We have started a new service called search engine optimisation or short SEO and the best part for now it is absolutely free.
With over 47 seo and website tools we have great collection that will be extended in the future with more tools for you. Today we will have a look into XML Sitemaps, specially for new sites it is an easy and important tool to get listed quickly in your favourite search engine.
As the name says it is a file in the format xml, which is a standard machine-readable format consumable by search engines and other data-munching programs like feed readers. It contains the URL, last modified date, priority and how often it changes, like in the example below:
<url> <loc>https://www.jakweb.ch/home</loc> <priority>1.0</priority> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <lastmod>2016-03-28</lastmod> </url>
Now the question is how you get one for your website and submit to a search engine. We will cover the two major search engines Google and Bing, all others are similar anyway.
Our new and free XML Sitemap service will create a sitemap from your website data in a few simple steps. Enter your domain, a date, priority (usually 0.9), if the page has dynamic content, and how many links we have to crawl hit Generate Sitemap.
Your sitemap will be created, depending how many links you have chosen it can take a few seconds. When it is finished save the XML Sitemap on your local computer or mac and make sure all links within the file otherwise run it again and increase how many links we should crawl for you. How easy was that?
Btw have you build your website with our content management system building a XML sitemap is even simpler, it is already build in. Install the plugin (if not already) and browse to SEO Sitemap under Manage.
Before we browse to Google or Bing we need to uplaod the XML Sitemap into a location on your server, you can safely upload the sitemap file into the root where you will also find your index.html or index.php file.
Now open your browser and call the file e.g.
Should you have uploaded it correctly it will display the file in the browser without any error messages.
Now the fun part, submit your XML Sitemap to a search engine, let's start with Google. Go to Google Webmasters and login with your Gmail account, should you not have one create one.
After login you will find a button on the right hand side called "Add a Property", click on it and enter the domain, you will be asked to verify that you are the holder of that domain. The easiest way is to download the file, upload it to your server same location as the sitemap.xml (root) and press "Verify". You will get a confirmation that you are the owner of this domain.
Now it is time to add your XML sitemap, click on the sitemaps button (screenshot below)
It will ask for the URL to your sitemap, if the file is in your root you can simply enter sitemap.xml. Save and you are done with Google Webmaster.
Let's do the same with Bing. Go to Bing Webmaster and login or sign up and login.
Pretty much the same procedure, add your domain, verify your domain and wait for the magic.
Google and Bing or any other search engin you have submited your XML sitemap will now know what they have to do and they usually do it more quickly. Means your website will be listed in the search engine and the search engine crawlers will check your site regularly (depending on your sitemap settings of course). Your first and important step in search engine optimisation is done!
Check from time to time what happens with your submitted links. You will also get nice statistics about: Hits, Clicks, Crawls and Errors.
You have created a XML Sitemap for your own website and submitted it to search engines helping your website get listed faster and crawled more often. Also any changes will be noticed much quicker and visitors stranded on 404 pages are less.
What do you think about XML Sitemaps? Like to know more?