In a previous article we introduced Google Search Console and went over domains and their impact on SEO. In this article we will talk about sitemaps and how to add them.
What is a Sitemap?
A sitemap is a way to let Google know about all the pages on your website. You see, without a sitemap Google has to try and figure out all the different pages of your website by looking at all of the internal links on your site. Google is pretty good at that usually, but sometimes pages can be overlooked. It’s just easier for Google to crawl your site if you give it a map.
A sitemap is made from an XML file. This file lists all the different pages on your site that you want Google to crawl. You can also specify the last time the page was updated, as well as how often a page gets updated. These can help Google to know how to prioritize crawling your site.
If this all sounds complicated, don’t worry. If you use GrazeCart, a sitemap is automatically created for you. All you have to do is submit it to Google. You can do this through the Google Search Console. See previous article on setting up search console.
Submitting your Sitemap
To submit your sitemap, click on Sitemaps from under the Crawl section in the left sidebar. Then click on the “Add/Test Sitemap” button. You will then be asked to provide the url to your sitemap. Just enter “sitemap.xml”. So it should look something like: www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml Click submit and that’s it. Your sitemap will be submitted and Google will now have an easier time crawling your website. You should only need to submit your sitemap once. Anytime you add a new blog post or update a page your sitemap will automatically be updated.
What pages are included in the Sitemap?
The sitemap that is automatically created for you will contain any custom pages you create, pickup locations, products, blog posts, recipes, and any default pages like your homepage. This should be all you will need.Suggested reading: The SEO Checklist: 5 Tips to Get Started.