be now indexed. Remember, most of site mapping tools offer free or immediate site submission to websites like Google. As a result, this makes the process of manual submission are not important if you’re someone who is unlikely to dig their fingers into everything.

2. How to Submit Website to Yahoo 

Yahoo is the second most popular search engine after Google. Though it is a less powerful search engine tool to generate traffic to the website, it is still reasonable. Furthermore,  if you want your website to appear in Yahoo search results then submit your website to Bing search engine. Yahoo tools are replaced by Bing’s. The Yahoo search results are optimized both by Bing.

3. How to Submit Website to Bing

Bing is a powerhouse search engine next to Google. Here are the simple steps to submit your site to Bing. Note that you must have a Microsoft account to access the Bing Webmaster Tools.

  • Go to https://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster/
  • Click on ‘Sign-in’
  • Click ‘Bing Webmaster Tools’
  • Enter websites URL
  • Paste the Sitemap
  • Select Default for when site traffic is highest
  • Select ‘Add’
  • Copy the code and select meta tag Option 2
  • Select ‘Verify’

Key Takeaway

To conclude, you have learned about the sitemaps, site mapping, and programming. You’ve learned how to link the website with Google search through the use of sitemaps, news sitemaps, and video sitemaps. In addition, uploading mobile sitemaps for use with smartphones technology.

With this guide, you’re now equipped to start your own website and make it available for search engines to crawl. As you continue to learn and grow your skills, your website will grow.

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