Ask The Expert 6/26: Sitemaps Trouble and Google+ Local Page Verification
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Question 1: I created the sitemap code on my website using WordPress and added it under the title “sitemap.” However, I am only seeing the code as html, and it does not seem to be working when I check to see if it went live. Help!
Our Response: Typically, it is important for the sitemap to be displayed correctly on your website. A sitemap is essential because it helps navigate visitors and search engines to find each page. A quality sitemap can be quite simple, but it should show the complete website structure with details of each section.
We recommend trying again using the standard sitemap plugin from HTML Sitemap. Use the following short code where you need to insert it again: [html_sitemap]. You will find a clear explanation on how to complete this process from the above URL. Although you don’t need to be an html expert to create sitemaps using the plugin, you may want to enlist the help of a developer if you are still needing more advice. After the sitemap structure is completed, be sure to submit it to Bing and Google using their Webmaster Tools.
Question 2: I am frustrated with my Google+ Local page set up. How do I verify the location on my Google+ page?
Our Response: We understand how frustrating setting up a Google+ Local page can be with all the recent roll-outs and the gradual switch from Google Places to Google Plus. If you maintain a local business, it is important that you are using a Google+ Local page. To create and claim a Google+ Local page, you will first need to create your business’s Google+ page. Select the type of business and fill in all the details. After creating the Google+ Local page and/or connecting it to your previous page, you will go through the verification process. A PIN number is used to verify the page, and you will be sent a postcard with that information. After receiving the PIN, visit your website’s account dashboard to enter it and complete the verification process. Make sure that all your contact and local information is correct on the page before verifying.
How do you know if your location has been verified? When you go to the Google+ page, the bottom left hand corner of the page will display a box that asks “Is This Your Business?” If you click the “Manage this page” button, you can check the business’s verification status. Google advises on the next steps if your page is not yet verified.
Check out our popular list of top Google+ Blogs for more tips on Google Plus Local.
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