Today I’m working on a client website that doesn’t have a sitemap. Sitemaps don’t necessarily improve your rankings, but they do make it easier for Google to crawl the site. As I read more about them I’ve learned a few things.
- The “xml” extension is the preferred format for your sitemap.
- You want to keep the sitemap up to date or it will be ignored. Google will disregard the sitemap if there are too many url errors.
- Once you have a sitemap, submit it to Google via the Google Search Console (GSC). You can do this at Google Search Console > Crawl > Sitemaps > Add/Test Sitemaps. Here’s a link to GSC: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/
- Once you install the Yoast plugin, you’ll be able to find your sitemap at: https://www.mywebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml. Don’t forget to substitute your url for “mywebsite”. This is also the url that you’ll submit to Google Search Console.
I found a great article about sitemaps and beginning WordPress at WPbeginner on their great tutorial “Ultimate WordPress SEO Guide For Beginners (Step By Step). Here is the link: https://www.wpbeginner.com/wordpress-seo/. Scroll down to the header “Add XML Sitemaps To WordPress” for more information. You’ll find links and more instructions about how to create an SEO-friendly site in WordPress.