An XML sitemap is a crucial tool for helping search engines like Google discover and index the content on your WordPress website. Here’s how to create an XML sitemap for a WordPress site:
Install and Activate a Sitemap Plugin
- WordPress makes it easy to generate XML sitemaps with plugins. One of the most popular plugins for this purpose is “Yoast SEO.” Install and activate it if you haven’t already.
Configure the Plugin Settings
- After activating Yoast SEO, go to “SEO” in your WordPress dashboard and click on “General.”
- Navigate to the “Features” tab and make sure the “XML sitemaps” feature is enabled. Save your changes.
Generate Your Sitemap
- With Yoast SEO enabled, your XML sitemap is automatically created. You can access it by going to “SEO” in your WordPress dashboard and clicking on “General.” Then, select the “Features” tab and click on the “Question mark” icon next to “XML sitemaps.” This will take you to your sitemap.
Check Your Sitemap
Submit Your Sitemap to Google
- Go to Google Search Console (https://search.google.com/search-console/).
- Sign in to your Google account and click on “Add Property.”
- Enter your website’s URL and click “Continue.”
- Select the “URL prefix” method for property verification.
- Follow the provided instructions to verify your website.
- Once verified, click on your property in Google Search Console.
- In the left sidebar, click on “Sitemaps.”
- Enter “sitemap_index.xml” (or the exact URL of your sitemap) in the provided field and click “Submit.”
Notify Other Search Engines
- While Google is the most prominent search engine, consider submitting your sitemap to other search engines like Bing as well. Most search engines provide similar tools in their webmaster dashboards.
Set Up Regular Sitemap Updates
- With Yoast SEO, your sitemap is automatically updated whenever you create or edit content on your website. There’s typically no need to manually update it.
Monitor Your Sitemap
- Periodically check Google Search Console for any sitemap-related issues, such as URLs that couldn’t be indexed. This will help you ensure that search engines can crawl and index your website effectively.
By creating and submitting an XML sitemap, you improve your WordPress website’s chances of being fully indexed by search engines, ultimately enhancing its visibility in search results.
Also Read: How to Index Your Website on Google
Email your news TIPS to Editor@kahawatungu.com or WhatsApp +254707482874