If you own or maintain a website or intend to own one, wouldn’t it be great if you get frequent visitors who find satisfaction in getting exactly what they need from your page, regardless if they’re looking for your tour dates or your latest single?
While that satisfaction largely depends on the content of your website, how you get to be accessed by website users is the most critical factor of building a website. If your website can’t be reached universally, you defeat the very purpose of the internet: that is, to make information available to any website user from across the world. (at least within your desired market)
How you get to be accessed is actually a matter of presentation style, organization, and most importantly, how fast and extensive search engines get to lead users to your website. Unless your pages are indexed in the search engines they can’t send you the free visitors you are all looking for.
Fortunately, the search engines want your content too and there are a number of ways you can help them, which they encourage you to do – by creating sitemaps of your website. Sitemaps created for the various search engines will enable these search engines’ “spiders” to crawl faster, more systematically, and more extensively into your website’s pages.
By doing so, you get the maximum exposure you can. Such exposure will boost your pride in having your pages viewed, read, and used by more and more visitors the way you intended them to. On the financial aspect, the more visitors your website gets, the higher your website’s potential advertising value.
Now with the vast expansion of websites on the internet, there are different types of sitemaps, each having its own complexity in setting up.
Creating an HTML sitemap linked to and from your home page is something savvy developers have been doing for years and perhaps is the simplest to create. This sitemap is simply a list of pages contained on your site and enables the search engine spiders to easily find your pages, especially the ones that are linked deep in your website that they may have trouble finding otherwise.
A text sitemap is simply a list of the URLs of your site in the form of a text file. These can then be submitted to search engines such as Yahoo! to notify them that all the pages exist and by doing so invites their spider to visit.
Google launched Google Sitemaps as a way for developers & designers to give them the information they could use to better crawl their sites. This involves creating an XML Sitemap for which they provided their Google Sitemap Generator. This can be the most complicated to set up using the tools provided by Google as you need to be running Python on your server. It’s perhaps the most important one too given the current dominance of the search engine.
Don’t Worry There Is A Shortcut To Create XML Sitemaps For WordPress.
If you are following along with the “Academy” we installed a free WordPress plugin called “Yoast SEO”. This plugin is an awesome SEO plugin for their analysis tools when posting blog posts. But, it also comes with some awesome tools.
How To Create A XML Sitemap For WordPress With Yoast SEO
Luckily, by default, when you install Yoast SEO on your website, it automatically creates a sitemap for your website. When it comes to creating your WordPress menus you may want to have a link to it so you can put it in your footer. You can get that link by going to:
SEO > General > Features (Tab)
If you click on the ? icon next to xml sitemaps on that page it will reveal to you the link to your sitemap.
If it is checked “Off” just simply check it “On”.
Now you can link to that page from the footer of your website so the spiders will see it and navigate your website properly.