How to Create a XML Sitemap For Your Website and Submit It To Google

When you are setting up your website to be SEO optimized, one of the many things you will want to make sure you do is create a XML sitemap, and then submit that sitemap URL to Google via your Google Search Console account. After reading this tutorial you will:

  • Know what a XML sitemap is and why it is important for SEO
  • How to create your own XML sitemap for your website
  • How to set-up and connect your free Google Search Console account to your website
  • How to submit your sitemap to Google

What is a XML Sitemap?

An XML Sitemap is a document that outlines the structure of your website for search engine crawlers. It will exist at a specific URL on your website. It is not meant for human-eyes, but it allows Google to easily archive the information on your site. It will list all of the pages, posts, categories, and give them a hierarchy. Although Google can find this information without having a sitemap uploaded and submitted to them, it makes it a lot more difficult and it could take years for Google to recognize your site this way. The good news is creating one and submitting one is super easy!

Why Is Submitting a XML Sitemap Important For SEO?

Simply put, if you don’t let Google know you exist, it could take months if not years for Google to know you exist. Especially if you don’t have other big, established, well-known sites on the internet linking to yours. Approximately 380 websites are made every MINUTE. That is 22,800 websites every hour; 547,200 websites every day; and 199,728,000 websites every year.

How Do I Create a XML Sitemap?

There are a few ways you can create a XML Sitemap. I am going to walk you through some of the easiest, quickest, and free ways to create one.

How to Create a XML Sitemap for WordPress Sites

  • Download the free Yoast plugin for your WordPress site
  • Go into the Yoast SEO plugin settings and under the ‘Features’ tab make sure that the toggle option for XML sitemaps is turned on (by default it should be)
  • That’s it! Your URL for your website’s sitemap should be located at: www.yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml
  • Next step will be copying and pasting that URL into your Google Search Console account, skip ahead!

How to Create a XML Sitemap for Squarespace Sites

  • Your Squarespace site comes with a site map using the .xml format, so you don’t need to create one manually. 
  • It should be located at the following URL: www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml
  • Next step will be copying and pasting that URL into your Google Search Console account, skip ahead!

How to Create a XML Sitemap for Showit Sites

  • Showit automatically generates a sitemap of your Showit pages when you publish your site. However, this sitemap will not include your blog posts (which are hosted on WordPress when you create a Showit site)
  • Your Showit sitemap should be located at the following URL: www.yourdomain.com/siteinfo.xml
  • To create a sitemap for your blog posts you would need to follow the steps for creating a XML sitemap for WordPress lsited above by downloading the free Yoast plugin for your WordPress site. Please note that getting access to this will depend on your Showit package tier.
  • Next step will be copying and pasting these URLs (the www.yourdomain.com/siteinfo.xml and the www.yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml if you created the Yoast one for your blog) into your Google Search Console account, skip ahead!

How to Create a XML Sitemap for Wix Sites

  • Every Wix site contains a sitemap that is automatically generated
  • You should be able to find it at the following URL: www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml
  • Next step will be copying and pasting that URL into your Google Search Console account, skip ahead!

How Do I Connect My Google Search Console Account To My Website?

First step is to make sure you have signed up for a free Google Search Console account.

How to Connect Google Search Console to WordPress

How to Connect Google Search Console to SquareSpace

  1. In the Home Menu, click Analytics.
  2. Click Search Keywords.
  3. Click Connect in the panel’s pop-up.
  4. Log into the Google account you want to connect to your site. If you have multiple Google accounts, ensure you select the correct one.
  5. Review the permissions, then click Allow
  6. Wait 72 hours for the data to populate.

How to Connect Google Search Console to Showit

  • It can get a little more complicated with a Showit site. Here is the step breakdown from the Showit customer service team:

There are other ways to do this, but with Showit, this is the best way–>

**Domain name provider method**

You can verify your site via your domain name provider. To use this method, you must be able to sign in to your domain name provider (for example, GoDaddy.com or networksolutions.com) and either add a new TXT or CNAME record.

Choose the domain name provider method on the verification details page for your site, and follow the instructions shown. Depending on your domain registrar, you will be offered one of the following methods:

  • Directly in Search Console. Some domain registrars enable you to verify your site directly from Search Console. This is the easiest way to verify your site, and it’s currently available for GoDaddy, eNom, and a few others.
  • Adding a DNS TXT or CNAME record. If your registrar doesn’t enable the verification tool, you can verify by adding a DNS record. The verification tool provides instructions for this, and where possible, these instructions will be specific to your registrar. By default, we’ll show you instructions for adding a DNS TXTrecord. If this method isn’t available, we’ll show you instructions for adding a CNAME record.

Voila! Your site is verified with Google.

How to Connect Google Search Console to Wix

  • Please note that you can only do this with a premium Wix site.
  • Click here to get started with Wix SEO Wiz.  Complete step 1 of the checklist. 
  • Click Connect to Google.
  • If you cannot use Wix’s SEO Wiz tool then you must manually verify your site for Google Search Console instead.

How Do I Submit My XML Sitemap to Google?

  1. Select your site on your Google Search Console home page.
  2. Click Sitemaps from the menu on the left.
  3. Type in the URL for your sitemap in the text field next to your domain. 
  4. Click Submit.

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