Best SEO practices for optimizing XML sitemap and top 10 SEO tips for that. How to create an XML Sitemap? How to create and submit a WordPress Sitemap? Optimizing the sitemap is an important SEO practice for your website. Creating and updating your XML sitemap is an important but overlooked SEO technique.
What are XML Sitemap? How Is It Created?
XML Sitemap are important for Google and other search engines, so after completing your website and entering your content, your first thing is to create an XML Sitemap. The extensions of the sitemap must be .xml (Extensible Markup Language) and the filename must be Sitemap.
The XML Sitemap you create is the easiest way to get information about the pages, categories, images and contents of your website and transmit it to search engines. Sitemap provide important meta and data, so, what are they? :
- It shows when each page you create was updated.
- It shows when the last change was made.
- It makes the importance ranking between the pages.
Not only that, but there are some practices you should use to improve your performance and optimize your sitemap. I will give you information and tips on this subject.
If you are ready, let’s optimize our sites with a new SEO technique.
Use Tools and Plugins to Build Your Sitemap
You can create your Sitemap automatically and use Plugins and Tools for this. You can use online XML Sitemap generators, you can do this manually, you can send the sitemap file you created to the main directory of your site with the help of FTP.
Alternatively, if you have code knowledge, you can create your own sitemap by examining the XML sitemap code structure. If you want to use the hreflang feature on the map you have created, it will be easier for you to create your map with the help of a tool.
You can also use plugins instead. If you are using an SEO plugin and you have preferred the WordPress infrastructure, you are definitely using an SEO plugin. In the plugins such as All in SEO Pack, Yoast SEO, Rank Math, the sitemap map creation comes automatically, all you need to do is activate the plugins and check your sitemap file.
Submit to Google and Other Search Engines with Your Sitemap
You can send your sitemap to Google with the help of Google Search Console. Apart from that, you should do the same for Yandex and Bing.
Log in to “Google Search Console“, then click the “Sitemap” link under the” Index” tab, type the extension (example: sitemap.xml) of the sitemap you created in the “Add a new sitemap” section and submit.
To add Yandex Sitemap, log in to “Webmaster Yandex“. If you do not have a Yandex mail, open a mail immediately and continue the process. Click “Select Site” > Add your site first from “Site Address”. Approve your site as we did with Google Search Console. After confirming, submit your site’s sitemap address from Tools <Sitemap Validator> URL.
To add a Bing Sitemap, log in to “Webmaster Bing“. Add the map of your site from the “Sitemap” section on the left.
After adding sitemap to search engines’ indexes, check to see if there are any errors. If it fails, you should solve that error. After adding sitemap to search engines’ indexes, check to see if there are any errors. If it fails, resolve the error it gave. You should definitely check if the number of URLs indexed in the map you submit is the same as the number on your website. If there is a missing page, it indicates that there is an error i your Sitemap file.
Adding sitemap to search engines such as Google, Bing, Yandex after submitting them will make it faster for them to understand which pages are of high value, and they do not guarantee that the pages will be indexed “Prioritize High Quality Pages” in Your Sitemap.
Prioritize High Quality Pages in Your Sitemap
Prioritizing high quality pages when creating a Sitemap is a factor that affects the quality and ranking of your site. If you direct to poor quality content, search engines will decide that your website is a poor quality website and will not put your site in the rankings thinking that it is not worth the visitors to come. Then, what should high quality pages look like?
- It must be updated and optimized page.
- There should be content supported by visuals and videos.
- There should be no duplicate content.
- There should be too much interaction using a language that will attract the user.
If you pay attention to features like these, your pages or content will also be of high quality.
Do Not Include Unindexed Pages in Your Sitemap
You shouldn’t add your non-indexed content, pages or URLs that you use noindex to your sitemap file. This is a situation that generally happens to those who own an E-commerce site. Most of the sites with too many product pages are not indexed, you should review them from Search Console and fix them. If you do not want it to be indexed, you should add noindex and parse it.
Add Canonical Links to Your Sitemap
If you have similar pages or products, Google offers a canonical link structure for it. For this, you must use the “rel = canonical” tag.
This will make it easier for the bots of search engines that visit your site.
You should use robot.txt to separate the details of the links of your site. You should use tags like Noindex and Follow. In this way, you can give Google information about which links to be added or not.
You should also use robot.txt for pages that you do not want to appear in Google search result
Don’t Add Noindex Links to Your Site Maps
If you add the pages where you use the Noindex tag to your sitemap, you probably will confuse Google. How can Google bots understand when I don’t even understand what you want to do by saying that you both want the page to be indexed and that you do not want it to be indexed? 🙂
Keep Sitemap File Size Small
The smaller the size of your sitemap file, the easier it will run on your server. For this reason, be careful not to include the pages you use noindex and the URLs you deem worthless. Bing and Google set the size of the Sitemap file to 50MB in 2016. It will be better for you if you use as small files as possible instead of using all 50MB.
Use RSS / Atom Feeds Alongside the XML Map
Using RSS / Atom Feeds along with XML map speeds up the transmission to search engines when you add new content.
Since search engines’ bots do not know which pages should be indexed, RSS / Atom feeds will help them in this regard.
Don’t Fool Google
If you are not making updates or changes in your article or pages, do not try to fool Google bots by updating the time, otherwise Google may have taken you from searches and ignored it. If you do not want this situation, just update the date when you make changes, add articles, and make important updates.
As a result, although it may seem simple and unimportant, Sitemap are actually an important issue for SEO. Sometimes you do not know how beneficial even a small action that you ignore will be for your site. About SEO, I recommend you to do every method about SEO meticulously. If you want support on SEO and other issues, you can reach me from my social media addresses and contact page.