What Is An XML Sitemap and How To Create One

By Lisa


Category: SEO

What is an XML Sitemap?

The XML sitemap is an XML file which contains all of your website’s URLs. This file is crawled by search bots so that they can find all of your web pages.

Why it’s important:

  • Search engines expect you to have it
  • Search engines use the XML sitemap to discover all of your webpages from one place

Lucky for you, if Yoast has been set up correctly then you already have your XML sitemap created. To verify navigate to the “XML sitemaps” section of the Yoast plugin toolbar.

Ensure that the sitemap is enabled. To test your sitemap simply click the link “XML sitemap”

XML Sitemap

Getting Geeky – Advanced Tip:

The general, post types, excluded posts, and taxonomies tabs allow you to fully customize your sitemap. If you have your tag pages, for example, set to noindex then you’d want to remove those pages from your sitemap via the taxonomies tab and selecting “not in sitemap”.

Common Mistakes

  • Disabling the XML sitemap
  • Using multiple sitemap plugins
  • Including deindexed pages/posts within the sitemap

Additional Notes

  • The XML sitemap is not what you want to use in your footer. Instead, use an HTML sitemap (include link to previous module about HTML sitemap or mention that it’ll be talked about later on)

Additional Resources:

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