What is a Sitemap?
SEO Jargon Explained
What is A SITEMAP
A map of your websites pages and posts. There are two types you need.
1. A Sitemap for the Search Engines
Once you've built your website and published it you can sit back and wait for the search engine spiders to start crawling your website, finding all the pages for themselves, or you can do what Google advises and make things easier for the spiders' plus increase your web sites overall authority by giving the search engine spiders a map of your website.
This is called an XML sitemap and it tells the spiders where the pages are and what they are called. Getting one and sending it to Google is a simple process.
How To Get An XML Sitemap
Make sure you have submitted your website to Google webmasters so you have access to their free powerful suite of tools
If you haven't already then do it now.
If you have a WordPress web site you create your XML sitemap with a free plug-in, if you're using the free Yoast SEO plug-in they will provide an XML sitemap for you.
If not or if there are any problems with the Yoast XML sitemap we recommend using this free plug-in instead. (If you do make sure you disable the Yoast XML sitemap function by clicking disable on the Yoast XML sitemap page).
Download and activate the plug-in, go to the sitemap settings page then click on view, note the sitemap URL on the page which will look something like:
Then go to your Google webmaster account search Console dashboard, click on Crawl then sitemaps and you will see a red button marked ADD/TEST SITEMAP. Cilck on it a box will pop up already filled in with "http://www.yourwebsite.com/" you add the "sitemap-home.xml" in the box and press submit.
Once you’ve submitted your sitemap in you can use your Google Webmaster account to see if all of you pages are indexed.
The XML Sitemap & Google News Feeds sitemap generator will also give you a XML news feed sitemap if you have a news feed function on your website.
Non WordPress sites
If you are using a Google business website the sitemap is generated and listed automatically
If you are using Site123 they will generate a sitemap for you visit Site123 and
- Click the SETTINGS tab.
- Click the SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) tab.
- Under Sitemap, you will find the sitemap XML file.
2. Sitemaps For Your Visitors
A sitemap for your visitors (a human readable sitemap) is a page on your website listing all of the pages, anyone visiting it can see everything listed and can jump to any page they want to without having to navigate through the website.
Google guidelines recommend having one to increase positive user experience of your website and this is one of the factors they look for when crawling websites.
It is very easy to use and is designed to be used seamlessly with WordPress websites. It works well with small and medium websites, but if you have a massive website with hundreds of pages then you may need a premium sitemap builder.
This video shows how easy it is to use the WP Sitemap Page plug-in (tip: do not tick the no-follow box unless you know what you are doing).