It is everyone’s question, everyone’s challenge, everyone’s goal, everyone’s non-ending research! How to get on page one of Google! Well, I guess Google could make everybody happy by having all its search result contents on one big long page. The reality is different. As we all know it can be a challenge to obtain good SEO results, however, creating and submitting a sitemap is an easy step that will definitely help your ranking. Let’s dive into how to improve your performance on Google with a Sitemap.
What is a sitemap?
In simple words, a Sitemap (or Google Sitemap as it was first introduced by Google) is a file that contains a list of URLs (web pages) for a website. Each one of your pages is a URL. So without getting too technical, a Sitemap contains info about your site to tell Google and other search engines how your site is organized. They read the Sitemap file when they crawl (index) your site.
Why does a sitemap help your ranking on Google?
Usually, crawlers (robots used by search engine to index a website) can discover and inspect most of your site. Nevertheless, and according to Google, a Sitemap can help Google improve the crawling of your site, particularly in some situations, such as:
- When your site is new with few external links
- When you have a lot of content
The bottom line is that you should consider any option that will help Google crawl your site. It will improve your performance and your ranking in Google search results.
How to create a sitemap
The process is actually very simple. One solution is to download and install a plugin for WordPress sites or an extension for Joomla sites. However, as always, it is one more plugin or extension to add to your site, and you know my philosophy on this, the more you can do without plugins or extensions the better off you are.
The other solution is to use an online Sitemap Generator. If you do a search for Sitemap Generator, you will find there are multiple to choose from. I’ve personally used Web Site Map many times and it does a great job. All you have to do is fill out an online form and the Sitemap will be generated for you to download onto your computer.
How to submit your sitemap to Google
Here again, it is a simple 2-step procedure
- First: upload the Sitemap on your server, (see procedure below)
- Second: access your Google search console, test the Sitemap and then add the Sitemap (see procedure below)
15 easy steps to create and submit your sitemap to Google
- Open a browser window and enter www.web-site-map.com.
- Under Create/retrieve XML Sitemap, enter the URL for your site and click on Get Free XML Sitemap.
- You are presented with a form. Verify your URL and enter the Security code.
- At the bottom of the form, click Create free SML Sitemap.
- Once generated, click on download your Sitemap
- You’ll be presented with a summary of your file name. Click on download.
- Login to your hosting account cPanel and open your file manager.
- Make sure your public_html folder is selected.
- Select upload then click on choose the file.
- Find the XML Sitemap file you just downloaded.
- When done, log in your Google Search Console and select your site. (If you don’t have your site on Google Search Console, you can read this article: Use Google Search Console to make your site more visible)
- On the left menu, select Crawl, then Sitemaps.
- Click on the red ADD/TEST SITEMAP button on the right.
- Enter your site file name and click on Test.
- Once tested and no errors are found, select ADD/TEST SITEMAP button again, add your file name and this time click on Submit.
That’s it, you are done!
A final word on how to improve your performance on Google with a sitemap.
You want people to find your site when they are searching Google. You are probably spending a fair amount of time trying to figure out how you can improve your search results. Creating a Sitemap of your blog or website and submitting it to Google helps you achieve your goal; it is one simple step that can improve your ranking, which in returns helps people find YOU on Google.
Please leave a comment and share your experience.