If you have been optimising your website then you must be familiar with the term “xml sitemap”. Although SEO work does involve a lot of aspects on-page and off-page,there is also a technical role that is really important to maintain the SEO hygiene. These days just by merely optimising the website is not the final task to achieve higher rankings on search engines like “Google” as competition and other factors also impact rankings on google. To make it easy especially for the “bots” or “spiders” , an xml sitemap serves that purpose. Basically using an xml sitemap in seo solves the problem with ease for the search engines as well the end user.
Importance of XML Sitemap in SEO
The sitemap file is important as it helps to understand the web pages which you want to be indexed and rank. However search engines will still crawl the website without the XML sitemap, keeping the sitemap file and uploading the same to the root domain gives a better understanding to Google bots or spiders to navigate through each page and index them. The following points listed below are some important areas that an XML sitemap helps in SEO.
- For websites having more than 100 URLs, say for example like an e-commerce website, for such sites if some pages aren’t indexed then it might not lead to sale or conversion. And this is where a sitemap file can provide an easy way to index those pages.
- Sitemaps do aid in discovering new pages or posts that can index them quickly.
- A brand new website having an XML sitemap can be indexed faster by Google.
What is the use of XML Sitemap?
An XML sitemap is primarily used on websites to tell the crawler about the web pages and the recent updates made on those pages.
Types of XML Sitemaps
In general sitemap files are of two types, called XML sitemap and HTML sitemap. They can be further split into multiple categories like image sitemap, video sitemap etc.
First let us understand the HTML sitemap file. These are generally made for the user for easy navigation of all the pages present on the website.
XML sitemaps are used to make the crawlers know as to which pages are to be considered for the indexation process. This facilitates the entire process of crawling, indexing and ranking on Google. This type of file is written in an XML markup coding language and is uploaded to Google via its own webmaster tool called “Google search console”.
What Is the Difference Between XML Sitemap and HTML Sitemap
The only difference between an XML sitemap and html sitemap is that both serve different purposes, an XML sitemap is useful for the search engine crawler whereas the latter one is used to make the website visitor or user by presenting the information of all the pages in proper format.
What Is the Maximum Number of URLs Typically Allowed in an XML Sitemap File?
The maximum number of urls that an XML sitemap file can contain can be 50,000 URLs. However if more URLs are to be added then you will have to create another sitemap file.
What Is Xml Sitemap Creation
An XML sitemap creation can be done by tools which can be used to generate an XML file. For CMS based websites like WordPress, Shopify etc. they are automatically generated with the use of plugins.
What Is XML Sitemap Generator
An online tool to generate an XML sitemap file is called an XML sitemap generator.
What Is Google XML Sitemap
Google XML sitemap is a free plugin that is extremely useful to generate sitemap files to your website. They are dynamically updated whenever you publish a new page or posts. All you have to do is just notify everything in the settings option of the plugin.
XML Sitemap Plugin WordPress
The functionality of websites in WordPress can be greatly improved with the help of one of it’s plugin called the XML sitemap plugin for WordPress. This type of plugin has been used by plenty of websites across the globe. It also supports all kinds for pages generated by the CMS as well the custom URLs.
XML Sitemap in Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is one of most popular plugins and is also regarded as the best SEO plugin in the world. Before we learn and understand an XML sitemap in yoast seo, let’s first know the importance of wordpress plugin.
So by definition an SEO plugin helps you to optimise the website with and easy to use interface without using any coding language to write, optimise and manage it.
Yoast SEO plugin is equipped with built-in features like meta data optimization, content analysis, creating rich snippets,generating XML sitemap files etc. Making a website SEO friendly is primarily the job of this plugin. There are also different plugins similar to what yoast seo does, for example rank math, all in one seo, SEO press etc.
Why should you use yoast SEO plugin for XML sitemap creation?
The most important thing of using yoast for XML sitemap generation is that you will not at all require any additional plugin for sitemap files. This plugin will do the job of automatically creating a sitemap file and submitting it to Google. The submitting process can be also done manually with the help of Google search console but since yoast seo has been integrated with search console so you don’t need to do that too. However we do ensure to look into your search console account to see if there are any exclusions being highlighted related to XML sitemap file.
Now that you know the importance of XML sitemap in seo it’s time for you to analyze your website sitemap file check. Type your domain name followed by “sitemap.xml”. For example: yourwesbsite.com/sitemap.xml ,if you don’t find any file or it gives a 404 status code. Then you need to create one. Generally for CMS based websites installing a plugin will automatically generate one for you. If in case you don’t have a wordpress website, then ask your developer to create one and upload the same on the root domain