The fundamentals of sitemaps should be known by every website owner. Search engines depend on your sitemap to learn about the pages on your website so that they may include them in search results. Also, sitemaps aid consumers in navigating your website after they arrive on a page. In this article, we are going to cover all you need to know about Sitemap SEO.
What is XML Sitemap?
The URLs on your website are simply listed in an XML sitemap. It acts as an outline for search engines to understand what content is available and how to get there. A list of a website’s most relevant pages is called an XML sitemap. Sitemaps are used by search engines to discover and index websites so that they can be included in search results. A sitemap can contain up to 50,000 URLs and be up to 50MB in size.
If you exceed one of these boundaries, you can make another sitemap and divide the URLs between the two. This procedure can be repeated as many as required. For search engines, the sitemaps would then need to be integrated into a single XMP sitemap index file.
Importance of XML Sitemap
Your sitemap helps search engines like Google to find the various pages on your website. Most of your website can typically be found by our web crawlers if your site’s pages are correctly linked. Links are a key part of how Google finds websites. If your website is completely new and has few external backlinks, a sitemap is also crucial to help Google identify the pages on it.
What do Sitemaps do?
Search crawler shouldn’t crawl each and every page of your website. Certain pages, such as “thank you” pages that users only see after submitting forms, shouldn’t appear in search results.
A sitemap is like a map for your website. A sitemap notifies users and search engines that certain pages you wish to be found on your website exist while they are hidden (orphaned) because no connections relate to them. In other words, whether or not you have a complete internal linking structure, search engines use your sitemap to find all of your website’s relevant pages.
Types of Sitemaps
Sitemaps are available in a broad range of forms. Let’s examine the ones that you genuinely require.
- XML Sitemap Index: It has some limitations such as the URLs should not exist above 50000 and 50MB is the maximum uncompressed file size. To reduce the amount of bandwidth your server uses, sitemaps can be compressed using gzip.
- XML Image Sitemap: Image sitemaps were created to enhance image content indexation. The exception to this rule is if photos are essential to your business, as they are in the case of stock photo websites or e-commerce sites that benefit from Google Image search traffic to product pages.
- XML Video Sitemap: If videos are essential to your business, submit an XML video sitemap, just like you would with photographs. A video sitemap is not necessary if not. Reserve your crawl budget for the page where the video is placed and make sure all videos are marked up.
- Mobile Sitemap: Most websites do not require this. Because it is verified that feature phone pages are the only ones eligible for mobile sitemaps. Not for use with smartphones. A mobile sitemap is therefore useless if you don’t have dedicated URLs created just for featured phones.
How to Create an XML Sitemap?
A few techniques can be used to generate an XML sitemap. It’s good to know that they are all simple.
Create a Sitemap with WordPress
There is a straightforward method to create an XML sitemap if you use WordPress. The URL should finish with wp-sitemap.xml. Your sitemap was just created automatically by WordPress.
The best sitemap you can have isn’t this one, hence we advise employing an SEO plugin. With more flexibility over what is and isn’t included in the sitemap, due to this.
Using Sitemap SEO Plugin
Your URLs are categorized to make the site structure transparent when you generate a sitemap.
Clicking on one of the index sitemaps will take you to a new page with all of the links for that particular sitemap (as seen in the image below).
It’s simple to make a sitemap using an SEO plugin. The procedure will be the same no matter which plugin you select.
Drag your pointer over SEO in the left sidebar of the WordPress dashboard after installing and activating the Sitemap plugin. General can be chosen from the pop-up menu. The XML Sitemaps option can then be found by going to the Features tab and scrolling down. If it isn’t turned on already, do so before clicking Save Changes.
Submit your Sitemap to Search Engine
Your XML sitemap no longer needs to be submitted to any search engines. The URLs will eventually be discovered and indexed by search engines if the website has an effective internal linking structure. Search engines constantly scan websites for fresh content rather than depending on submissions.
But search engines won’t be able to find the information if you didn’t include any internal links to your website. And at that point, publishing an XML sitemap is quite helpful. A few search engines also offer webmaster tools with added features for managing your sitemap and URLs.
Search engines and users can find your most important pages by using your sitemaps. Also, they ignore the pages that you don’t want people to search for. Both of these actions can support your SEO efforts by giving particular URLs more attention and assisting search engines in giving your website an overall higher rating. There is also no cause to avoid producing and submitting sitemaps because it is a straightforward procedure.