As you add more and more pages and blog posts to your website…search engine optimization can become a problem and it can be harder for Google to index them all.
As time passes and your site ‘matures’, some pages and posts get ‘buried’ deep in your website. These buried pages can often be overlooked by Google…which means they will never be ranked in the search engines.
To overcome this search engine optimization issue…create a sitemap of your website and submit it to your Google Webmaster tools account.
This may sound like a lot of ‘gobbledegook’ but bear with me…I’m going to walk you through the process and you only have to do this once…then you can forget about it.
But First…What Is A Sitemap?
A sitemap is a file that lists the entire URL’s associated with your website.
For instance, here’s my blog posts site map:
The search engine crawlers use the sitemap to index all the pages and posts, etc on your site.
However, just by having a website sitemap…it does not guarantee all your pages and posts will be indexed into the search engines. But it can drastically improve the chances of this happening.
Here’s how you create a sitemap of your website and submit it to your Google Webmaster tools account.
Step 1: Creating The Sitemap
The easiest way is using a WordPress plugin.
Once installed and set up, each time you add a page or blog post, the XML sitemap will be automatically updated.
Step 2. Verifying Google Ownership Of Your Website
Before you can submit your newly created sitemap to Google, you have to show Google that you own your website.
So sign into your Google account and go to ‘webmaster tools’.
Add your website by clicking the “Add a site” button. Then type in the domain name you wish to add, and click “Continue”.
Once the URL has been added, you will need to verify that you own this site. This can be done several ways. I like to download the file Google are recommending and then upload the file to my hosting account. Once this is done, you can ‘verify’ your site.
Step 3: Submit Your Sitemap To Google Webmaster Tools For Improved Search Engine Optimization
From within the Google Webmaster tools website, click on the domain name you have just added and it will open up a Dashboard for your site.
On the left hand side menu, click on “Crawl” and then “Sitemaps”.
Click “Add/Test Sitemap” and enter the name of your sitemap.
Once submitted, it can take a few hours for the sitemaps to be analyzed and added.
Then you can return here and make sure there are no errors, see how many URLs are being indexed and the time that Google last visited your website.
By verifying your site and adding your website’s sitemap, you are telling Google what pages and posts you have and as many as possible will be indexed into the search engines.
Remember once this is set up, it’s all automatic…you don’t need to do anything else.
Have you completed this search engine optimization process?
Has it made a difference to the pages and post indexed in the search engines?
Please share your views in the comments below.