XML sitemaps
Language SEO Wordpress

Everything you need to know about XML sitemaps

The XML sitemap is actually a part of SEO tools. A good one creates a route to all the important pages of a website which eventually guides Google to them. By using XML sitemaps Google can retrieve website pages faster, which helps make your website’s SEO better. In short XML sitemap is also a gateway to increasing your website ranking.

What XML sitemaps help in?

Google crawls through websites so that it can go through all the data and determine where to put the links on Google, rank it and place it. Sometimes if the internal linking of the website isn’t good, Google may now be able to find some of the very important bits of your website. This results in delayed links to the Google search engine. XML sitemaps can help Google find the important pages faster. XML sitemap creates a list of all the important pages of a website regardless of their interlinking and helps Google find them easily.

There are two ways to make XML Sitemaps

  • XML sitemap generator

In my opinion, using a sitemap generator is better than manually doing it yourself. Many companies offer website content management systems which can create XML sitemap for your website automatically. A sitemap generator is less likely to make any errors if it’s a good one unlike if you do it manually. However, if you use a sitemap generator make sure the text is error-free and in the right format. Google requires all XML sitemaps to use a specific sitemap protocol known as sitemap protocol 0.9. Also, make sure your XML sitemap generator is using UTF-8 encoding and the sitemap must start with tag: <urlsetxmlns=” HTTP://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″>

  • Manually creating your XML sitemap

Things which can be done automatically but you still choose to do them yourself requires a lot of determination. However, it is not preferred either to use the automatic XML sitemap generator on all websites since it may not be compatible with the website and won’t work properly.

There is a different way to  for different kinds of things such as for videos, context, pictures, files and etc. If you create this there is a better chance the coding will be more accurate if you are good with it. After creating an XML sitemap it is also necessary to make sure it’s working properly, even with a mistake of a single code can make the whole link useless.

How to check if your XML sitemap is working?

Every programmer knows how easy it is to end up with a couple of errors in your code. It’s hardly ever the case that you get the whole programming right within one go. So rechecking the code is one of the steps to validate that your XML sitemap coding is correct. After that, you can also use many websites which offer tools to check your website is indexed or not. You can also use other tools like the Google webmaster tools to check for validation of your XML sitemap.

Letting search engines know

Submitting XML sitemap is only one part of the whole process of getting search engines to recognize your website properly and indexing it. For search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo they have custom tools to help them get to know of your sitemaps. You can use tools such as Google’s webmaster tool to let them know of your sitemap. You can even do it manually by adding a sitemap line to the end of your files uploaded on the website. Instead, if you create a single sitemap index file it will automatically apply to all the files and you won’t have to add it to all your files.

Conclusion

XML sitemaps are like a cherry on the cake, finishing everything perfectly. If you have really rich content but no proper way to let search engines know about it, it’s a waste of time and your progress will be slow.

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