A sitemap is like an index of your website. It is written in XML, a form of markup language for the internet that allows you to exchange documents on the internet.
It isn’t necessary that you know this in order to use sitemaps. What is important is that you create one, add it to your site, and then use it to get your site indexed by the search engines, especially Google.
Once you have built your website and added all of the content to it, your next step is to build your sitemap. Google offers plenty of tools you may use in its Webmaster tools section. If you are using a content management system, like WordPress, you may want to check first and see if there is a script that will generate the sitemap for you. This will save you a lot of time.
If you don’t have any type of scripts available, then you will need to find a sitemap building tool. There are three types of tools: scripts you may add to your site, software, or online tools you may use. What you choose to use will depend on your level of expertise, as well as your budget. Some tools are free, and others you will have to pay to use them.
If you want to use online tools, then do a search in your favorite search engine for “free sitemap generator”. You may also visit the Webmaster Tools section at Google for a list of scripts and software they recommend.
Download your tools and create your sitemap. Once you have created your sitemap then you need to upload it to your website. Make sure you put it in the main directory of the website you have created the sitemap for. (You will need to know the path to this file when you submit to Google, and make sure you name it sitemap.xml.)
If you don’t have a Google account, you will need to sign up for one. It’s free. Sign up and then log into the Google Webmaster Tools section. When you first log in, you will see the dashboard. It will ask you to add a site. Type in the URL to your website, like this: yourdomain.com.
The next step is to verify your site. There are two ways to do this: a verification file or a meta tag in the header of your index file. Either upload your verification document or add the tag to your index and then reload the index.
Once you have completed this part, click on the link in the sidebar that says “Sitemap”. This is where you will add the link to your sitemap. This is very important. Although Google will begin to index your site, they won’t index your site through your sitemap, which is faster. The reason is that they won’t know your sitemap exists.
Finally, check for errors. Google offers an extensive collection of tools to help you analyze your site and check for problems. If you get any errors, read the documentation Google will offer you to help you solve the problem.