Why your website needs an xml sitemap

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To help with SEO your website needs an XML sitemap.

An XML sitemap is a list of your website’s URL (the address of each page on your website).  That’s why it’s called a sitemap. It maps out how the website is structured and what the website includes.  XML stands for “Extensible Markup Language”, a way of displaying information on websites.  An XML sitemap is a great tool for your website as it is a fast way to get indexed by Google.  In simpler terms it allows Google to find your website easier as it works as a table of contents for your website, allowing the crawler to get the essentials and index your website accordingly.

A good sitemap can tell search engines when a page was updated, the frequency of updates to the page, the relative importance of pages within a website and how to find and index content that may be found deep within the website’s structure.  All of which can help with your search engine rankings.

Even though an XML sitemap is technical SEO, it’s not as hard as you’d think to make one. There are many tools out there to help you create a really good XML sitemap. You don’t have to know how to code, you can use an XML generator.

Some examples are:

You need to submit your sitemap to Google

Search engines use crawlers to organise and index information on the web.  These crawlers or spiders can read all kinds of information. But an XML sitemap makes it easy for the crawler to see what’s on your website and index it.  Once you’ve made your sitemap and added it to your website you then need to submit it to the search engines like Google.

Crawlers or Spiders can read all kinds of information. But an XML sitemap makes it easy for the crawler to see what’s on your website and index it.

By submitting your XML sitemap to google you are telling Google, “Look, this is my website, and here are the pages I want you to see and rank”.  Within minutes, Google will respond to your submission, crawl your site, and index your content.  Once it does this, your website has a stronger likelihood of improving its rank quickly.

To do this, you’ll need to have Google Search Console connected to your website.

You can also repeat this process for other popular search engines like Bing.

In conclusion to make an XML sitemap work for your website you need to:

  1. Create your XML sitemap.

  2. Add your XML sitemap to your website.

  3. Submit your XML sitemap to Google.

At Purple Dog, for every website we design, we carry out this process on our client’s behalf as soon as their site launches.  To discuss your new website project get in touch with us today.

Follow Rebecca:

Friendly Online Marketing Consultant

Rebecca is passionate about helping others choose the right options for promoting their business or club online. Her constantly curious and problem solving nature make her able to learn new skills quickly. Yet as a qualified Secondary School teacher make her empathetic and able to pass on these skills to empower others trying to find their way in the online world.