If you’re a business or website owner, you’ve probably heard of XML sitemaps – but what are they, and why should you have one? How does it help improve your website’s visibility?
An XML sitemap can be a really good partner when it comes to improving your ranking. It’s an important part of SEO, but not everyone knows about it. So, in this post, we’ll explain what it is and why it’s essential for your website. Stay tuned!
What is an XML sitemap?
What is an XML sitemap, you ask? It’s basically a list of all the pages on your website that Google can access and index. So having one makes it easier for Google to find and rank your pages by having one.
Imagine your website as a house with every page being a room. An XML sitemap is like a blueprint for your home and each of your web pages as a room, allowing Google to find all the rooms quickly easily. Sitemaps are important for SEO because it makes it easier for Google to find your pages and rank them.
Why should you create an XML Sitemap?
Sitemaps can improve your ranking, but it’s beneficial if:
- Your site is new
- Your website has dynamic pages
- Your website has lots of content that are not well-linked
- You only have a few internal links
- Your website has a complex structure or a large number of internal links
What are the benefits of having an XML sitemap?
Search engines will have more information when you create a sitemap for your site. It also:
- Provides a list of all your site’s URLs, including pages not easily found by search engines.
- Provides you with information from Google Webmaster Central. For example, you can view Googlebot activity.
- It allows engines to crawl a page. You can add a tag to your XML sitemap listing the most important pages.
- Gives temporal information. Also, you can add two additional optional tags that will pass extra information to search engines to help them crawl your site. First, “lastmod” informs users when a page was last modified. Second, “changefreq” indicates how frequently a page might change.
How to make your sitemap visible to Google?
Adding your XML sitemap to your Google Search Console account will help Google find your sitemap faster. You can immediately see if your XML sitemap has already been added in the ‘Sitemaps’ section. Alternatively, you can add your sitemap at the top of the page.
You can determine whether Google has indexed all your pages by adding your sitemap. However, if the ‘submitted’ and ‘indexed’ numbers on any given sitemap differ significantly, we recommend that you investigate further. For example, perhaps there was an error that prevented certain pages from being indexed. Also, you may need to add links pointing to content that has not yet been indexed.
Creating a sitemap for your website is an important step in ensuring that Google can easily access all of the content on your site. Not only does this help improve its ranking, but it also provides other benefits to you as well. If you haven’t created one yet we recommend doing so now.