Once your website is live and ready to be published on the web your next step is to submit your sitemap to search engines for quick indexing.
All major search engines including Google, yahoo provide a custom dashboard to users for the submission of sitemap. The type of sitemap search engines can read is XML based sitemap.
Sitemaps are important for search engines to better understand the URL structure of your website.
In this post I will show you how to create an XML sitemap for your website and how to add it to search engines.
How to create a sitemap ?
All major popular search engines support XML based sitemap.
If you are using WordPress then you can install a XML sitemap plugin that automatically generate a sitemap of the URLs of your WordPress posts.
The best Sitemap plugin on WordPress is Yoast SEO . You can install this plugin on your WordPress site to improve the SEO and use Sitemap features.
If you do not use wordpress then you can also create sitemap manually using XML tags.
Search engines use the following XML sitemap syntex :
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"> <url> <loc>http://www.example.com/</loc> <lastmod>2005-01-01</lastmod> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <priority>0.8</priority> </url> </urlset>
You can also use web based tools to generate your XML sitemap. Here are some of the popular “sitemap generater” tools on the web :
Submit sitemap to Google , Yahoo and Bing
Now that you know why sitemap is important and how to create one , its time to submit it to search engines.
Three most popular and most used web search engines in the world are Google , Yahoo and Bing . We will learn how to submit our xml sitemap to these search engines.
Submit sitemap to Google search engine
You can submit your sitemap to google using Google search console.
Create an account on search console if you don’t already have one and Add your site to use the Google console.
To add sitemap to Google, follow these instructions:
- Go to your search console dashboard and click on the left header menu. Next click on the sitemaps button to open the “Add a sitemap” form.
- Add the URL of your XML sitemap and hit the submit button
Once your sitemap is submitted, google will parse your XML sitemap to read the URLs . If everything goes ok then all the URLs you submitted will quickly be available to google. You can see the status of your Indexed URLs on your search console dashboard.
Submit your sitemap to Yahoo and Bing
Since Bing owns yahoo search engine, you do not need to add your sitemap separately to both search engines but instead you can just Add your sitemap to Bing so that your site URLs can be indexed by both engines.
To add sitemap to Bing , do the following:
- Go to Bing webmaster tool by clicking this URL
- Login to Bing webmaster tool using any of the given services.
- Add and verify your domain on bing. You need to verify your ownership of domain on Bing. You can do this in three ways
1) Bing xml file : you can download it from your bing dashboard and upload it to your site root. Visit the URL to verify your ownership.
2) Varify domain using bing meta tags : you can copy bing unique meta tag code and paste to the head section of your webpage to verify that you own the domain.
3) Third option to verify domain on bing is to use DNS based verification where you need to set up unique DNS on your domain to verify your ownership.
- After successfully verifying your site ownership on Bing webmaster tool, you can then submit your sitemap. To submit it go to dashboard/sitemaps and post your XML based sitemap.
Bing engine processes sitemaps immediately it will let you know if anything goes wrong. You can track its status on the dashboard and Once it is processed your website URLs will be publically available to Bing and yahoo.
I hope this article was helpful and you enjoyed reading it.