WordPress is the easiest way of making a website. Easy to install and customize plugins make the maintenance even easier. You don’t have to be a techno-geek to operate a WordPress website or blog.
One can easily learn basics of WordPress and manage their own website or blog. And, if you are good with programming, you can be the WordPress pro very quickly.
However, having a WordPress website and promoting the website on search engines are two different sides of two different coins. Marketing aspects of any website are far more complex in nature and depend on various factors.
We will take one factor at a time and see how they impact the presence of a website. Let’s focus on creating a sitemap in WordPress in our first chapter. But before we do, let’s first know why sitemap is important for a website.
Why is Sitemap Important for a website?
Search engines aren’t as smart as you would think. Therefore, they don’t make that extra effort to crawl and index all pages of your website. They basically find what’s available to them and leave the rest.
However, a sitemap is the tool that can be used to guide search engines to help them deep crawl your website in a simpler manner. Crawling of more web pages of your website results in indexing of more pages.
Over the period of time, more of your web pages shows up in the search results and increase your chances of getting more traffic (provided you have optimized other SEO factors of your website).
Related Read: Glossary: On-page SEO Factors – Part II
Creating Sitemap in WordPress
In a WordPress website, an XML sitemap can be created by few methods, but here we will see how to do it with WordPress SEO by Yoast. With Yoast, setting up XML sitemap for your websites gets much easier.
SEO Yoast is effective in filtering your web content. It helps you improve the content and other on-page factors of your web page like title, meta description, etc. Also, you get a readability score and recommendations for your content on the basis of Flesch Reading Ease Test.
So, install WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin and activate. In the dashboard of this plugin go to the “Features” tab and enable “Advanced Settings Pages”. This will enable the XML Sitemaps options in the plugin menu.
Now, go to XML Sitemaps option and enable “XML Sitemap Functionality”. In the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, XML sitemap option remains disabled by default, so you need to enable it manually. After enabling this option, you can check sitemap. To check XML sitemap of your blog or website, Click “You can find your XML Sitemap here: XML Sitemap“.
Your WordPress sitemap should look like:
Submitting Sitemap to Webmaster
Great! You are an inch closer now to have a sitemap for your website, but, it won’t be of any use till you submit it to search engines by using respective webmaster tools.
Importantly, for this task, you can use “Webmaster Tools” tab in WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. There you can submit your website’s sitemap URL to Bing, Google, and Yandex, and secure the changes by Clicking on “Save Changes” button.
Creating and submitting XML sitemap of your website shouldn’t be a complex trick to master. All you need is understanding plugin features and options. Please do share with us what other useful WordPress plugins you use for SEO or maintenance of your website or blog.