Sitemap helps Google and other Search Engine crawlers understand the structure of your site and the links in it. Learn how to create a Sitemap for your WordPress Blog and make your Blog more Search Engine Friendly.
What is a Sitemap?
Sitemaps are similar to what Maps or Guidebook are for the real World. They show how information are structured on your site. A simple Sitemap would consist of a XML file that list URLs in your site along with additional META DATA. A Sitemap along with URL information mentions when it was, “Last Updated”, “How important it is”, “How often it changes” etc.
Search Engine Crawlers (also known as bots) keeps visiting your site again and again based on your site’s update frequency. When they to inspect your site, they are looking for three important things:
- Look for updated content in existing WebPages based on their timestamps.
- Look for fresh content and add it to their Index.
- Add a weight and relevance factor w.r.t. keywords for each Web Page
So now you can see how Search Engine Bots that understand sitemaps can really benefit from having Supplement information about the structure of your site. Sitemaps does not guarantee inclusion by the Search Engine Bots but they certainly help them do a better job at Crawling.
How important are Sitemaps?
As said Sitemaps are not compulsory or vital for your site / blog. In fact they are not really needed if you have a well layout site. However your sitemaps can really help your site if
You have a new site.
The content on your site are not well linked. Your site misses a good navigational structure.
You site does not contain easy readable content for the Crawlers like Flash, Video, Audio and Images.
If you have a new site or a site not well read by Search Engine Crawlers, a good idea would be to register with Google Webmaster Tools and update your Blog / Site XML Sitemap.
How to make Sitemap for your WordPress Blog
Here you can learn a simple way to create an Effective Sitemap of your WordPress Blog which helps you do the following things:
- Help create XML Sitemap compliant with major Search Engines.
- Update it on every post edit or new post created.
- Gives you an option to Manually enforce building of the Sitemap.
- Prioritize your important Pages and Post Structure.
- Determine what portion of your Blog to include and what to exclude. You also select on a Categorical level.
- Set different update/build frequency based on Homepage, Pages, Posts, Categories, Author Pages, Tag Pages and Archives.
Download “GOOGLE XML SITEMAPS” from the “Add New Plug in Panel” or from the following link:
Setting up the Plug in for a SEO rich Blog
1. Basic Options
2. Priority Options: Selecting the second option based on “Comment Count”
3. Selecting the Site Content: Better idea would be to exclude category, tag and author pages. Also remember to exclude Categories that hold Site news or Posts which just aggregates links outside your site.
4. Change Frequency: Frequency should be directly depended on your posting frequency. Better idea for the updates would be “POST FREQUENCY divide by 2”.
5. Prioritizing content of your Blog: Homepage should be 1. Now if your Blog is made to look like a Static Pages (most affiliate marketers do that) give Page priority should be 0.6 or 0.8 and the post priority should be 0.2; but if your Blog contains more Posts like any other regular blog, reverse the order. Category, tag and Author Pages should have a minimum priority. Archives Pages can have a priority between 0.4 to 0.8 (the treatment is different because it holds all your Post links).