XML Sitemap plays a very important role when we talk about SEO. Most bloggers lack knowledge about what XML sitemaps are and how submitting it to search engine would help them. So this article will help you to understand what XML Sitemaps are and how to successfully create and Submit WordPress XML Sitemap to webmasters tools like Google, Bing, and Yandex.
What are XML Sitemaps?
XML Sitemap contains URL and metadata of all pages, post, categories and much more available on the website. Most of the search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex use Sitemap in XML format to understand website structure and index websites in a better way. Sitemap also tells search engines about how often you update your websites and allow search engines to crawl new pages. Below we have included an example of XML Sitemap.
- The first line tells us about the XML version and encoding.
- All the sitemap should begin and end with urlset.
- Each parent entry should begin and end with URL. Similarly, each child entry should begin and end with loc.
- The Sitemap should include URL of pages, posts, and category between starting and end of loc tag. Make sure for every URL is placed inside separate loc tag.
- The last mod tag is used to tell the search engine about when a particular page is modified last time.
- Change freq tag is used to tell the search engine how often you modify the particular page.
- You can also use priority tag in Sitemap to tell the search engine which URL are more important than others.
Note: Make sure you begin each tag with <tag> and end with </tag>.
How to create XML Sitemap?
When you search in any search engines you will find thousands of websites and WordPress plugins which offer you to create XML Sitemaps for absolutely free of cost. But we recommend you using a plugin for creating sitemap as it will save the time of uploading sitemap manually to your hosting. Even though there are thousands of plugins for creating Sitemap, in this tutorial we will be using only one plugin.
How to Create Sitemap using Yoast SEO
I hope all of you know to install a plugin in WordPress. If you do not know to install a plugin in WordPress do not worry we will show you.
- On left sidebar of your dashboard, you will find plugins → add new. Click on it.
- Search in the search box for a keyword called Yoast SEO and press enter.
- Click on Install Now button located near Yoast SEO plugins.
- Do not forget to activate the plugin after installing.
Now since we learned to successfully install WordPress Plugins let me teach you about how we can create XML Sitemap using Yoast SEO and to do so follow the steps given below.
- Visit SEO → XML Sitemaps from WordPress dashboard.
- Select enable XML sitemap functionality and click on save changes.
- Sitemap will be automatically generated and you can find it by clicking on XML Sitemap or by visiting http://yourwebsitelink.com/sitemap_index.xml.
How to Submit XML Sitemap to Google Search Console?
- Sign into Google Webmasters Tools.
- Click on add a property then a popup box will get open. You need to enter URL of your website and click on add button.
- The next step is to verify your website and for doing so you need to click on alternate methods → HTML tag.
- Copy the site verification code.
- Go back to WordPress dashboard and click on SEO. Visit a tab called webmaster tools and paste the meta tag in Google Search Console.
- Click on save changes.
- Switch back your tab to Google Webmasters Tools and click on verify.
- It will say a great job. Your website is now verified. Visit Google Search Console.
- From property listing, click on the website which you have verified to improve search presence.
- Go to Crawl → Sitemaps and click on add/test sitemap.
- In submission box type sitemap_index.xml and click on submit.
How to Submit XML Sitemap to Bing?
- Visit and sign in to Bing Webmasters Tools.
- Click on add a site from left sidebar.
- Enter website and sitemap URL and click on add.
- Copy the verification code and paste it in Yoast SEO webmaster tools.
- Click on save changes.
- Visit Bing Webmasters Tools and click on verify.
How to Submit XML Sitemap in Yandex?
- Login to Yandex website.
- Click on Add a Site.
- Enter URL of the website you want to verify and click on add.
- Copy the verification code and paste it to Yoast SEO Yandex Webmaster Tools.
- Visit Yandex website back and click on check button which is located below the code which you had copied.
- Go to Indexing Settings → Sitemap Files.
- Paste or type URL of Sitemap and click on add.