XML sitemaps only sound hard. It's actually very easy to create and submit one to Google Search Console using a WordPress plugin.
This post will show you how to create and submit a sitemap to Google Search Console.
If you prefer to watch a video to learn how to create and submit a sitemap to your Google Search Console account, scroll on down! There’s one at the bottom of this post.
An XML sitemap sounds pretty technical, but it's really just a list of the pages on your site. It's written in XML, which stands for Extensible Markup Language.
Sitemaps help the search engines find, crawl, and index all of your blog's content, so it's important that you submit yours.
If you don't know whether or not you have a sitemap on Google, you can check in Google Search Console.
Click on Sitemaps in the left menu.
If you see a URL listed under Submitted sitemaps, you're good to go.
If you don't see that URL, you need to create and submit one.
So, how do you create a sitemap? Well, they can be manually coded, but most of us wouldn't want to spend time doing that even if we knew how!
The easiest way to create one is to use the Yoast SEO plugin. If you don't have that plugin on your site, I highly recommend that you download it. It has a ton of features that can help you with your SEO.
Yoast has a premium paid version, but the free version has everything you need.
Let's go into my WordPress dashboard. Look for SEO with the little Y beside it. We need to click on General then Features.
The fifth option down is XML Sitemaps. Make sure this is on.
Click the question mark, and look for the link that says “see the XML sitemap” and click on it.
This is your sitemap index. Yoast actually creates multiple sitemaps for the different kinds of content on your site such as posts, pages, and categories.
Copy the sitemap index URL. It will look like this: https://yoursite.com/sitemap_index.xml
Now, go back to Search Console.
Paste the sitemap index URL in the Add a New Sitemap field, and click submit.
As you publish more posts and update old ones, Yoast will automatically update the sitemap. The next time Google crawls your site, it'll see the changes you've made.
And that's all you have to do to create and submit an XML sitemap to Google Search Console.
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