Submitting the Sitemap of your WordPress Blog or website to Google is one of the most basic SEO practices that every webmaster should do.
If you are a beginner in this field, you should know about Sitemap first.
According to Wikipedia,
“A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for Web design, or a Web page that lists the pages on a website, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.”
In other words, it’s a way for Search Engines like Google to understand the basic structure of your website. Submitting your Sitemap to Google will surely help it to index the pages/posts of your site in a better way.
Moreover, it will tell Google a lot of useful info that will be a kind of SEO beneficiary for your site.
This information includes, how regularly an individual updates his blog, what should be the priority of a given web page or post for Google to crawl or re-crawl it.
Why Submit Sitemap to Google?
If a website is not having its sitemap submitted to Google, it will create trouble for Google to differentiate the kind of pages of the whole site like whether it’s a blog post or category/tag archive page.
But a Sitemap tells the Search Engine about the different type of archives and pages separately.
Thus not submitting your sitemap to Google simply means you lack a major SEO practice. That’s why, even before to further think of optimizing your blog/website for a search engine, it is necessary to submit sitemap first.
Google and other Search Engines have been accepting XML Sitemaps since last decade to help their web-crawlers to have a better look at the websites.
It’s a .XML file which contains a lot of code.
Being a WordPress user, you do not need to play with any code. These days, WordPress has become so user-friendly that even a beginner can perform the advanced level customizations for their sites within a few minutes by making use of plugins.
Plugins are the backbone of WordPress, and for each and everything there will be at least one plugin in the official WordPress plugin directory to perform the task you desire in your mind.
Today we’re also going to make use of a plugin to make all this matter, a game of few minutes.
Submitting a WordPress Website’s Sitemap to Google is a 2 Step Process:
- Create/Generate the Sitemap
- Submit it in Google Search Console (formally known as Google Web Master Tools)
Step 1. Generating the Sitemap
Here’s the only guide you need to follow in this regard:
1. Install and Activate Yoast SEO plugin in your WordPress website. (Skip if already installed)
2. Now, in the WordPress Dashboard’s left pane, you’ll see the SEO option with the Yoast SEO logo. From there navigate to XML sitemaps.
3. Now on the next screen, Enable the XML sitemaps functionality.
Yoast SEO will automatically generate the XML Sitemap for your site as soon as you enable the Sitemap functionality and it will also keep on updating it time to time as per the changes you’ll be making on your WordPress site.
You can view the Sitemap by clicking on the XML sitemap button as highlighted in the screenshot.
It’ll usually open this link:
Remember one more thing, it’s the index of the total number of sitemaps generated by Yoast SEO plugin)
4. One more thing that you can configure regarding your Sitemap is the number of entries per sitemap. By default, it’s 1000.
In most of the cases it’ll be suitable, but if you are having any memory issues with your WordPress blog and its Web hosting service, you can reduce this number as per your requirement as well.
5. In the end, to make everything happen, just click on the Save Changes button.
Step 2. Submitting the Sitemap to Google Search Console
It’s the time to finally submit the generated sitemap to the Google Search Console or the Webmaster Tools.
I am assuming that you already have a Google Search Console account. If not, you should create it first and then follow the guide given below.
Moreover, after creating the account, you should also add you WordPress site there and then need to verify the ownership of that site as well.
The following guide you can follow after having your WordPress site listed in Google Search Console’s Dashboard.
1. Sign in to your Search Console account, and you’ll see list of your websites. Choose the one for which you want to submit the sitemap to Google.
2. Then in the Left Pane, Click on the “Crawl” Menu and under it select “Sitemaps.”
3. At the Top right of this page, click on “Add/Test Sitemap” button and add type the URL of your WordPress site’s sitemap, i.e. sitemap_index.xml.
Note: If you use plugin other than Yoast SEO to generate your Sitemap, then chances are your sitemap URL will be different but the process of submitting the sitemap to Google search console will be the same.
4. After that just click on the Submit button, and you’re all done submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console.
The sitemap wouldn’t be instantly completely fetched by Google. It’ll take some time. When Google will fetch it (It might also take time over a week), you’ll be able to see something like shown in the screenshot given below.
Cheers! You’re now done submitting your Sitemap to Google!
A few more things that you can do to ensure the correctness of your Sitemap by time are:
- Testing the Sitemap, before submitting it.
- Re-submitting the Sitemap. (It’s good to re-submit a sitemap whenever you made a big change in your WordPress blog. For example, when you change permalink structure of your WordPress Site.)
If you have any questions regarding generating the sitemap or submitting it to Google Search console, feel free to ask me via comments, and I’d love to answer them.
So, that’s my mega guide to help you submitting your WordPress sitemap to Google. If this guide helped you, do share it on social media and must subscribe to WPTricks to keep receiving latest WordPress Tips and Tricks from us.