When developing new websites, I have a set of plugins that I always install, as standard, no matter the website or business type. In my opinion, all websites should have an XML sitemap, and the plugin I choose to install to automatically create them is Yoast Seo.
What are XML sitemaps?
An XML sitemap lists all pages of your website. This helps Google to find all the important pages, making it easier to crawl your site and index your pages. Having XML sitemaps can be good for SEO, helping your website to rank better.
An Example of a Sitemap.
This is an example of the sitemaps on our site, created by Yoast Seo plugin. Some plugins will only create one sitemap, where Yoast Seo creates multiple for various sections of your website.
You can see that separate sitemaps are created for posts, products, pages, categories etc. Do you notice the Last Modified date and time? This is a really important part of the output of the Yoast Seo plugin. When you update or create a new page or post etc the Last Modified date changes in the XML sitemap, letting Google know that there is new content to crawl and index. Updated XML sitemaps will encourage Google to crawl your site sooner.
You’ve created your website XML sitemap. Now what?
Now that you have your website XML sitemaps, you want Google to find them asap. To do this, you need to add it to your Google Search Console account. Log into your Search Console account, and go to the ‘Index’ tab. Add or update your XML sitemap.
If you have more questions or would like an XML sitemap set up for your website, contact us.
Visit Yoast Seo and XML Sitemaps for a more in-depth article.