Online marketing can be tiring! That’s where UpCity comes in. As a trusted advocate for small businesses, we’re here to navigate you through the piles of confusing and suspicious offers. UpCity will lead you in the right direction by providing easy insights and simple solutions for your business marketing plan. Members receives an in-depth, personalized action plan to help optimize their site, and our team is here to help you along the way.  Each week, we’re featuring an in-depth look at one of the recommended tasks built into the UpCity software.

Background

An XML Sitemap is a file containing the list of all the URLs for a website. It provides navigation assistance to search engines for crawling and indexing the entire website quickly and effectively. It’s added to the root directory and not visible to the visitor. It also helps find URLS that may not be discovered by normal crawling processes.

An XML sitemap enables effective and quick navigation of your site for the search engines and the users. The XML sitemap’s hierarchical list of all your webpages will ensure that your site is found and indexed effectively by the search engines. This auto-generated and organized structure allows visitors to find your webpages easier.

Generating and adding an XML sitemap to your website should be an integral component of any SEO effort. Before implementing a sitemap, make sure your pages are published and that there are links to all of the live pages.

Below, we outline all the steps you need for XML Sitemap success:

Section A: Ensure Your Website has a Sitemap
Section B: Generate Sitemap File for Your Website
Section C: Submit XML Sitemap to Google
Section D: Submit XML Sitemap to Bing

… So let’s get started!


Section A: Ensure Your Website has a Sitemap

Step 1: To check the presence of an XML Sitemap on your website, enter the following domain on your browser: http://www.EnterYourDomainName/sitemap.xml. Be sure to replace EnterYourDomainName with your website URL.

Step 2: If your website has a sitemap installed, then you will see a sitemap displayed.

Sitemap Displayed-Example 1

If not, you will notice a 404 error message page. View below for more information on creating a successful sitemap.

Sitemap Not Displayed-404 Error-Example 2


Section B: Generate Sitemap File for Your Website

Step 1: To create a sitemap, you will need to use a quality generator to help automatically create one for you, such as XML-Sitemaps.com or Google XML Sitemaps (if using a WordPress plugin). For the example below, we will demonstrate with http://www.xml-sitemaps.com.

XML-Sitemaps.com-Sitemap Generator Homepage

Step 2: Enter the full URL name of your website, and click the start button.

XML-Sitemaps.com-Enter Details

Step 3: This full process may take a while based on the number of pages and information volume of your site.  Once your website is completely crawled, it will redirect to the sitemap download page.

XML-Sitemaps.com-Sitemap Ready

Step 4: Choose and download the sitemap in your desired format.

Step 5: The next step is to upload the sitemap to the same folder that contains your website homepage.

Step 6: Check if your sitemap was uploaded properly. One verification method is to visit the URL:  http://www.EnterYourDomainName.com/sitemap.xml. Replace EnterYourDomainName with your website URL. Adjust the setting preference if the sitemap does not turn out correctly. With a completed sitemap, you can now submit it to the search engines.


Section C: Submit XML Sitemap to Google

Step 1: Open the Google Webmaster Tools page. Sign into your Google Webmaster account with your username and password.

Google Webmaster Tools Sign In

Step 2: Enter your website URL, and click on the ‘Add a Site’ button.

Google Webmaster-Add A Site

Step 3: After adding your website, Google Webmaster requires you to verify your website. Download the HTML file and upload to your site. Follow the instructions to complete the full verification.

Other verification options include: Domain name provider, Google Analytics account, Google Tag Manager account, or HTML tags.

Webmaster HTML Sitemap File Upload-6

Step 4: After you successfully verify the website, view the “Sitemaps” option on the right side of the webpage. Click on “Sitemaps” to add your sitemap to the Google Webmaster tool.

Why Submit A Sitemap-XML Sitemaps-8

Step 5: Click the “ADD/TEST SITEMAP” button to add the sitemap URL.

No Sitemaps Found - XML Sitemaps-9

Step 6: Type ‘sitemap.xml’ next to your domain name. Then, click “Submit Sitemap.”

Add-Test Sitemap for Google-10

Congratulations, you successfully submitted an XML Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools!

Webmaster Sitemaps Content -11


Section D: Submit XML Sitemap to Bing

Step 1: Open the Bing Webmaster Tools page, and click to sign in using your Bing Webmaster account with your username and password. If you are not yet familiar with Bing Webmasters, learn more here.

Bing Webmaster Tools Homepage -12

Step 2: Click “SUBMIT A SITEMAP” on the right side of the page.

Bing Webmaster Submit Sitemap -14

Step 3: Add your XML Sitemap URL and click “Submit.”

Add Sitemap to Bing Sitemaps-15

Congratulations, you successfully submitted an XML Sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools!


UpCity members, follow the pathway to complete this task in your UpCity account: Optimize your Presence > Advanced Presence Optimization > Website 301: Advanced Site Optimization.