Make Sure You Have An XML Sitemap

One very important thing you should do for your blog is to make sure you have an XML Sitemap.  This item will help you to get your blog indexed better by the search engines.  Crawlers will be able to see the complete structure of your blog easily and they will be able to see pages that might not normally be picked up by the ordinary crawling process.

You can achieve this by installing a plugin.  You can download a free one here:  http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/

Once the plugin is installed it will inform the search engines each time you update your blog, which is a great benefit of having a Sitemap plugin.

Another option is to go to http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ and generate an XML Sitemap and upload it to your site.  Once you have generated the Sitemap you can check all kinds of stats for your blog which can be very interesting.

To do this scroll down the homepage a little way and you will see a box where you can enter your url.  You have the opportunity to change a couple of settings but I would suggest leaving them alone.  Go to the bottom of the box and click ‘start’ and watch the generator scan your blog pages.  It takes a few minutes so be patient.

When your Sitemap is ready click ‘download your Sitemap here’ and upload it to the root directory of your site.  To do this open your ftp client and double click ‘public_html’ on the right side of the screen.  Find your domain you just generated the Sitemap for and double click it, then upload the complete file  from the left side of your screen by right clicking and selecting ‘upload’.

Next you need to go to Google Webmaster tools, sign in with your Google account details and ‘add a site’ on your home page if your domain is not already registered there.  You will be asked to verify ownership.  I do this via the ‘alternate method’ which is the second tab on the page.  I choose to ‘upload an html file to your server’.  Check the box and it will give you a file to download.  Upload this in the same way and to the same place that you uploaded the previous file, then click ‘verify’.

You will now be presented with a dashboard for your site which may or may not have data on it. If it does it’s very interesting, but if your rank is very low at the moment it will have no current data.

On the bottom right of this page click ‘submit a Sitemap‘ then click the button ‘submit a Sitemap‘ and your domain should appear with a blank box to the right of it.  Write ‘sitemap.xml’ in this box and click submit.

You have now successfully submitted your XML Sitemap!

26 Comments

  • Ian Douglas

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Thanks for this very useful post Mandy. I have just set up a new Blog so had better get that google-sitemap-generator plugin installed asap to help it’s ranking!

    All the best,

    Ian.

    • mandy

      Reply Reply April 16, 2011

      Glad it’s helped, Ian. The plug in is the easier of the two options.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Usman

    Reply Reply April 18, 2011

    Sitemap is really very important actually because in this way we help google to easily find our sites pages, so that it can easily read and index them.

    btw nice guide.

    • mandy

      Reply Reply April 19, 2011

      Hi Usman, thanks for the positive comment. It’s always nice to get feedback.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Richard Davy

    Reply Reply April 19, 2011

    Hi Mandy,
    Thanks for popping by. Not visited for awhile. Great piece of useful info as ever!
    Reminded me to install sitemaps on my own blog!! Thanks again.
    cheers
    Richard
    latest blog post http://richard-davy.com/internet-marketing/fours-keys-to-killer-articles/

    • mandy

      Reply Reply April 20, 2011

      Hi Richard, thanks for visiting. Glad to have been of help. The plugin is the easiest option, obviously.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Bryan McHeyzer

    Reply Reply April 21, 2011

    Hi Mandy,
    Thanks for the comments on my blog.

    Great Info on getting a site-map on your site.
    My challenge is working with php..
    when uploading to a blog where does the coding go?
    Which page and where on that page.

    I used the plug in … saves trying to work the techie stuff.

    Tried to pm you but could not find a contact address.
    re the blog carnival …just not going to be able to make it.

    Cheers
    Bryan

    • mandy

      Reply Reply April 21, 2011

      Hi Bryan, thanks for visiting. I know nothing about coding, but pm Steve King if you need help, he’s quite up on it.

      You should have been able to pm me through the forum, not sure why that didn’t work. No worries abotu the carnival.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Ian Douglas

    Reply Reply April 24, 2011

    Hi Mandy,

    Quick question: You mention manually generating a XML Sitemap and then submitting it to Google… Am I correct in thinking that, if you take this manual route rather than using the plugin you mention, you need to generate a new sitemap every time you publish a new post on your blog in order to keep the sitemap up-to-date?

    Thanks once again for this useful blog post.

    Ian.
    Latest Blog Post: http://www.ian-douglas.com/the-tears-of-an-angel/

    • mandy

      Reply Reply April 24, 2011

      Hi Ian, thanks for visiting. If you want to get your site indexed quickly it is good to use the XML Sitemap Generator and submit to Google manually through that. It also means your XML Sitemap is linked to your homepage, which apprently is also a good thing. After that use the plugin. The plugin will ping everyone every time you update your site and create an updated Sitemap.

      I would assume you are correct about having to resubmit each time you add something, however the plugin automatically updates for you so do use it. My uderstanding from those who know is that you will be indexed much more quickly if you manually submit your XML Sitemap in the first instance.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Kerry Russell

    Reply Reply April 25, 2011

    Hello Mandy…

    I can’t believe i have not already done this!!!

    I learnt about XML site maps a good 12 months ago when i was studying SEO but yet it is the one thing i have not put in to action. Good job i popped over.

    Your post is very informative. Keep up the good work 🙂

    Thanks

    Kerry

    • mandy

      Reply Reply April 25, 2011

      Hi Kerry, thanks for visiting. Yes, do get the plugin at the very least and use it on your blog.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Kathy

    Reply Reply April 25, 2011

    Wow Mandy…thanks for the advice.
    Any way I can get an edge with the search engines is a must.

    I’ve heard about site maps but honestly didn’t pay too much attention until I read your post…
    Now it makes so much sense!
    Thanks for the heads up…I’ll be looking into it 😉
    Kathy

    • mandy

      Reply Reply April 25, 2011

      Hi Kathy, the plugin is the easiest option, obviously.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Brandon Connell

    Reply Reply April 25, 2011

    Are people still forgetting those Mandy? I think the plugin should be included in the default WordPress install along with others.

  • Barry Wells
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply April 26, 2011

    Hi Mandy, I have to agree with brandon here: I think they should be a standard plugin that come as a default.

    I was blogging for about 8 months before I installed the plugin, and shortly after i did install it i noticed an improved alexa ranking of about 40,000 🙂

    Another great post Mandy.

    I noticed that you haven’t got anyway of tweeting the post Mandy. I have tweeted it anyway but if there was a button………. 😉

    Catch up soon Mandy,
    Respect and Regards,
    Barry

    • mandy

      Reply Reply April 26, 2011

      Hi Barry, thanks for visiting. Yes, I also agree with Brandon as many people do not learn about an XML Sitemap very soon into their blogging.

      I have no ide why I do not have a tweet button! I thought it was on the social media plug in…now I have to find out where to get one!

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

      • mandy

        Reply Reply April 26, 2011

        An update: I adjusted the plugin, hadn’t ticked the Twitter box! Added a few others I thought might be popular too! Another lesson for another video.

        Enjoy the journey.

        Mandy

  • James

    Reply Reply May 6, 2011

    XML sitemap lists URLs of the site along with additional information about each URL. XML sitemaps passes important information about your website to the Search Engines. Google XML sitemap WordPress plugin is very easy to use to generate sitemap even if you changed added pages you can generate xml file anytime.

    • mandy

      Reply Reply May 6, 2011

      Hi James, thanks for visiting. Yes, the plugin is really the most effective and simplest way to pass the information on each time you update.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Alex

    Reply Reply May 10, 2011

    Hy … if I have a wordpress blog should I install the XML Sitemap each time I submit an article or not? I’m using the same category for my article.

    • mandy

      Reply Reply May 10, 2011

      Hi Alex, install the wordpress plugin and it will automatically update every time you post something.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Tony

    Reply Reply May 14, 2011

    I am using Google XML Sitemap plugin for my wordpress blog and it seems this plugin is working very well to help me create an xml sitemap.

    • mandy

      Reply Reply May 19, 2011

      Hi Tony, thanks for visiting. That’s useful to know. I too use the sitemap plugin and have never had problems with it.

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

  • Adrienne

    Reply Reply May 22, 2011

    For the longest time I didn’t really understand why this was important until I started visiting other blogs and learning more. I’m thankful to say that as soon as I set up a blog now, this is one of the first plug-ins I install.

    Great explanation Mandy for why this is important. Hope everyone else has gotten theirs up and running correctly now! It’s definitely a must have.

    Adrienne

    • mandy

      Reply Reply May 23, 2011

      Hi Adrienne, thanks for visiting. I was in teh same boat, it is something that was never explained to me, and I’m glad I read about it eventually!

      Enjoy the journey.

      Mandy

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