How To Setup an XML Sitemap in Google
Setting up an XML sitemap is one of the first things you should do when starting your SEO effort. The purpose of the XML Sitemap is to keep the search engines up to date on all of your published pages. By letting the bots know your pages exist, they can capture that data and write if back to their database.
The Sitebuilder automatically updates the XML sitemap each time a new page is created and added to the menu.
Note: Non-menu pages are not added.
Here's the process. Working in multiple windows is the most efficient way to accomplish this.
- Logon and go to Edit Site, Settings, Search Engines
- Click the Generate Sitemap Icon and then Generate new Sitemap file.
- Your new sitemap will be created.
- Next, you need to setup accounts in Google and Bing so you can authenticate and submit your Sitemap.
This process is specific to Google. See the other tutorials for Bing:
- Create an account at Google if you don't already have one.
- Logon to Webmaster Tools at www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
- Click the Add a Site Button and enter your URL, i.e www.yoursitename.com Click the Continue button.
- Select a Verification method. If you select the meta tag, copy the code in the dialog box and paste it in a text editor such a notepad or just keep it in the clipboard.
- Go to Edit, Home Page, Page Properties, Search Engines. Now paste the code in the Advanced - Page specific Head/Meta tags field. This will place the code on the home page of your site.
- Save your settings.
- Go back to the Webmaster tools window and select "Verify". If you did this correctly, you site should now be verified with Google.
- Now that your site is verified, you need to add your XML Sitemap to your webmaster interface.
- In the Webmaster Tools dashboard, go to Site Configuration, Sitemaps and select the Submit a Sitemap button. A text field will appear. This is where you need to enter your Sitemap location. You just need to enter the Sitemap extension. It should be "sitemap_index.xml" (without quotes). Click Submit.
- Congratulations, you have completed the sitemap submission process with Google.
- We will go into more detail on Webmaster Tools in another lesson/article.