A sitemap of a website is a directory listing of your website and all of its pages. Sitemaps are important because they guide people to the particular part of the website they are interested in. Sitemaps are also where search engines look at if somebody is looking for a particular keyword or phrase. If you have a sitemap, you can most likely be searched. Creating a sitemap is relatively easy. So let us get started.
With pen and paper, map out your website. That is to say, make a list starting with your home page and ending with the last or ‘deepest’ page on your site or blog. Include in this draft all the links that are on your site and where they point to. Once you have this done and are happy with your editing, you can start to create your sitemap with an HTML editor or even Notepad if you are so inclined. There are also a lot of automated online sitemap generators that you can use for free. You can also download any number of software programs for free that automatically generate sitemaps.
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Use a basic HTML editor, assuming you will do this yourself, and after creating the sitemap, you can upload the sitemap to your web host. You should incorporate a link to your sitemap somewhere on your home page at the very least. Each page’s Footer is another good area to place a link to a site map if you choose not to add a link to your navigation menu. The link will allow visitors to your site to home in on any specific area of interest.
How a Sitemap can Help Your Ranking
Google introduced Google Sitemaps so that web developers could publish lists of links from across their sites. The basic premise is that some sites have many dynamic pages that are only available through the use of forms and user entries. The Sitemap files can then indicate to a web crawler how such pages can be found. All major search engines now jointly support the Sitemaps method of site listing. Since most search engines use the same methods, having a sitemap lets the biggest search engines have the updated page information. Sitemaps do not guarantee all links will be crawled, and being crawled does not guarantee to index. However, a Sitemap is still the best insurance for getting a search engine to learn about your entire site. XML Sitemaps have replaced the older method of “submitting to search engines” by filling out a form on the search engine’s submission page. Now web developers submit a Sitemap directly or wait for search engines to find it.
Adding a Sitemap for Your Blog
You can now add Google sitemap to your blogger.com account and increase your chances of being indexed in Google search engine results. You can add a sitemap to your account to give Google more information about your site’s pages to help Google crawl them more effectively. There are a few steps to follow, but this is by no means a difficult process.
1) log in to sitemap account:
At the top of the screen, you will see the option to add the site. Just paste the URL of your blog (for example. Click on the OK button. Next, you will get a confirmation message. Your site has been added to your account.
2) Now, you need to verify your ownership of the blog to view detailed statistics. Click on the verify link. Google offers two methods of verification. You can either upload an HTML file with a name you specify (which is not possible with a Google Blogger account), or you can add a META tag to your site’s index file. Adding a META tag via template code is possible, so select Add a META tag from a drop-down menu. It will generate code for you. Copy the meta tag code and paste it into your blog templates [HEAD] section in your dashboard. Here is how to do that.
3) Go to your blogger.com and login into your account. Go to your blog, and in the dashboard area, click on a template or look for the ‘HTML’ button and click that. You will then see the ‘code’ for your page or template. Paste the META tag code after the [HEAD] tag but BEFORE the closing [/HEAD] tag. Then click the save template changes button.
4) Now go back to the Google sitemap account page and click the verify button. Google will scan your blog or page for the meta code that you pasted into the [head] section of your blog’s code and return a verified response to you. You should note that, at times, it may take a while for your blog or site to be verified. Generally, if it still has not been verified within 24 hours, do the process again and double-check the verification code’s placement on your template. You can add a sitemap to your account to provide Google with additional information about-about your blog. Google will process your sitemap and provide information on any errors in the sitemaps tab in the webmaster’s tools area.
Done. It may have seemed like a long process, but it is vital if you want your blog to be crawled by the major search engines. This is one of the first things you should do once your blog or site has been published.