Step 10 : XML Sitemaps

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xml sitemap

I was gonna mention this point near the end, but since we just set up Google Webmaster Tools let’s move on to XML Sitemaps.

An XML Sitemap is a file that lists all of the URL’s of your website. This file will allow search engines to quickly find any new pages you add (or posts if you have a blog).

The first thing you have to do is actually create the XML file. If you use WordPress for your website (more on this later, always recommended) there is a plugin called “Google XML-Sitemaps”. This plugin will handle XML Sitemap creation and submission. It is highly recommended. For those of us with traditional websites, read on…

Creating an XML Sitemap from scratch is not really fun, especially if you have tons of pages. There are lots of XML Sitemap Generators out there, you just have to search for them. The one I most recently used was:

http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

You can use this one, or find your own. Once you have found one just follow the onscreen directions to create your sitemap. On the above site, you will get a link to download your XML file. Once you have done that, you will have to upload that document to your website. You can do this yourself via FTP, or your website’s backend. You can also get your web designer to do it. If you upload the file to your public_html folder, then the link to the sitemap will be www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml  (or whatever you titled it, keep it simple with sitemap.xml though).

Once you have your sitemap URL it is time to go back to Webmaster Tools!

Log into your account and then under the Site Configuration tab there will be a Sitemaps link. Click that link and you will see a “Submit a Sitemap” button. Click that button and add the URL of your sitemap.

You are done!

 
Action Item:

  • Setup your website XML Sitemap
  • Submit in Google Webmaster Tools

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