Using the Sitemap, webmasters can inform search engines about the web pages and posts that are available for crawling on their blog. Sitemap – is an XML-file, which contains all URL-addresses of blog’s pages and posts, combined with the metadata associated with each URL-address (date of last modification, frequency of changes, the priority of the page) so that search engines can crawl the blog more correctly.
Usually, search engine crawlers are finding new blog posts by incoming links or links from another pages of your blog. By adding a sitemap to your blog, you can direct search engines to all your content. Creating a Sitemap for your WordPress blog is one of the first and important steps in search engine optimization of your blog (i.e. SEO).
Types of Sitemaps
There are several types of blog Sitemaps:
- Sitemap for pages and posts – most frequently used;
- Specialized Sitemaps for images, video, mobile, news, geo and code search.
In this post I will show you how to create usual sitemap and sitemap for images.
Creating a Sitemap for WordPress Blog
The easiest way to create a Sitemap for your blog – is to use a WordPress plugin – Google XML Sitemaps. This plugin will create a sitemap for your blog and will update it every time you publish a new post.
So, download this plugin, unzip it and use your FTP client to upload it to your plugin directory (yourblog.com/wp-content/plugins). Go to your WordPress “Dashboard“=>”Plugins” and activate the it.
Now you need to go to “Settings“=>”XML-Sitemap” and click on “Click here” link to create your first blog Sitemap. This sitemap will be situated at http://yourblog.com/sitemap.xml.
You do not need to do any settings because the plugin is already configured, but I would recommend you to change “Post priority” to “Do not use automatic priority calculation“. Don’t forget to save your changes.
Your main Sitemap is ready and it’s time to submit it to search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. If you don’t know how to do that, you can read my anther tutorial: Adding WordPress Blog to Google, Yahoo and Bing Search Engines.
Creating an Image Sitemap for WordPress Blog
Image Sitemap works the same way as usual sitemap, but it’s containing the links and information about all your images from your posts. This kind of sitemap is really useful for Photoblogs, blogs which are sharing free resources (vector graphics, clip arts, web design elements) or for simple blogs with illustrations. This kind of sitemap will help Google Image search engine to find all images and this can give you some extra traffic to your blog.
To create a Sitemap for images (or Image Sitemap) for your WordPress blog, you need to install one special plugin – Google XML Sitemap for Images. Download it, install it on your blog and activate it. Now go to your “Dashboard“=>”Tools“=>”Image Sitemap” and click on “Generate Image Sitemap“. Done, now you have your sitemap and you can submit it to search engines the same way as usual sitemap. The URL of your map is http://yourblog.com/sitemap-image.xml.
If you have any questions or suggestions, just leave a comment!