If you’ve been following this series we’re setting up our WordPress site for optimal SEO. the next thing we’re going to do is generate an XML sitemap. An XML sitemap is essentially is a listing in computer format or XML of all the pages that you have on your site and this tells the search engines what page is on your site to look at, how to find them, the URLs are located at…, and it just enables it to crawl your site much faster.
So taking that plugin, that WordPress SEO plugin we installed in the last episode we’re just going to go to that plugin set up and enable the sitemaps. Now since I use the Yoast SEO plugin that’s the one I’m going to talk about.
So in the left hand menu of your site there’s a menu called XML sitemaps and in the general tab basically you’re going to enable it and usually the default settings for this are fine, if there are any pages that you want to exclude you can do that in this setting and there’s actually a tab there where you can exclude things but I would say the basic settings that come with the plugin are fine to use.
One thing I do disable is the author sitemap. Since I’m a single author on my site I go ahead and turn that off or disable it. It just seems like a worthless thing. Now, if you had a site that had multiple authors you may want to turn this on so that each author can have their own feed; it might help things but not necessary.
So once you do that then you’re going to visit the webmaster tools or search engine console inside Google and you’re going to submit that sitemap to Google. On the general tab of the SEO plugin there’s a link to your sitemap so that you can actually find it. So you’re going to click on that link, grab that URL and submit it to Google. Now Google will be able to crawl your site a lot faster.
If you need help in getting this set up on your website please contact us at our website and we’d be happy to help you out.