How to Submit Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tool?
Sitemaps are an important part of the entire process of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) when it comes to making your websites rank higher in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). To understand, in layman's terms, sitemaps are nothing but the index pages of your website with the goal of making it easier for the search engines to look for the relevant keyword matches.
Before knowing how to add a sitemap in GSC (Google Search Console), it is essential to understand what exactly a GSC is.
What Is A Google Search Console (GSC)?
Google Search Console is a free web tool provided by Google that allows webmasters to monitor their website's performance and visibility in a search engine. This tool offers a variety of other important services as well, like tracking any maintenance or load errors on one's website. Moreover, it is crucial that we talk about this in the article today, as the sitemaps that are needed to make your web pages rank higher are placed nowhere else but in a Google Search Console tool. Now that we know what a GSC is let us move ahead and understand why it is important to have a sitemap at all!
Why Is It Necessary To Have A Sitemap?
Sitemaps consist of lists of the most important pages of your website, thus making it a lot easier for any search engine to navigate and display it in the search results. Moreover, if your website works around the addition and updating of new pages frequently, then it is always a wise idea to have a sitemap setup in the search engine console.
Having a sitemap helps:
1. In providing better visibility to the search engines.
2. Web Owners in bringing more visitors and traffic to their websites.
3. Websites to get indexed more quickly in search engines.
When To Have A Sitemap?
It would not be appropriate to define a set of rules for having a sitemap in place. But yes, there are a few ideal scenarios where it is always advisable to have a sitemap placed in the Google Search Console. These conditions are:
1. For larger sites, sites having a web page count of more than 500 are usually considered large sites, according to Google. Larger sites need to have sitemaps mapped to their domains as it helps to avoid unreliable linking. Also, it prevents your site's pages from going unnoticed for a long period of time and getting dropped from Google's indexing.
2. If your website has a significant amount of web pages that are not linked together, then it is wise to have a sitemap.
3. When your website is new, and it does not have a significant number of backlinks to refer to then you should go ahead and maintain a sitemap for correct indexing.
How To Add Sitemap In Google Webmaster Tool?
Now that we have a brief idea of what a sitemap is and when it is necessary for web owners to have it, let us look forward to understanding how we add the sitemap in the Google Search Console.
1. Before being ready to submit your sitemap in Google, you must have a Google search console account. For web owners who do not have an account, they can refer to the below link and register themselves for a free GSC account login.
2. Another important point to make a note of is that you must know whether you need to create a sitemap for your website on your own, or it can be created automatically as we all know that today we have numerous web designing platforms like WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, etc. where we can develop our own websites. These platforms automatically create a sitemap for you. However, Wordpress does not automatically create a sitemap for you, but if you are using Yoast on Wordpress for your website development, then your sitemap is created automatically.
Once you have your sitemap created, you need to identify its domain. Based on which platform you have your sitemap created, its domain would be different.
1. Once you have verified your sitemap domain URL, go to Google Search Console; on the left side menu, you'll find an option as "Sitemaps." Click on that option, and under the section "Add a new sitemap," enter the XML domain of your sitemap and click "Submit." By doing this, you have now submitted your sitemap successfully to the GSC.
2. Reload the GSC web page, and now you shall be able to see the sitemap's status as "Success" changes from "Couldn't fetch."
3. In case you want to submit an updated sitemap for your website, you can follow the above steps and upload the new sitemap. However, it is always the best and ideal thing to first delete the existing older version of the sitemap and then add a new one. Having multiple sitemaps for the same website is not a wise thing to opt for.
It is not known, and hence no timeline has been defined yet against how much time Google takes to start using the submitted sitemap. Sometimes this time period can take up to 2 days, 2 weeks, or even 2 months. Therefore, it is advisable to keep a consistent look at the crawls tracks in your Google Search Console account and track what all web pages are being discovered.
Ignoring the importance of having a sitemap registered in Google for your website can turn into having a negative customer experience for your business as it provides you with the ability to track if any of your web pages are not responding correctly, for example, with a 404 error page. Such errors, most of the time, go unnoticed, and as a web owner, you'll never get to know and fix the same. With a sitemap submitted in GSC, you will be able to discover all such possible error pages and not-so-very-active web pages on your website.
Also Read: Google Search Console for Digital Marketing
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