A sitemap is exactly as it sounds…a map of your site. When Google goes around crawling new pages to put in search engine results, sometimes blogs with only a few back links (meaning other sites linking into it) get missed. In other words, if you are a little blogger or a new blogger, Google might need some help finding you.
If you own a self-hosted WordPress blog, here’s how you can submit a sitemap to Google so it will find all your pages and posts.
Verify your ownership with Google.
1. Go to Google webmaster tools. You may need to sign up for an account first.
2. First you will need to verify you are the owner of your blog. Click on the red button that says Add a Site.
3. Type in your URL and click on Continue.
4. It is going to ask you to download a file. Click on the blue html verification file and save it somewhere on your harddrive.
5. Now go to your cPanel login on your host (open a new window and keep the Google webmaster tools window open). For example, if you have Hostmonster or Bluehost, go to the homepage and login.
6. When you arrive at the login, go to the File Manager.
7. It’s going to ask you what directory you want to go to. Click on the document root for your URL.
8. Once you see the folders, go to the button that says upload. Upload the file you saved onto your computer.
9. Now go back to the webmaster tools and click on step 3.
10. It should open up a new webpage with gobbly gook on it. That’s what you want!
11. Go to the webmaster tools screen one more time and hit verify. Now you are the manager of your blog and can submit a sitemap.
Download a sitemap plugin
*It’s important to note that if you have SEO by Yoast, the sitemap is INCLUDED. No download plugin is necessary. Simply go to your dashboard, click on SEO, then sitemaps, and click the button to get the URL of your map.*
1. Open up a separate window and go to your WordPress dashboard.
2. Under plugins, type into the search bar google sitemap plugin.
3. Install the plugin. Without going into all the nitty gritty of the plugin, as soon as you activate it, it creates a sitemap for you.
4. Go to the settings page of the plugin and you’ll see the URL of the file it created.
5. You want to submit that URL to Google.
6. Go back to your Google webmaster tools and click on your site icon.
7. Click on Sitemaps (it has little arrows >>).
8. Click ADD/TEST Sitemap.
9. It’ll pull up a box and all you have to do is add the end of the file name (which should be sitemap.xml).
10. When it’s done, it’ll say click here.
11. Congratulations, you just submitted a sitemap to Google so it can crawl ALL of your pages!