What is a Sitemap? How to Generate a Sitemap?

what is a sitemap

What is a Sitemap?

A sitemap is a road map to your website that helps search engines identify, crawl, and index all of your content. Sitemaps also inform search engines what are the most important pages on your website.

How to Create a Sitemap?

Are using WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin can generate a sitemap for you.

The biggest advantage of utilizing Yoast to create your XML sitemap is that it automatically maintains (dynamic sitemap). So, every time you upload a new page or post to your website, a link to that page is instantly added to your sitemap file.

Structure-of-sitemap
Sitemap Structure

You can not use Yoast, several alternative WordPress plugins are available, such as Google XML Sitemaps, that you may use to generate a sitemap.

 xml-sitemap-example
XML sitemap generator

What if you aren’t a WordPress user?

No need to be afraid. You may generate a sitemap using a third-party service such as XML-Sitemaps.com. These will generate an XML file so that you can use it as your sitemap.

XML Sitemap
XML Sitemap

How to submit a sitemap to search console step-by-step

Log in to your Google Search Console account to submit your sitemap.

Then, in the sidebar, go to “Index” “Sitemaps.”

Search-Console-sitemap
Sitemap Search Console

If you’ve already submitted your sitemap, a list of “Submitted Sitemaps” will appear on this page. In either way, enter the URL of your sitemap into this form to submit it. And then click the Submit button.

Submission-to-Search-Console
Sitemap Submission to Search Console

If everything is in order, you should begin to see information about your sitemap on this page under the “Submitted Sitemaps” section. Errors can be identified using the Sitemap Report. Once Google has crawled your sitemap, click on it under “Submitted Sitemaps.” If you notice the “Sitemap index processed successfully,” Google crawled your sitemap successfully.

submission successfully
Sitemap submission successfully

You may also see the Coverage Report for your sitemap by clicking on the little bar chart symbol. This report displays how many URLs Google discovered in your sitemap, and how many of those pages were indexed by Google.

after submission
Sitemap after submission

What exactly is a Sitemap Submission?

Simply put, a sitemap file contains all of your site URLs, and you submit that file to search engines to inform them of all of your pages and blog posts. Sitemap files are used by search engine bots to crawl and index your website.

Types of sitemaps?

There are two kinds of sitemaps:

  1. HTML sitemap (written in Hypertext Markup Language)
  2. XML sitemap (written in Extensible Markup Language)

There are two main types of XML Sitemaps.

  • Index Sitemap (how many URL sitemaps a website have)
  • URL Sitemap (contain final information of URLs on the web page)

XML sitemaps are further classified into three types.

  1. Web page sitemaps (commonly known as XML sitemap in the community)
  2. Sitemaps for images (details of images and their URLs on website)
  3. Sitemaps for videos (what web pages have videos embedded in them and their details)

So, the final tree of sitemap classification we have is like follows:

  • Sitemap in XML
  • Sitemap Index
  • Web page sitemaps
  • Images’ Sitemaps
  • Sitemap URL
  • Videos’ sitemaps
  • Sitemaps in HTML

What’s an HTML sitemap exactly?

As previously said, an HTML sitemap is a map that provides information about website resources and their area. These sitemaps are mostly for users to help them discover their particular products on a website or to conveniently browse a website.

What exactly are XML Sitemaps?

XML is a language that is used to store information about an item in a systematic or pre-defined way. This style is unreadable to humans, but search engines recognize what is written and the objective of the writing. As a conclusion, we may state that XML sitemaps are generally used by search engines to create a map of a website’s resources with their information. These sitemaps are used by search engines to index websites quickly and securely.

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