In the previous tutorial we discussed various techniques for on page SEO and different elements we need to configure for on page SEO, also we learned about WordPress SEO with help of plugin “All in One SEO Pack”. In this tutorial, we will learn to submit our website on google and adding the sitemap. So let us start.
If you have missed the previous SEO tutorials, here are the links
What is Sitemap?
Sitemap is an XML file which contains information about the web pages of your website in a structural manner, sitemaps are used by search engines to crawl your website.
The sitemap contains following information about a web page
Location: Web URL of your page.
Last Modified: The date when a page was last modified.
Change Frequency: The frequency on which page can likely change.
Priority: Priority of this URL against other URLs, values from 0.0 to 1.0.
Generating XML Sitemap And Submitting For Search Engines
How can we generate a sitemap for our website?
There are different ways for generating the sitemap, some websites provide free sitemap generation service and you can also build them by your own, if you are using any CMS or E-Commerce solutions then they also have inbuilt features or plugins for generating sitemaps.
- Generating sitemap using sitemap generator websites: Many online sitemap generators provide services to generate sitemaps some are free and some are paid. If you have a custom built website then you can simply google for “XML sitemap generator” and use them for generating sitemaps.
- Building your own sitemap: You can use any text editor to build your own sitemap though it is time-consuming but yet you have this method to generate sitemaps. You can visit the schema.org website for details about sitemap structure. Follow the link http://www.sitemaps.org/protocol.html
- Generating sitemap with plugins: If you have a CMS or E-Commerce websites then you can use any sitemap generator plugin to generate sitemaps for your website, I will explain generating sitemaps for WordPress websites using “All in One SEO Pack” plugin.
Generating sitemap with “All In One SEO Pack”
All in SEO Pack is a WordPress plugin which allows performing most of the SEO actions for any WordPress blog or website very easily. We previously have installed and learned the configurations of this plugin. If you missed that tutorial then you can check the previous tutorial link below.
Let us begin, in the left top navigation of your WordPress admin hover over All in One SEO Pack icon then click “Feature Manager” after new page loads you will see a box “XML Sitemaps” click enable, Once the feature is enabled again hover over the “All in One SEO Pack” icon now you will find a new item saying “XML Sitemap” click that, it will take you to sitemap generator page, there are various elements for sitemap creation and analysis let me explain.
- Sitemap Status: Displays information about the sitemap created by this plugin, date created memory used etc.
- Filename Prefix: Specifies the filename of generated XML file.
- Notify Google: Checking this will send a notification to google about sitemap update.
- Notify Bing: Checking this will send a notification to bing about sitemap update.
- Schedule Update: Notifies search engines on the certain schedule.
- Enable Sitemap Indexes: This enables indexing of sitemaps, a parent sitemap is created as an index of all sitemaps. Enable if the site has a lot of pages, more than 50,000.
- Post Types: Here you can select which of the post types will be included in the sitemap.
- Taxonomies: Here you can select which taxonomies will be included in the sitemap.
- Include Date Archive Pages: Checking this includes date archives in the sitemap.
- Include Author Pages: This will include the author pages in sitemap if checked.
- Create Compressed Sitemap: This allows to create to create a compressed sitemap with “GZ” format. This I suggest because it then restricts the sitemap visibility by spammers and hackers.
- Link From Virtual Robots.txt: Places a link to sitemap file in the robots.txt file.
- Dynamically Generate Sitemap: This allows to generate a sitemap dynamically instead of using a static file.
So these are the options you need to configure before generating any sitemap, All In One SEO pack comes with basic configuration done, so you will not find any difficulty in configuring other things as per your needs. If you find any difficulty then let me know in comments or send me a mail from the contact page. There are few other sections below the sitemap configuration section.
Additional Pages: This allows to add additional pages in the sitemap that are not under current WordPress install.
Excluded Items: Here you can select the categories, pages or posts you do not want to be included in the sitemap.
Priorities: Here you can select a priority for the homepage, category, and taxonomy in the sitemap.
Frequency: The update frequency for the homepage, category, and taxonomy in the sitemap.
All In One SEO pack creates sitemap at the following locations
Location for sitemap.xml: The sitemap file is located at – your-site-url.com/sitemap.xml
Location of compressed sitemap.xml.gz: The compressed file if enables is located at—your-site-url.com/sitemap.xml.gz
Submitting Sitemap To Search Engines
Once your sitemap file is ready, if your sitemap was generated using other sitemap generators and is not hosted online, then you will need to upload the sitemap file to your hosting using either FTP client or Cpanel. Once uploaded grab the location of the sitemap and note it down. Now visit webmaster tools for the search engines you want to submit the sitemaps on. Here are links to bing and google webmaster tools.
If you do not have any account with the webmaster tools yet, then register yourself, now you will need to do the following steps:
- Create your account on search engine’s webmaster tools
- Verify your site’s ownership
- Submit your website’s sitemap
- Enter sitemap URL and let the search engine process it and crawl your site.
Bingo now you have successfully submitted your sitemap to your desired search engines. Now you can wait and watch search engines doing the job. If you have any confusion or questions then let me know in comments below. If you are looking for professional help from me then send me a message from the contact us section.
Now let us learn about backlinks.