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Create Sitemap for Quick site indexing!

I have offered many SEO tips such as How to do keyword and using link shorteners with care etc. I have also read several SEO tips for quite a long time, yet the single most important site ranking factor that is overlooked is creating a sitemap.

In this post, I list the benefits of having a sitemap, how to create one and SEO significance of a sitmap.

how to create a sitemap
how to create a sitemap

What is a sitemap

In terms of search, sitemap is a document in txt, xml (extensible markup language) format that gives google or other search engine crawlers information about a website’s resources. Website resources including: pages, images, videos and others.

So why is a sitemap important?

This is the main objective for this post, I want to highlight some key benefits of having a sitemap, and why you should start creating one for your site now (not later).

I must emphasize that the importance of creating a sitemap are quite numerous, the most important use of a sitemap is to give information to search bots. Other prominent uses of sitemap are:

  1. Sitemaps tell google and other engines about the existence of your website.
  2. Sitemaps inform search engines about a change on your site.
  3. sitemap inform google and other search engines on how often a site’s url changes.
  4. A sitemap tell google URLs that are canonical (similar) and specifies the main page.

Sitemap tell google about a site’s existence

Lets pretend you just created a new site and hosted it last week. The site has few or zero backlinks, few visitors too. Practically, there is no way google is going to know if there exist certain pages on your site. When visitors make a google query of say, an article you have wrote, it can’t show up in google results pages.

However, if you create a sitemap of the website/blog and submit it to google search console, after request a crawl, your site will be indexed in google within few hours. If you are looking to creating google search console account, read this GSC account creation process

Sitemap inform google about a change

With an xml sitemap, it becomes easier for google to easily identify a change on a site. Lets imagine yoursite.com had 10 pages submitted earlier for indexing with 5 images. As soon as you make a change, say, adding a page with 2 images, submit a new sitemap with this change, google becomes aware of the change on your site.

sitemap inform google on how often a site’s url changes.

When you create a sitemap, one of the parameters you provide is priority. Priority ranges from 0 to 1.0, where URL with priority 1.0 have the highest priority in terms of crawl rate. This means that, search engines should crawl the pages with the highest priority more frequently than those with lower priority.


Sitemap show google URLs that are canonical (similar)

With the aid of a sitemap, google gets to know URLs on your website that are canonical(similar) to others. These is very important to SEO as google is informed that two URLs are similar rather than duplicated content. Duplicating content is punishable by google.

How to generate a sitemap

To create a sitemap is a technical SEO process but thanks to tools such as sitemap generator, Yoast SEO, creating a sitemap has become so easy that even less-techie people can easily create one.

Using sitemap generator

Go to sitemap generator website https://www.xml-sitemaps.com, after which you will type the website address of the website you want to generate a sitemap for just as below (change deanalyst.com to yoursite.com). Wait for the sitemap to be generated.

how to generate a sitemap

Easy, your sitemap has been generated and ready for download. Simply, download the zipped file and extract it ready for uploading to your cPanel. Optionally, you may choose to receive your sitemap via Email.

Downloading a generated sitemap
Downloading a generated sitemap

There you have it, a sitemap ready for uploading to your website’s root directory and google search console (GSC).

Creating a sitemap with Yoast Seo

If your website is designed with the wordpress CMS, then, the better as it is even more easy to create a sitemap with a plugin, Yoast SEO, add the plugin and push the sitemap button on in the features dashboard. A sitemap will be generated for your site. simply copy the sitemap’s url and submit to google search console.

A sitemap generated with yoast SEO
A sitemap generated with yoast SEO

If you didn’t quite find what you were looking for, you can also check this Quicksprout article. Find out how to create the new link directives rel=ugc and rel=sponsored.

Conclusion

Creating a sitemap is a technical SEO process, but with the right tools, even a novice can easily create one with ease. The benefits however are numerous. create one today and thank me in the comments section later.

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