Starting a blog can be a lot of work (Although getting it up and running is the easiest part!). There are so many small things that you will want to do within you first month of blogging that not many people will tell you about. Luckily, DebtandSweat.com was designed to help you start a wordpress blog and give you all the tips and tricks you’d ever need. You get to watch exactly what I do each month and can replicate my steps for your own website. This tutorial will show you how to submit your wordpress sitemap which will in return, increase website traffic.
What is a Sitemap?
A Sitemap is a file that lives within your website files that will help search engines navigate and understand your website or blog. It will inform search engines (like Google and Bing) when new content is posted to your site and ready to be “crawled”.
A sitemap is basically just an XML file with a list of pages on your site that you’ve created that tells search engines that they are available. It will consist of your URL(s) and will also be able to track information like how often you update your website.
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS submit your WordPress sitemap to search engines to get your new website recognized!!
When Should I Build a WordPress Sitemap?
Honestly, the best time to build and submit your WordPress sitemap (Although it doenst have to be a WordPress Sitemap is BEFORE launching your website or blog. Unfortunately, with DebtandSweat.com, I didn’t do this prior to launching this website because I wanted to wait so I could walk you through it while I do it.
How to Find Your WordPress Sitemap
With a WordPress site, creating a sitemap is simple. I’ll address how I installed mine but there are many different ways to locate your site’s sitemap.
Download the plugin called Google XML Sitemaps.
Once installed and activated on your WordPress site, open the plugin settings and at the top of the page you will see your sitemap path.
What is my sitemap?
Most sitemaps will follow the same type of naming convention. This website has a sitemap of http://debtandsweat.com/sitemap.xml.
Most sitemaps will be named this http://yourwebsitename.com/sitemap.xml (obviously replace the “your website name part”)
Submit Your Sitemap to Google
Now we can head over to Google to submit your newly acquired sitemap address! You can submit your sitemap to Google one of two ways. I always go with option A because it’s easier in my mind.
- Insert the following line anywhere in your robots.txt file to link to your sitemap.
- Sitemap: http://yourwebsitename.com/sitemap.xml
Once inside your Google Search Console (if you don’t have a google account, create one!), you will simply choose Crawl > Sitemaps from the sidebar and then click the Add/Test Sitemap button.
WOOHOO YOU’RE DONE!!! You’ve now told Google all about your website and how all the contents within it. Now you can sit back and let Google do it’s magic and crawl your site to understand what your content is about an rank it better within Google searches.
How many times should I submit my sitemap to Google?
You only need to submit your sitemap to Google once. You don’t need to submit it ever again as you’ve already told Google where your sitemap “lives”. One time I would suggest resubmitting your sitemap to Google would be if you changed your pages around a lot where you renamed major pages/categories.
Some people will submit their sitemap any time a new page is created on their site but I find that to be a bit excessive. Since Google changes their algorithms all the time, there’s really no way of telling the best possible technique, so that’s your call!
I may submit my sitemap once every 6 months or so just IN CASE it helps at all. Sounds like a safe plan to me.
Understanding the Google Search Console
One last topic before I end this post is about the Google Search Console. Once you add your website to your Google Webmaster account, you may receive an email below which will help you to make sure you’ve done all the steps you need to be successful. Make sure to check out any errors and performance reports found. These can be very valuable.