SEO Basics: What are Sitemaps and Their Importance
We learned earlier what a Googlebot is and that they learn by utilizing sitemaps and sets of links. The question now is what is a sitemap and the importance of using it to your advantage.
What is a sitemap?
A sitemap is a list or visual representation of interconnected pages and their hierarchy. Most sitemaps show the relationships of pages to each other. They can also show how a user would move through a program. A website sitemap is used to provide bots and spiders a comprehensive list of all of the pages in a website. A properly set up sitemap will automatically update when new content has been added. They can also notify search engines of these changes as well.
How to add a sitemap to Google Search Console.
Step 1. Log into Google Search Console.
Step 2. Make sure you have added your property (website) to Search Console.
Step 3. Navigate to Crawl and Then Sitemap in menu on the left side.
Step 4. Click the Red button at the top right that says Add/Test Sitemap.
Step 5. insert the path of your sitemap and hit submit.
Step 6. You have added your sitemap!
How to add a sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools.
Step 1. Login to Bing Webmaster Tools.
Step 2. Make sure you have added your property (website) to Webmaster Tools.
Step 3. Navigate to Configure My Site and then Sitemaps
Step 4. Enter your sitemap url in the submit a sitemap box and hit submit.
Step 5. You have added your sitemap!
Why adding them to these tools helps!
Now that you have added your sitemaps to Google and Bing it will help the search engines know when updates are made. Each time updates are made to your site such as pages or posts the sitemap will be updated telling the search engines that an update has been made. This will ensure that your site is crawled and indexed.
In short adding your sitemap to both Google and Bing should be on every website owners SEO basics short list. It will only help your site preform better within the search results and get you more traffic.