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How To Create A Site Map For Your Website?
Site maps have become an integral part of SEO strategies since Google started using them for their search engine rankings. It may seem like a daunting process to create an extensive link to keep track of all your webpages, but with plugins and Content management systems, the entire process can be a breeze. Sitemap helps a lot in speeding up your rankings on google. Before we delve into the details of how to make a site map, let’s discuss what a site map is.
What is a sitemap?
A site map is a list of all of the webpages within a website. It is made for google web crawlers to view all the content, and search engines like google or yahoo can rank it. When making a site map, you should always remember to link all the pages that you want to be seen. Another thing to keep in mind is that your site map has to follow certain limitations so it cannot be too long, containing more than 50,000 links or exceed the limit of 50 Mb. In that case, you should divide the links into two separate site maps and submit them together.
Why is a site map important?
The main reason why you should adopt site maps into your page is since search engines use them to rank your pages. Web crawlers are responsible for searching the web and find the related content through the internal and external linking on the post. While that is the primary and most effective way of finding your content, you cannot be sure that all your content will be found in this manner. To ensure that all your content is added to google’s index, you must use a site map and submit it to google.
Not to mention, a site map has an added benefit for the user and you. It allows you to categorize your pages in a concise manner that will improve the user experience and lead to higher conversion rates. It also makes you clean up the clutter of your pages and organize them for maximum competence.
How to create a site map?
Creating a site map is not as daunting as it might seem. Although it can look like gibberish to most website owners, they don’t have to do much work. Most Content management pages like Magneto, Wix and Squarespace have an inbuilt site map feature. Here it will automatically keep track of all the pages you create and link them. You can then edit it if you want to remove a page or add one that was missed.
Most host sites don’t have an inbuilt Site map feature. WordPress is a prime example of this. Although it is a widely used CMS, it does not automatically create a site map for you. Don’t worry, though; you can install a simple plugin called “Yoast SEO” to do the job for you. After activating the plugin, you can go on yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml or yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml to view your site map. Using this plugin, you also get the opportunity to exclude certain content from the site map. You can exclude specific tags, category pages or even an individual post. A plugin allows for much more customizability when creating the site map. Rankmath also allows sitemap creation, you can find the difference between Rankmath SEO plugin vs Yoast SEO plugin here.
Inbuilt site maps
For sites like Wix and Squarespace, they have their site maps that you can access quite easily.
For Wix, you can find your site map at yourwixsite.com/sitemap.xml.
Unfortunately, you don’t get much customizability options here. You can’t choose what gets added or removed from the site map.
If you put a canonicalized link in Wix, it won’t be removed from the site map either, but they are discouraged by Google. They only confuse google algorithms, so to be on the safe side, you shouldn’t include them.
Similarly, for Squarespace, you can get an inbuilt site map at yoursquarespacesite.com/sitemap.xml. Like Wix, you don’t get many options for changing the links in Squarespace either, although you can exclude links from the site map. Overall you don’t get a lot of variety when it comes to inbuilt site maps, but with a plugin installed, you can overcome those discrepancies.
Site map without a CMS
If your website isn’t built using a CMS, it can get pretty hard to make a site map. If you are a smaller sized site, you can probably get access to free software that will crawl your website to find all the pages within. If your website is larger and you don’t want a CMS based site map, you can always find numerous paid software that do the job.
Afterward, you can conduct a site audit to make sure no pages were left out.
How to submit a site map to google?
Multimedia is an Submitting your Site map to google is a straightforward process. Firstly you should figure out where the site map is. If you are accessing the site map through your CMS, it should be named something along the lines of domain.com/sitemap.xml.
If you are creating the map without a CMS, you can name your URL as you wish. While the options are endless, it is best to keep the URL name similar to domain.com/sitemap.xml. It simplifies the process making it easier to find.
Once you have your URL ready, you can go to “google search console” and paste the link under “site maps.” That’s it; then you are done. If you have multiple site maps, you can paste all the URLs in the box given. No hassle at all.