“To boost your blog’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you need to submit an XML sitemap to search engines.”
When I was a new blogger I thought, creating an XML sitemap is a difficult thing. Because it is called Technical Side of SEO. Obviously, most of the new blogger will think that creating an XML sitemap needs coding knowledge as it is a technical thing.
But that is not true. Creating an XML sitemap is easy and it doesn’t need any coding knowledge. You can create it in a few minutes.
As a new blogger, first, you need to know what an XML sitemap is.
What is an XML Sitemap?
An XML Sitemap is a map for search engines. It shows search engines a way to crawl your blog so that your blog can be found on the search result. This Sitemap is an XML file that’s why it is called XML sitemap. XML stands for “Extensible Markup Language”.
An XML Sitemap contains the URLs of your blog for showing Search Bot the way to crawl your site.
Now the question is,
Do you really need an XML sitemap for your blog?
Yes of course.
The reasons are,
- If your site is big search engine won’t crawl all the pages of your blog. An XML Sitemap will help search engine to crawl all the pages of your blog.
- If you submit an XML Sitemap, search engines will almost instantly crawl your blog. It will help you to rank faster in search engine result page.
- If your site is new, most probably your blog doesn’t have much external link profile. An XML sitemap helps to overcome this.
- An XML sitemap will tell the search engine that you aren’t syndicating content.
- An XML sitemap will tell Search Bot that your contents are unique and those are important to your readers.
- An XML sitemap will tell search bot how often your contents are updated.
- If your blog has poor internal linking, an XML sitemap helps to overcome this limitation.
I think you already have understood the importance of submitting an XML Sitemap for a blog to search engine.
So let’s generate an XML sitemap for your blog.
How to Generate an XML Sitemap?
There are various ways for generating an XML sitemap for your blog depending on the blogging platform.
As I told many times here in this blog that this blog is for them who want to make money blogging. And self-hosted WordPress blogging platform is essential for successful blogging. So I’ll show you how to generate an XML sitemap for your WordPress blog.
Don’t be scared. It is easy.
The easiest way to generate an XML sitemap is to install a WordPress plugin on your blog. It is the Yoast SEO plugin.
If you make a list of essential WordPress plugin then Yoast SEO will hold the top place on that list.
So I assume you already have that plugin installed on your blog.
If you don’t have Yoast SEO plugin installed on your blog then follow the guidelines below to install the plugin. If you already have that plugin installed then ignore this guideline.
How to Install Yoast SEO Plugin to WordPress Blog?
To install this plugin,
- Login to your WordPress dashboard > click on left side menu bar > Plugins > Add new.
- Type the Yoast SEO in the search bar on the opened window.
- In the search result look for Yoast SEO. It should be on top of the search result. If you found that click on Install Now button to install the plugin.
If you have the Yoast SEO plugin installed you should have a menu named “SEO” in the left sidebar of your WordPress dashboard.
In the sub-menu of that Menu (SEO), you’ll see an XML sitemap option. Click on that.
You don’t actually need to generate an XML sitemap. The Yoast plugin will do it for you. You just have to enable the sitemap functionality.
In the opened page enable sitemap functionality by clicking on “Enable” button.
In the opened page, you’ll see five menus. Those menus are for the setting of your Sitemap.
You don’t have to be worried much about these settings. What it has, just go with that and click on “Save” button at the bottom of the page.
Once you clicked on the “Save” button, your Sitemap is created. Damn easy. Isn’t it?
After generating an XML Sitemap for your blog it is the time for submitting the Sitemap to major Search Engines.
What is the search engine?
When we search for something on the web, we get many results including the source link for our search term. Who shows us that results?
It is the Search Engine who search the results on the web on our behalf and shows us on a web page.
I don’t want to talk much about the Search Engine here. Because it is now familiar to almost everyone.
Major Search Engines for submitting an XML sitemap are:
- Google Search Console (Formerly google webmaster tools)
- Bing Webmaster Tool
Another one you may consider to submit a Sitemap is,
- Yandex Webmaster
How to Submit an XML Sitemap to Google Search Console?
If you ask me to suggest one Search Engine to submit an XML sitemap I would tell you Google. Yes, it is the giant search engine.
If you are in hurry then submit your blog’s sitemap only to Google Search Console and you can ignore others.
Before submitting an XML sitemap to Google Search Console you have to add your blog to Google Search Console first (if you haven’t done that yet).
Follow the steps below to add your blog to Google Search Console.
Step 1: You’ll need a google account (Gmail) to add your blog to Google Search Console.
Login to Google Search Console with the Google account. Once you logged in look for the red button named “ADD A PROPERTY“. Click on that button.
Step 2: After clicking on that red button you’ll be presented a blank field to put your website URL. Enter your blog address (URL) in that field and then click on the blue colored “Add” button.
Step 3: A page will open by clicking on “Add” button with different methods to verify the ownership of your blog. You can apply any one.
Step 4: Here I’ll show you the method to verify your blog with Yoast SEO plugin. Look for the “Alternate method” tab on that page and click on that.
Step 5: From the opened page copy the code as shown in the image below. Leave the page opened and login to your WordPress dashboard in another tab of your browser.
Step 6: Once you logged in to your WordPress dashboard, find the “SEO” menu on the left sidebar of your WordPress dashboard. There will be a submenu named “Dashboard” under that “SEO” menu. Click on that.
Step 7: In the opened page click on “Webmaster Tool” tab and paste the copied code as shown in the image below. Hit the save button.
Step 8: Now go to Google Search Console‘s page which you left open in step 5. Click on the “verify” button at the bottom of that page. Your blog is now verified on Google Search Console.
You can now submit your blog’s XML sitemap to Google Search Console.
To submit the sitemap to Google Search Console follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Google Search Console‘s homepage and click on your blog’s URL.
Step 2: In the left sidebar of the opened page click “Crawl” and then click on the “Sitemap” submenu.
Step 3: Delete the default sitemap (if any) and click on the “Add/Test sitemap” button on the top right corner of the page.
Step 4: Enter the “sitemap_index.xml” into the text box that appears and click “Submit“.
That’s it. Your blog’s XML sitemap is now submitted to the Google Search Console.
You may want to submit your blog’s sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools and Yandex Webmaster too.
How to Submit an XML Sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools?
Before submitting Sitemap your blog need to be verified with Bing Webmaster Tools.
For adding your site to Bing Webmaster tools, you will need a Microsoft account.
Step 1: With that Microsoft account login to Bing Webmaster tool and enter your blog URL into the field that appears and click on “Add” button.
Step 2: In the opened page enter your blog’s sitemap URL in the Add a sitemap box as “http://yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml” and then click on “Add” button.
Step 3: Copy the code as shown in the image below and leave the page opened.
Step 4: Login to your WordPress Dashboard in a new tab of your browser. Go to left sidebar > SEO > Dashboard.
Step 5: Click on the “Webmaster Tools” tab that appears on the page.
Step 6: Enter the copied code into the text box that says Bing Webmaster Tools. Don’t forget to hit the “Save Changes” button.
Step 7: Now go back to Bing Webmaster Tools that you left opened and click on the “Verify” button.
Congratulation your blog’s XML sitemap is submitted to Bing Webmaster Tools.
Those two search engines you just have submitted your blog’s XML sitemap are the major Search Engines. Those two search engines are enough to submit your Blog’s sitemap.
If you want to submit your Blog’s XML sitemap to Yandex Webmaster tool read on.
How to Submit an XML Sitemap to Yandex Webmaster?
Before submitting your Blog’s XML sitemap to Yandex Webmaster tool then you have to add your blog to Yandex webmaster.
- Go to this link and enter your blog’s URL.
- Following the same procedure, I outlined for adding a blog to Bing Webmaster tool to verify your blog on Yandex.
- For submitting your blog’s sitemap to Yandex webmaster tool, go to Yandex Webmaster and select your blog.
- On the left sidebar > Indexing Option > Sitemap files.
- Delete the existing Sitemap and enter a new one as “http://yourblog.com/sitemap_index.xml into the top text box.
- Now hit on save button.
So far you have submitted your blog’s XML sitemap to three search engines. For submitting a sitemap to these all three search engines we have used Yoast SEO plugin.
One of the benefits of using Yoast SEO plugin to submit your blog’s XML Sitemap is that you don’t have to update your Sitemap time to time. It’ll be updated automatically. So you don’t have to be worried about this matter anymore. Just keep blogging.
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