Boost Your SEO Game with the Google Site Map
Creating a google site map is a crucial part of optimizing your website for Google search. A sitemap is like your website’s blueprint. It tells the search engines what your website contains and how it is laid out. It also contains the following information:
- How often the pages are updated
- The last recorded change implemented on the site
- How the pages are related to one another
A sitemap is important for all websites but even more so in these instances:
- Websites that have a lot of archived pages not linked to any other part of the site
- Orphaned pages
- Pages that do not have external links
- Websites that have thousands of pages
How to make a site map
Creating a sitemap is pretty simple. There are a lot of free website mapping tool that you can use for this task. Screaming Frog, for instance, is an SEO tool that crawls your website and allows you to create an XML sitemap that is ready for submission to the Google Webmaster Tools Sitemap section.
Strikingly also has its own integrated sitemaps maker. The XML sitemap is automatically generated once you publish your website
How to find sitemap
A website’s sitemap is found in the root directory for that given site. On Strikingly, it is usually found on www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml. It’s important to make sure that you use the www subdomain and not a naked domain - i.e. yourdomain.com. You also want to add either http:// or https:// depending on your website URL. If you cannot find your sitemap on this address, you probably don’t have your website published yet.
Upload sitemap to Google
As a sitemap is meant to be read by a search engine, it’s only logical that you submit this information to Google through the Search Console. You need to be verified as the website’s owner to be able to do this.
Once you’re verified, go to Sitemaps on the Google Webmasters Tool, enter sitemap.xml and click SUBMIT. According to Google, there’s no need to submit a new sitemap each time you make updates to your page content. The search engine automatically finds the new content every time it crawls your website.
Your sitemap contributes to your overall SEO strategy by giving Googlebot the crawl direction for your website. To maximize its benefits, we recommend the following best practices:
- Make sure to submit your site map to Google. Don’t leave the discovery of your pages to chance. If you already have a Google Analytics account, it’s fairly easy to create a connected Google Webmasters Tool access where you can submit your sitemap.
- Optimize your webpages so Google knows which part of your sitemap to prioritize. If you have a website with multiple pages on Strikingly, make sure to update the individual SEO settings for each page.
- Don’t update the modification times on your pages without implementing any substantial change to your content. Some site owners trick search engines, telling them through a time and date change on their page that they have created fresh content. This is usually applicable to blog pages and other parts of your site with timestamps on them.
- Google usually ignores priority settings on a website that’s why Strikingly doesn’t bother you with additional settings for these on your site editor. Don’t worry too much about them.
- Do not keep submitting your sitemap every time you make content changes. Unless the changes are significant as in the case of a website revamp or you have added additional major pages, Google advises against re-submitting your sitemap. As we’ve mentioned earlier, Google will find your new content through your most recent sitemap.