LEARN ALL ABOUT A SITEMAP AND TRY IT ON YOUR WEBSITE

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sitemap

The sitemap is essential for SEO positioning, as it allows Google to crawl your pages and present them as search results. Do you know how to build it? Here, all the keys.

Surely you are passionate about the world of the Internet and have you ever wondered what a sitemap is? What is it for? How to build it? What are its elements? Here we give you all the answers and tips to create one from scratch. Keep reading!

What is a sitemap?

To begin with, you should know that a sitemap is a file that shows all the contents of a website in the form of a guide or index. It is essential for search engines to quickly crawl relevant pages and speed up the loading of a site. 

How to build a sitemap

Now you can start creating your own sitemap easily. To do this, we will give you some tips that you can put into practice right now. Learn more!

Automatic sitemap construction

Save yourself the hassle of building your sitemap manually and try generating tools you can get on the Internet, such as: 

  • XML sitemaps . It is a generator in which you only have to enter the domain of your web page and in seconds you will be able to see your created sitemap.
  • GsiteCrawler. It is a free tool that allows you to generate a sitemap in just a few simple steps. In addition, it analyzes the website completely, pointing out the existence of errors.

Now if you want to create one in WordPress :

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In what format can a sitemap be presented?

A sitemap can be presented in different formats. They are: 

  • XML: Consists of a list of URLs. It serves to describe information and is the most used on the web.
  • TXT: It is a simple text file. It contains a single URL address and its biggest shortcoming is seen in the way a page is organized; furthermore, it omits to report the modification date of the URL.
  • Atom-RSS: its priority is to always record the date of publication. Provides recent URL information and is ideal for blogs.
  • Google Sites: this is a sitemap created automatically by Google and is not modifiable. It is necessary to send it to Google if you want to read the report data.

Now, as you already know their formats, we will talk about the elements that the most used file on the entire web should contain. Keep reading! 

XML sitemap elements

An XML sitemap must be made up of three mandatory tags: 

1. Opening tag <urlset> and closing tag </urlset>

2. <url> tag to separate one page from another. 

3. <loc> tag for each URL

These elements are key to starting a sitemap the right way. You can add optional tags:

1. <lastmod> tag This indicates the last modification of each URL. 

2. <changefrec> tag Indicates the period of time in which a URL changes. 

3. <priority> tag Indicates the importance of a page or indexing priorities. Their values ​​are represented between 0 and 1.   

You are now ready to submit it to Google Search Console

Once your sitemap is created, all that remains is for you to upload it to Google Search Console. Here we explain how!

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First of all, it is important that you know that uploading it is necessary for your site to be recognized or crawled correctly by Google. Follow these steps: 

1. Sign in to your Google Search Console account. If it is the first time you enter, you must write the URL of your website in the “add property” bar. This is in the left column. 

2. Next, the tool will ask you to select the property type: domain or URL prefix. 

3. After the corresponding verification, if everything goes well, you will be able to access the main panel of Google Search Console. 

4. Inside the main panel, go to the left column and click on the “Tracking” tab. Then in the “Sitemaps” option.

5. Within the “Sitemaps” option you must go to the add sitemap to Google tab that says: “Add or test sitemap”. Copy the URL generated in the second step. 

6. Finally click send and you’re done. This is the most suitable way to add a sitemap to Google in easy steps. Test it!       

How long does it take for Google to crawl a site? Well, Google won’t crawl your site right away. However, you can get it to crawl the URL you’re interested in indexing right away.

1. Log in to your Google Search Console account and click on the “Crawl” tab located in the left column. 

2. Click on the “Browse as Google” option and you must manually enter each URL of your website. Then you will need to click on the “Get” tab.

3. Wait for the word “Completed” to be displayed, then click on the “Request indexing” option.

4. Finally, select the option “Crawl only this URL” and the process is finished. 

What is the update frequency of a sitemap?

The update of the sitemap of your website will depend on the objective of this and the regularity of the publications. That is, if your site is not static, you will need to update the sitemap every time you publish new content. 

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If your site is geared towards providing daily news or information, the sitemap should be updated daily. On the contrary, if it is a virtual store, its update must be after a longer period of time has elapsed. 

Do you want to know if your website has a sitemap? 

Your website may or may not have a sitemap. To find out you do not need to install any plugin, much less resort to strange tools. 

  • The easiest way to consult it is through your own website. Enter your site and, in the bar where the URL is located, add the following to the end of it: /sitemap.xml. 
  • Another way is to check the Google console https://search.google.com/search-console/sitemaps
  • Finally, there are free tools like xml-sitemaps

How can you prevent some files from being indexed on it? 

You can prevent the indexing of files manually. That is, adding certain commands that bypass the bot tracking or prevent server abuse. The commands always have to be added in front of the URL and they are User-agent, Disallow, Crawl-delay, Visit-time, and Request-rate. 

Remember, a sitemap is very important for search engines to crawl and index your site correctly. Create it right now and get to the top positions as soon as possible!

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