An XML sitemap is a roadmap of your website which communicates with Google on pages that are important and recently updated. This is an essential SEO strategy to allow Google to find your website pages quickly. Here’s what to know to help you rank better.
What websites need an XML sitemap?
All websites should have sitemaps as XML sitemaps are beneficial for every site that’s offering information and services to their target audience. Websites need Google to be able to easily crawl and index the relevant pages and understand when they were last updated. When you submit your XML sitemap, you are directly telling Google and other search engines, you want all the pages listed to be indexed. When you manually submit the sitemap, your pages will be indexed much sooner than if you allow the bots to crawl your site via following links.
Which pages should be in your XML sitemap?
It all depends on what type of content, information or services you want to share visitors when they land on your site. Keep in mind, you should think about the relevance of your URL, does it show a good result in search results? If not, then it shouldn’t be in your XML sitemap. If you really don’t want the URL to show us in the search results, you will need to add a “no index, no follow” tag.
Here are some of the examples.
A New Blog
If you were starting a new blog or writing content for your business, you would want Google to find your posts as quickly possible to help reach your target audience, so it’s essential to create XML sitemap right from the beginning. Here’s a link on how to write quality content to improve your SEO.
Media and Images
Unless your website is based on photography, having “media” or “image” XML sitemap would not be needed for most sites as these are already included in your posts or pages sitemap. If you are looking to index your media or images, there are plugins such as Google XML Sitemap for Images and Udinra All Image Sitemap.
Important New Webpage
Your team just spent over a month designing and creating copy for a new webpage for your site. This webpage is either a new service your company provides or a page you want users to find organically to peak interest in your business. To ensure the page will easily found via search upon publication, you can submit the just the page to be crawled in Google Search Console or, you can submit your entire sitemap again!
How to make Google find your XML sitemap?
If you want Google to index your XML sitemap quicker, you will need to start by adding it to your Google Search Console. This can be easily accessible in the new Search Console layout through the ‘Index’ tab. Here, you are able to check and see if your XML sitemap is already added before. If not, not to worry, you can easily add on top of the page. If you are unfamiliar with how to do so, check out our helpful blog in order to so effortlessly.
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