What is XML Sitemap?
The XML sitemap is a roadmap for the search engine crawlers. In simple terms, it’s a list of a website’s URLs. It defines the structure of the website and information what your website includes.
An XML sitemap is a bit of Extensible Markup Language (XML), a standard machine-readable format understood by search engines and other data-munching programs to index your different pages and URL of your website. It helps Search engine crawlers to index maximum pages and resources from your website and improves your organic search ranking in Google in 2017.
What is Importance of XML Sitemaps for SEO?
Web crawlers can read all the information from your website and blogs. The XML Sitemaps are important because it makes easier for Google and other Search engine crawlers to map and index your website’s pages and not just your website. This helps to increase the Website ranking organically.
In SEO it’s very important to boost your organic search result and increase number pages indexed. This can be initiated by submitting the XML Sitemap to Google webmaster as well as other search engines webmasters. A well-structured sitemap can do even more, however it works essentially, as a table of contents for your website, allowing the crawler to get the essentials and index your site accordingly.
The sitemap contains information of the web pages like when the page was last updated, the frequency of updates to the page, the relative importance of pages within a website.
What Does an XML Sitemap Look Like?
The most recommended way to understand a sitemap’s structure is to study closely an existing one.
Here’s what the submitted XML Sitemap information looks like:
- Where the page is located on the website (its URL): <loc>http://www.example.com/about.html</loc>
- When the page was last updated: <lastmod>2005-01-01</lastmod>
- How often the page is changed: <changefreq>daily</changefreq>
- What priority the page has in relation to other pages on the site: <priority>.8</priority>
It becomes very important to regularly update Sitemap especially considering the changes happening on the website and makes the crawler aware the frequency of the content update so that it can schedule and speed up the crawling of your web pages on regular basis.
How to create XML Sitemap manually?
The Sitemap can be created manually on the basis of Sitemap protocols. This process can be followed only for the static website with less number of the pages. Manual creation of XML sitemap is not advisable for the dynamic website with the huge chunk of data and pages.
- Create a text file and save it with extension.XML (i.e sitemap.xml)
- As per the sitemap protocol, the first line of the code should be as below.
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
3. Entry each URL from the website. The <loc> tag is required, the others are optional. <lastmod> include the last date of modification, <changefreq> indicates how often changes are made and <priority> tells what is the relation of this URL from other in the site.
4. The last line of the file: with this final closing tag XML sitemap creation just got completed.
5. Save the text file as sitemap.xml and upload it to your server.
Final Thoughts on submitting XML Sitemap
It’s the very important feature of SEO and essential to rank well in search engine rank page. For the website owners and the bloggers having tons of pages and information, its must to have XML sitemap and get it submitted to all the search engine webmasters. This will boost your page rank help to improve organic traffic to the website.