To get the website ranked, some great SEO hacks are always the best key . Sitemap is one such techniques, that will surely boost your SEO strategy. An XML Sitemap, will assist Google web crawlers to better index your site. Well, if you are in search of a guide to add a sitemap to a website successfully, then you have landed on the right page. So, without further ado, let’s dig into the information!!
What is an XML Sitemap?
Before you jump onto the process to add an xml sitemap to your website, it is better to get thorough with the term itself. I would give you a quick crash course on the basics of xml sitemap. A sitemap is basically a list of pages on the site that are accessible to the visitors or the search engines. It is simply like a directory of all web pages that exist on the website.
Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc use sitemap. In order to discover the pages on the site that their search bots might have otherwise missing at the time of regular crawling. XML here stands for “extensible markup language”, which is the way for displaying the information on a site. Sitemaps are often considered quite a technical concept. Initially when I was adding sitemap to my website sassyblogger.com, being a non-technical person, I thought it to be a task. But in actual, this concept doesn’t involve any rocket science, neither you have to be a tech-wizard to handle this.
Why you actually need to add a sitemap?
Now that you know what sitemap is, the question arises why this sitemap is actually needed? Well, the search engines are known for displaying the most suitable and worthy information to people, for any sort of search query. This is done by the site crawlers to read, organize, as well as index the information over the internet.
XML sitemaps serve the purpose of search engine crawlers to read the content present on the site and then index the page according to that. The crux of this is, adding XML sitemap will enhance the chance of your site to rank on Google or any search engine.
The sitemap briefs the location of the page on the website, when it was updated, the updating frequency, and also the how important the page it, as it is related to other pages of the website. The absence of sitemap, indicates duplicate content to the bots, which might hurt the ranking of any site.
Steps to Add an xml Sitemap to a website
Now that you are thorough with the need of the sitemap and its basics, it is time to create one for your own website. There are numerous apps and websites available on the internet that would help you in creating a sitemap. There are websites and software that create xml sitemap for free. We will be discussing the procedure to create a sitemap using software, as well as creating them manually.
Creating an XML sitemap using a software
You can create an XML sitemap for your website using “Screaming Frog”.
Well, Screaming Frog is a powerful software for desktops that offers assistance for a wide range of SEO activities. The basic version of this software is complete free, and the full version might cost you. The tool used for creating an XML sitemap in Screaming Frog provides free crawling up to 500 pages. This means that, if you want to crawl a website larger than 500 pages, then you will have to purchase the license.
Here are the steps to be followed, in order to create a sitemap using free version of Screaming Frog:
Before to start using the tool, you will have to “Install the Software” on your system. This could be done easily by visiting the website directly.
After you are done with the installation, you will have to “open Screaming Frog“
Now, “Enter the URL” of your website into the “Enter URL field” at the top
This process might take a couple of minutes, which is completely based on the size of your website.
After the crawling process is completed, you will see “100%” in the status bar
Moving further, you will have to click on the “Sitemaps” in the menu bar
And from the drop-down menu, select “Create XML Sitemap”
You will now get an option to select the sections of your website, you wish to add in the XML sitemap
This might confuse you, but chill, we will elaborate this for you! You might get four checkboxes on your screen:
You will have to opt for the suitable options, but for that first understand what this means:
Noindex Pages: Well, Noindex pages are the ones that have HTML code in the header, which clarifies the search engine not to include the page in the search index. In case you developer has set certain pages to “Noindex”, then there might be reason for that. However, I would not suggest you to checkmark it, until you are very sure about it.
Canonincalised: Second comes the Canonincalised, which means that there might be more than one URL pointing to the same page of content. Checkmarking this would mean that you want the search engines to include variations of the URLs that point to the same page. Avoid this, if unsure.
Paginated URLs: Coming to the Paginated URLs, this basically includes rel=attributes [rel=“prev” and “next”] to move through a series of content on a website. Keep in mind that this can be a bit dangerous for SEO, unless you are not completely confident about it.
PDFs: The last option can be selected to add PDFs included in XML sitemap. Content indexed by Google includes PDF. I would recommend you to include PDFs in the XML sitemap, but only if the PDFs present on your website are making any sense and are worth sharing.
If you want the reader over the internet to find the page on your website, then make sure to include it in the sitemap.
For basic purposes, you should check mark the fourth option of PDFs
This will lead you to another webpage, which will show the tabs “Last Modified”, “Priority” and “Change Frequency”
Unless you are well versed with these options, do not take any chance with them
Including the images in a sitemap is a great idea, so I would definitely recommend you to add them to sitemap, by click on the “Images” tab
Now, click on “include images“, and the third checkbox will be tick-marked automatically
After that click on “next tab“
This will pop-up a Prompt to “save” the XML sitemap on the desktop. Make sure to save it somewhere, you can access easily. And click on the “Save tab“
Hurray! Didn’t you find it easy, you have successfully created an XML sitemap. You now just need to upload the file to the website via FTP and you are good to go!
Steps to add a sitemap to blogger.com blog
To Add the sitemap to blogger.com blog, here’s what you have to do:
Initially, you have to “open the sitemap generator” and then type the full address of your blog
The tool you select would generate the sitemap button and will instantly create the sitemap for you. You will have to “copy” the entire text to the clipboard
And move to your Blogger.com dashboard, and then choose “settings tab“
Also, click on “search preferences” and enable “custom robots.txt” option
Now, “paste” the XML sitemap and save changes
This is quite simple, and the search engines will automatically discover the XML sitemap files via robots.txt file.
Crux of the Article!
I have summarized the steps to create a sitemap for a website, as well as for bloggers blog. The most important point I would like to mention is that, if you don’t know to manually create a sitemap, do not risk your data, by experimenting without any technical guidance. Try using any software or website available to create an XML sitemap for you. In case you have any doubts while you create an XML sitemap to website, feel free to comment down or DM me on Instagram: @minal_bhatnagar28 , I would love to help you out!
I hope, I was successful in helping you create an XML sitemap to website, and this article was worth your time. All your queries and suggestions are welcomed! So, I bid adieu until my next piece of reading, till then stay SASSY but CLASSY in whatever you do!!
Well Hey, I am Minal Bhatnagar and I am fashion blogger, and a lifestyle blogger, and a technology blogger. Well, you can say I am a multi-niche blogger. I started this blog recently just with a hope to get a platform where I could share my thoughts, ideas, point of views, and a lot more. I always had a keen interest in writing and also in literature, and that interest has escorted me till here.