How to Set-Up an XML Sitemap in WordPress

How to Set-Up an XML Sitemap in WordPress

In this article, we will show you...

 

  1. How to set up an XML site in WordPress, using the Yoast SEO plugin.
  2. Explain what an XML map is and why you need one.

 

An XML Sitemap is basically a way of telling search engines about all the pages that exist on your website. You're essentially sending them an invite to your site.

However, XML sitemaps do not affect your rankings in the SERP's.

They simply direct the Google spiders to crawl your site. In doing so, your site or page(s) will be ranked based on numerous factors.

By registering an XML sitemap with Google you are making it easier for them to find your site's pages and crawl them. (Google ranks pages as well as sites).

How to Set-Up an XML Sitemap using the Yoast SEO Plugin - 2019

If you haven't already got the Yoast SEO plugin installed you will need to do that first.

  • On the left-hand side of your Dashboard, click on Plugins.
  • Then Click on Add New.
  • Next, enter the plugin you are looking for in the keyword search box, in this case, it's Yoast SEO.
  • Then click on Install Now and Activate the plugin.

As you can see from the image below mine is already active.

yoast-seo

Once you have the Yoast Seo plugin installed, you can locate it on the left-hand side of your dashboard under SEO.

Under SEO, click on General.

yoast-seo-general

This will bring you to the SEO Dashboard page.

We want to click on Features, which is located between the Dashboard & Webmaster Tools.

This will bring up a list of features you can enable and disable.

Scroll down to XML sitemaps.

Make sure sitemaps is switched to on, then click the little question mark.

Yoast-xml-sitemaps-screenshot-skitch

Enable the XML sitemaps that Yoast SEO generates.

We've already done that by switching it on. Now click on See the XML sitemap, highlighted and underlined in blue below.

yoast-seo-xml-sitemap-screenshot-wordpress

Now you will see a list of the XML sitemaps Yoast has generated for you.

xml-sitemaps-badgrammrbaz

What we want to do though is go up to the URL. You should have something like this https://mywebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml.

Copy the "sitemap_index.xml" section of the URL as seen in the image below.

xml-sitemap-wordpress-yoast

Now the next thing we want to do is to open up Google Search Console.

(If you don't have a Google Search Console Account, you need to create one now. You can then use your Yoast SEO plugin to authenticate your site with Google).

Click here to find out how

  • Click on Sitemaps on the left-hand side of the dashboard.
  • Then paste the section of the URL we copied earlier, into the Add a new sitemap section and click on submit.
  • The last but not least, refresh your page, and you should see status pending where mine is Success (highlighted in green below)
add-sitemap-badgrammrbaz

Conclusion

 

With all that said and done, don't panic if you check back in a few days and your status is still pending. Google doesn't always index your pages or your site straight away.

It could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, pending on the site. 

For instance, Google will find it hard to locate and index a newly developed site with little or no link structure, so be patient and continue to develop your site in the mean-time. 

Google released this statement regarding crawling & indexing.

"Crawling and indexing are processes which can take some time and which rely on many factors. In general, we cannot make predictions or guarantees about when or if your URLs will be crawled or indexed.

When looking at a site's indexing in Search Console, make sure that you have both the "www" and the "non-www" versions (like "www.example.com" and "example.com") verified and have a set a preferred domain.

Keep in mind that while a sitemap file can help us learn about your site, it does not guarantee indexing or increase your site's ranking."

I hope this article was helpful to you.

If it was please leave a comment saying yes and if it wasn't please leave a comment saying no.

All the best

Baz

Badgrammrbaz.com - Independent Marketing for Independent Musicians

Baz McAuley

Baz McAuley, the founder of Badgrammrbaz.com, is an independent musician & digital marketer, specialising in music marketing and promotion.

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