Are you eager to know how to get your blog on Google search results?
You have created a blog or a website and now the most fundamental thing you need is-
“Your website should start getting listed on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.“
Why is it so crucial?
It is important because be it a static website with some information or a niche related blog. Your website starts getting its meaning when users start visiting it. That can only happen when you have good understanding of what is a sitemap and how to make sitemap for blogger or any WordPress website for that matter.
I often see bloggers in their initial stage not knowing how to get their website listed on search engines. By the help of sitemaps one can easily get their website on Google or Bing search for free.
In this article, I will explain what is a sitemap and why is it important, how to make sitemap for blogger, how to create sitemap in WordPress, and how to submit sitemap to Google and Bing search engines.
Importance of Sitemap
Sitemaps are important for search engines and human visitors. Take a look at how sitemaps help in the following activites.
Crawling of Search Engine
Sitemaps help search engines understand your website’s structure for better indexing.
It acts as a roadmap for search engine crawling, making it easier to crawl all your websites pages.
Controlling Crawl Frequency
Sitemaps help search engines understand the structure and content of a website, and can influence how frequently a search engine recrawls a page based on its last modification date.
By submitting a sitemap to search engines, webmasters can provide information about when a page was last updated, potentially prompting the search engine to recrawl the page more frequently.
It guarantees that any significant pages on your website are accessible through navigation, even those with intricate designs or lesser internal links.
The meticulous creation and maintenance of new content by website owners requires extensive effort and dedication. A sitemap serves as a valuable tool to assist search engines in efficiently locating and indexing this fresh content.
A sitemap facilitates the swift discovery of newly added pages or updated sections by search engine crawlers. This direct and streamlined process significantly reduces the time required for search engines to index the updated content, ensuring its timely availability in search results. The result is improved visibility and accessibility of the website’s updated content, allowing it to reach a wider audience and drive increased traffic.
Sitemaps allow you to assign priority levels to different pages, indicating their significance in relation to each other.
This helps search engines understand the structure and significance of your website’s pages.
Sitemaps facilitate the identification of broken links or inaccessible pages, allowing for prompt rectification of any issues, ensuring an enhanced user experience.
This is a part of technical SEO, and it is very important for your website’s success.
Better User Experience
For website visitors, an HTML sitemap is a like a navigational help. It provides a clear overview of all the important pages and sections of your site in a structured manner.
With an HTML sitemap, visitors can quickly navigate through “About Us”, “Contact Us”, “Products”, “Services” pages, etc., if any of the mentioned pages are not seen in the header or footer sections.
Crawling Large Websites
Large websites with an expansive network of pages take advantage of the exceptional benefits that sitemaps offer. If you have a large websites, sitemaps ensure search engines don’t overlook any of your content during crawling.
This enhanced visibility directly impacts your ranking potential, bolstering your chances of appearing higher in search results and attracting a larger audience to your website.
Helps in Indexing Non-HTML Content
Sitemaps encompass various forms of content, such as images, videos, and other media, to enhance their prominence in search results.
By leveraging sitemaps alongside SEO strategies, websites can elevate their rankings and gain heightened visibility within search engine results.
What is a Sitemap for a Blog?
A sitemap is an XML file that shows all your content to the crawlers of search engines like Google. By the help of this file, search engines like Google and Bing can easily discover and index your content.
There are many details about a website that crawlers will follow, such as;
- Number of URLs present in the sitemap
- Size of sitemap
- The number of static pages in the sitemap like About me, Contact Us pages, etc.
- Frequency of publishing an article or updating your website
- Number of images, videos, and much more present on a website
In short, creating an XML sitemap will inform the search engines about what exists on your website/blog.
Do not get confused with the rankings. Creating a sitemap will not guarantee your increase in search engine rankings, instead they only allow the search engine crawlers to better crawl your website. Thereby, no information gets missed by the crawlers before indexing your content.
How many types of sitemaps are there?
There are mainly only two types of sitemaps- HTML sitemap and XML sitemap.
An HTML sitemap guides visitors. It is helpful for users to navigate through your website. Generally, this link is most often seen in the footer section of any website. By clicking on that link a user may get to see a visual sitemap of the entire website (if the website owner has made one), or a list of all the URLs on the website. In the above sample image you can see a list of URLs available on a website.
On some websites, you can find an HTML sitemap in the site’s footer or in the left sidebar widget, with other important links.
The above image is an example of an XML Sitemap Index file. It is readable and properly understood by us.
The exact XML version of the above image is shown below. This is what the search engine crawlers require.
An XML sitemap is a machine-readable set of information which contains all website related stuff that search engine crawlers are eager to crawl. So, that they can index all the crawled content, and you get your content in the search results.
Why is Sitemap so important in Blogging?
Just as how a map is important for you before leaving for a road trip, similarly a sitemap is crucial for a new website. It lets your website get crawled by crawlers which leads to indexing. Thereafter, your website and its content/information is available whenever someone searches for any particular query on the search engine.
It is one of the fundamental feature of SEO (search engine optimization). It doesn’t matter whether you are building your website from scratch or giving it a new overhaul, a sitemap is very important.
A properly structured sitemap makes your website searchable by search engines whenever users look for certain keywords that are associated with the content you have provided.
That being said, search engines can easily calculate the number of pages on your site, study what these pages contain, and how often your website gets updated.
Why do we need to manually Generate a Sitemap for Blogger Blogs?
Due to some technical cache problem in the Blogger Dynamic Sitemap.xml, we have to manually generate a sitemap.
Your Blogspot sitemap index file will automatically submit only a max of 3000 posts to Google Search Console or Google Webmaster. Meaning, 20 sub-pages where each page contains only 150 links.
As per the calculation, 20 X 150 = 3000 URLs.
There is a small fix for the above problem…
Do it manually by using online tools which do not require you to know any technical coding.
How to make Sitemap for Blogger?
Starting a Blog in Blogger is so easy and you don’t even need to make any payments for hosting. You can also check our guide on how to start a blog for free on Blogger and WordPress
This article will teach you how to create a good sitemap. It holds good for users who blog on Blogger blogs that contain a blogspot.com address in the URL, as well as blogs that use a custom domain.
In this article, we will look at two sitemap generating tools –
First Tool –
Go to the URL Blogger Sitemap Generator and type in your complete Blog URL (even including http:// or https://)
Next, type the no. of post count in the adjacent field.
Click on Submit and wait for your results.
After your results get generated you will see your Blog’s URL and no. of Published Posts.
Note: I would like you to ponder upon one important concept. If your blog has been there for quite some time now, chances are that your blog may be auto generating RSS Atom Feeds.
In-case you are having no problems with recent blog posts getting indexed by search engines like Google and Bing. Then I would suggest you to leave the above steps.
But, if your recent blog posts are not getting indexed properly then I would highly recommend you to stop generating RSS atom feeds and start with sitemap.xml
Submitting both will jeopardize the process of indexing. Therefore, do not submit both of them That being said, if you look a little below your generated results. You will see SITEMAP.XML
Alternate Step – If you face any problem with the above steps.
If you have to enable custom robots.txt, then do so by going to your Blogger Dashboard >> Settings >> Crawlers and Indexing >> Enable Custom Robots.txt.
Click on enable custom robots.txt and paste the following code after clicking on enable custom robots.txt
That is your XML sitemap file is generated.
After generating the sitemap, you will need to submit it to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
How to Add Sitemap to Google Search Console?
For doing so you will have to follow the steps below;
- Sign in to Google Search Console. Use the credentials which you are using for your Blogger platform.
- Add a property – This step is required if you have not yet added a property.
- Click on Sitemap, available on the left side bar.
- Add the SITEMAP.XML – The one generated by the online sitemap generator.
- Click on Submit – Submit Sitemap to Google
Let us look at the steps in more detail;
Go to Google Search Console. If your website is new, you will have to add a property (The complete URL of your website) to the Google Search Console.
For doing so, Click on the URL Prefix option and start typing your complete property and the press continue. For me, it is ‘https://www.bloggingidol25.blogspot.com’
After completing that task you will be taken to the dashboard of Google Search Console. There look out for Sitemaps on the left hand sidebar.
Click on Sitemaps, add the SITEMAP.XML which you had created from the online sitemap generator, and press the submit button.
Following that, you will be notified by Google stating, Sitemap Submitted Successfully.
It will also be shown in the recent submitted sitemaps category, within your property.
Second Tool (Alternative)
Using this tool is not necessary. In-case you have any problems with the first tool, you can use this tool.
For using this tool go to XML Sitemap Generator
Here you will see unlike the first tool, there are a few more requirements to input before you can generate your Sitemap file.
After completing the required parameters, you will need to give your email address and go through a human verification CATCHA process, before you can generate the Sitemap file.
The generated result will be emailed to you on the email address provided.
Following that, you will have to perform the same steps of submitting the sitemap to Google Search Console.
How to Submit Blogger Sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools?
To complete this task you will have to follow the steps;
- Sign in to Bing Webmaster Tools – Only applies if you have not added the website to Bing
- Add the website to Bing Webmaster or Use the import feature to import from Google Search Console.
- Submit Blogger Sitemap to Bing.
Let us look at the steps in more detail;
Go to Bing Webmaster Tools. If you have never been here you will have to sign in.
Do sign in with the login credentials you are using for your Blogger Website/blog. After successfully signing in you will see the Bing webmaster dashboard.
From here, you have two options. You can either type in the complete URL of your Blogger Blog or simply use the Import feature, to import your website from Google Search Console.
Here, I have clicked on the Import button.
Allow Bing to import your data from Google Search Console. This will require you to sign in to your Google Account and provide Bing a view-only permission for accessing information.
After completing this step, Bing dashboard will show you the websites linked to that particular Google Account.
Select the website, and click on Import.
After completing that you will see your website shown on the Bing Dashboard.
After clicking on the website you will see your Blogger website Sitemap has been successfully submitted to Bing Webmaster Tools.
In-case that does not happen, you can click on the SUBMIT A SITEMAP button, shown on the right hand-side.
This is how you create and submit a Blogger sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
I know, the task is a little tedious when you are at Blogger. But, that is not the case when using WordPress. The simplicity of activities while using WordPress for Blogging, is phenomenal.
Create an XML Sitemap in WordPress using Yoast SEO
Creating an XML Sitemap in WordPress is as easy as switching on a feature on any online tool.
Seriously, the amount of time it takes is just a few seconds…
For doing so, you will have to log in to your WordPress admin account.
You should be having the Yoast SEO plugin installed on your WordPress. If not then you can get it from here.
Once you’ve got the Yoast plugin installed, hover your mouse on the Yoast icon located at the top of your WordPress dashboard, go to SEO settings, and then click on General.
This will open the General Dashboard of Yoast. You will need to click on the Features Tab.
The features tab will show you all the SEO features that Yoast provides.
Scroll below and you should see the XML Sitemaps feature. Turn it On by toggling the switch and click on the question mark.
After clicking on the question mark Yoast provides you with a link to view your XML Sitemap. Click on that link.
This completes how to generate an XML Sitemap on WordPress using Yoast
Submitting your WordPress XML Sitemap to Google Search Console
For completing this task, you will have to copy the last portion of the sitemap URL.
After copying that portion paste it into Google Search Console.
Select your appropriate property and click on Sitemaps. Following that paste the Sitemap URL and click on Submit.
I have done this task earlier. Therefore, you can already see my submitted sitemap below.
This guide will be useful in understanding how to make sitemap for Blogger and WordPress. It will also help you in submitting the sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
Now, it is your turn to try out every step explained in the article, and let me know if this information was helpful or not.
I would also be happy in knowing how submitting sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools, helped in your search rankings. However, we do realize that there is no direct relation between submission of sitemap with increase in search engine rankings. But, the submission does help the crawlers to stay up to date with your content.
Please share your valuable inputs on the effects of creating and adding sitemap. If you need any help then do let me know in the comments section.