A sitemap is a tool for search engines like Google or Bing to determine out of which pages a website consists.
It’s possible that a given page on your website is important, but doesn’t have any hyperlinks from internal or external pages. Search engines aren’t able to find this given page (and so aren’t searchers neither) if you don’t use a sitemap.
Obviously it’s important to have indexed all pages in search engines. Therefor you can create a sitemap and send it to search engines.
How to create a sitemap?
The website XML-sitemaps let’s you generate a sitemap in an easy and fast way. This website treats your site the same way as a search engine does. So you have to add unlinked pages manually afterwards.
Just use the following settings to generate the sitemap;
- Starting URL: Your full domain name;
- Change frequency: How often does your page change? This really depends on the page type;
- Last modification: Put this on server’s response;
- Priority: This is to determine the website structure. Set this to automatically.
After the website has generated the sitemap you can save it as an XML file. Now you can add URL’s manually if you want. Afterwards you have to upload the XML file to the main folder of your website. Can can use any given FTP tool for this.
Then you go to the biggest search engines (Google and Bing) to “tell” them where to find your sitemap. This works as follows;
Log in to your Google account and go to Google Webmaster Tools. Choose to add a website. You have to verify it to prove you are the owner of the website.
Choose “Site configuration” en then “Sitemaps”. Here you can submit the URL of your sitemap. Google will pick it up from now. They will do this immediately or in a few weeks, you can’t know in advance.
Bing basically works the same. Go to Bing Webmaster Tools and log in. You have to submit and verify your website here also.
Now choose “Explore” and then “Sitemaps”. Over here you can submit your sitemap in the same way as you did in Google.