7 Important steps to take to generate and submit your websites Sitemap successfully
Updated: Sep 24, 2019
So ...what's a sitemap, anyway?
When you launch your website or create new web pages, a sitemap submission to Google is absolutely VITAL, to them and as well as the other search engines. This will ensure your web pages can be found when people search for your products and services online. For all you business owners and entrepreneurs out there who feel a panic attack coming on when it comes to technical webmaster stuff, don't worry, submitting your sitemap isn’t that tricky at all. Here’s a look at what a sitemap is and the steps you’ll take to submit it successfully.
So ...what's a sitemap, anyway?
A sitemap is essentially a file that lists all of the web pages on your site that are visible to search engines. Think of a sitemap is as a cyber family tree – if you look at a visual sitemap, it will show how all your pages relate to each other, usually starting with the home page, followed by your main product pages or category pages, and so on. Its purpose is to show Google and other search engines how your website’s content is organized. Then, when the search engines’ web crawlers – like Google’s Google Bots – crawl your site, they can read this information and understand what’s on your website for relevant search purposes and how updated the content is. Without this info, search engines wouldn’t be able to understand what your website is all about – nor could they send any search traffic your way. That would be a HUGE problem. So, you just need to make sure you create a sitemap and that you submit it properly.
Types of sitemaps
There are actually different types of sitemaps. For our purposes of submitting a sitemap to search engines, you’re going to use an XML sitemap. Here are some excellent sitemap examples and visual representations of the different sitemaps so you can see how this technical chain of command looks.
7 steps to generate and submit your websites sitemap
Create Your Sitemap
Step one is to create your sitemap, which you can (and should) do by using a sitemap generator. There are lots of online generator tools and plugins you can use most are free, but if you’re looking for a good sitemap generator for beginners, Slickplan is a useful option, as is XML -Sitemaps. You can also use a plugin like Yoast, which will help you with different SEO features and includes an XML sitemap feature.
Upload Your Sitemap
Next, you’ll need to upload your sitemap:
Log into your Google Search Console, or to your webmaster portal for Bing or other search engines when uploading to them.
Click on the website that you’re submitting the sitemap for from the sidebar. (If you haven’t added your website already, here are Google’s instructions for adding a website to your Search Console account).
Click the "Sitemaps" menu, which is located within the "Crawl" menu option under the "Index" menu.
Click the Add/Test Sitemap button in the top right-hand corner of the page.
Add the tail of your sitemap URL, which usually looks like this : sitemap_index.xml or this : sitemap . xml. Your sitemap generator will show you the URL of your sitemap.xml file if you aren't sure.
That’s it – now click "submit!"
Right after you submit, you’ll see your sitemap in pending status. Now kick back relax, go live life for a couple of days; then log back into your account, you should now see your sitemap indexed! If not, don't take it personally; some sites take longer than others. You can now also if you want, do the same thing for Bing and other search engines.
As long as you installed a sitemap generator on your website, it should automatically update your sitemap for you as you add or update pages to your website. Otherwise, you may need to resubmit your sitemap as you add new pages.
Congratulations; you are now, officially, a webmaster of sitemaps!
And hey, if you're short on time or just don't want to deal with or be bothered by the headache of creating a sitemap yourself, here's a list of my favorite sitemap generators and submission software companies that basically do all the work FOR YOU:
Slickplan - Founded in 2009, the site mapping web app Slickplan was born out of their own need for a tool that would let them quickly and easily design and share website architecture planning. Every feature and interface aspect was built with web designers and information architects in mind. It's also easy drag and for people just like us!
XML - Sitemaps - Since 2005, XML - Sitemaps has been helping people get online and be found. Their introductory tool is free and simple, suitable when you need to quickly create a sitemap for a small web site (up to 500) pages. No registration required and you get sitemaps ready immediately. You can download xml sitemap file or receive it via email and put it on your website after that.
Source- XML - Sitemaps
Semper Plugins - They have the all in One SEO Pack Pro. The most popular plugin for managing WordPress SEO and Open Graph social meta. So if you are running a wordpress website this might be the right plugin for you so you can rank on Google.
Source- Semper Plugins