The WordPress plugin ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ generates a sitemap. its an ideal plugin since it creates the right files to Google for better indexing of a websites posts and pages.
This post is a step by step guide/tutorial with images on how to install and configure the free version of ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ WordPress plugin to improve website ranking and traffic.
Google XML Sitemaps is compatible with Google, Baidu, Bing, Yandex. Sitemaps. View Google XML Sitemaps features.
Installing Google XML Sitemaps Plugin
To install ‘Google XML Sitemaps’, go to Plugins > Add new and on the top right corner next to ‘Keyword’ type Google XML Sitemaps. Wait for 1-2 seconds and the plugin will appear on the left. Then click its ‘Install Now’ button , wait for 1-2 seconds and then click its ‘Activate’ button.
Disable other Sitemap Plugins
If you use ‘Yoast’ WordPress plugin, then you should deactivate it sitemap generation feature. To do that go to the menu ‘SEO > General > Feature’, click on the XML sitemap button so that it goes ‘Off’ and click ‘Save changes’
How to Access Google XML Sitemaps Settings
To configure ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ plugin, go to ‘Setting > XML Sitemap’.
How to Notify Search Engines of New Sitemap
In the settings page of ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ plugin it will display ‘Search engines haven’t been notified yet‘. You need to click the link ‘your sitemap’ in the line ‘Notify Search Engines about your sitemap or your main sitemap and all sub-sitemaps now‘. This will trigger the search engines notification. After that, you will see a refreshed window with the notification ‘Ping was executed, please find below the result.
The next step is that you must add on your ‘Google Search Console’ the sitemap file extension ‘sitemap.xml’ that is created by the plugin. If you don’t know what is ‘Google Search Console’ then google it and create an account (you must do that to check your website progress and ranking).
Add New Sitemap in Google Search Console
In the ‘Google Search Console’, select from the menu ‘Sitemaps’, and on the top ‘Add a new sitemap’, add the text ‘sitemap.xml’ and click the ‘Submit’ button. You will then see below the addition of the sitemap.xml entry. The status will change to ‘Success’ when Google will read correctly your website sitemap. Check the ‘Status’ next day since it might take some time.
The ‘Discovered URLs’ will eventually show the number of posts, pages etc of your website.
It’s good to know that your sitemap URL is located on https://YourDomain.com/sitemap.xml.
Further below you will see additional settings like ‘Change Frequencies’ and ‘Priorities’. These are used to let Googlebot to know how often and with what priority to read your files. If you change often the contents of a page or if there are new post comments, then its better to increase frequency and priority.
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