Submit a Sitemap to Google for SEO
Why Submit a Sitemap to Google?
A sitemap displays the structure of your site and so informs Google on how your site is laid out. Top level categories can link to directories in a tree-like structure. It’s not for public display but is used as a method towards good SEO.
When a sitemap has been created by WordPress in combination with an SEO plugin, then the sitemap is updated automatically to include any new content you create.
Registering a Sitemap with Google Search Console
In order for Google to read your sitemap or be informed about any updates you have to manually add it within your Google Search Console account. If you have not already done so, please register a new account with Google Search Console. I have written another article you should read first – How to Get Your Site Indexed in Google.
SEO Plugins for WordPress
Yoast SEO is a great plugin for WordPress, not only for Sitemap’s but also for helping you optimise your content for various keywords or keyphrases – I’ll be covering a complete articles about this plugin in the future.
After you have installed the plugin it will prompt you to go through the ‘ setup wizard’ on a step-by-step process to completing the registration and categorisation of your business and structure of your web content.
Yoast SEO will automatically generate an XML Sitemap which creates a road-map of your site structure. XML sitemaps are popular in the world of SEO and so will provide an easier way for your content to get listed within organic search results.
Where is the XML Sitemap?
Actually, it’s quite well hidden but let’s navigate to where it lives…
- Login into WordPress
- On the left-menu select SEO and then General then select Features
- Scroll down until you see XML Sitemaps
- Click on the question mark (?)
- Click where it says “See the XML Sitemap“.
- Now you can see the structure of your website! Ok, now copy this link!
Adding Your Sitemap to Google Search Console
Login to the Google Search Console – See the following screenshot showing you where to find the Sitemap submission area.
Important Before Your Submit Your Sitemap!
Ok, if you have pasted the link to your sitemap – be careful when pasting it into the ‘Add a new sitemap’ area because Google has already completed the website address of your site. So, you will need to edit the URL of your site so that you only copy in – sitemap_index.xml or similar.
Check the URL to see if it looks completely right then click on Submit. You will receive a message in the screen that your sitemap has been submitted. This may take several days to get listed – so relax!
New Content? Should I resubmit my XML Sitemap to Google
In 1 simple answer – no. When Google recrawls your site it will refresh your sitemap and hopefully include any new content.
Want New Content Listed Today?
Ok, here is how to submit to Google the correct way:
- Login to the Google Search Console
- Click on URL Inspection
- At the top of the page – copy in the complete link to the new page or post.
- Google will now start to retrieve the URL.
- Click on Request Indexing and Google will do the rest – That’s it!
What If I Need to Update My Content?
If you have previously submitted a page to Google then you can still inform Google that the content has been changed. Follow the process above and request indexing again.