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Optimizing organic search traffic is an essential task for any WordPress blog owner to make it easy to access your best content.
Maintaining a well-organized sitemap is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your content is crawled by search engines. Google actively encourages the submission of a sitemap, and the range of tools available today shows just how easy it has become to create a sitemap without special knowledge.
In this article, we will teach you more about the concept of sitemap and also guide you through 7 different plugins that can make your life easier.
Introduction to Sitemaps
If you hear the expression "Sitemap" for the first time, you must certainly already have an idea about what it is (The term literally means " Sitemap« ). Initially introduced in 2005 by Google (and backed by Microsoft and Yahoo shortly thereafter) Sitemaps (or sitemap) play a significant role in this or it simplifies the exploration of your site by search engines.
The basic idea is simple. Ideally, the " Sitemap ”Of a website must contain all the URLs of the pages of the site as well as the associated data such as the date modified, the frequency of changes to the content and the priority given to the URL. Sitemaps can be created for every type of content available on a blog, so it will support posts, images, videos and so on.
Google is powerful enough to explore your blog without a sitemap, but having a sitemap is always an advantage, especially as it simplifies and facilitates access to your content. In some cases, it will enrich search engine results.
Plugins to create sitemaps on WordPress
Considering the importance of sitemaps in the indexing of a site by search engines, it is not surprising that the most popular SEO plugins on WordPress tend to include the ability to automatically generate sitemaps.
1. Yoast SEO
With over a million active installations and an overall rating of 4,5 stars, Yoast SEO continues to be one of the most popular SEO plugins on WordPress.
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It was designed after several years of SEO research by Joost de Valk and his team. In addition to offering SEO features, you also have the opportunity to create your sitemap with this plugin.
Automatically creating XML sitemaps with this plugin could not be easier, it's a matter of simply ticking a box. In addition, the plugin can notify both Google Search Console et Bing Webmaster Tools any new changes made to the sitemap.
2. All In One SEO Pack
Another very popular option for SEO, the plugin All in One SEO Pack also has over a million installations, with an average of 4 stars.
Much easier to set up, however, it offers few features. This plugin is the direct competitor of the Yoast SEO plugin.
Just like Yoast SEO, the XML sitemap generator is one of the features offered by the plugin. Just like with Yoast SEO once again, the creation of the XML sitemap is automatic and invisible to the user, as are the notifications sent to both Google and Bing. However, All in One SEO Pack offers more useful settings for sitemap customization.
3. SEO Pack Premium
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Given the availability and widespread use of the two previous plugins (free but available in premium version) it is not surprising that the number of sales of this plugin only number in the thousands.
SEO premium pack is relatively new to the SEO plugin market, but already enjoys a 4,25 star rating.
As with our previous selections, Premium SEO Pack offers a wide range of features to help you optimize your blog SEO, including XML Sitemaps. The plugin generates sitemaps for posts and pages automatically and also supports images, custom post formats, and custom taxonomies. In the settings, you will be able to exclude the content that you do not want to be referenced.
WordPress plugins completely dedicated to Sitemaps
If you are currently using any of the SEO plugins mentioned above, you will certainly find that they cover most of your sitemap needs. If you are looking for even more features, you should consider adding a dedicated sitemap plugin to your blog.
4. Google Sitemap
Le Google Sitemap plugin available for almost five years and it is a stable and mature option that allows you to generate sitemaps. The plugin does exactly as its description says and allows you to easily create a sitemap file and add it to Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).
The plugin has been downloaded over a million times and already has over one hundred thousand active installations with an overall 4,3 star rating.
You are able to select the publication formats and taxonomies to include on the sitemap with its array of configurations. Custom post formats can also be included via a hierarchical list in the additional settings section of the plugin. Once on the Google Search Console, you will be able to add your sitemap.
With an overall rating of 4,1 stars and more than 100.000 active installations, Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps is a popular alternative to the Google Sitemap plugin, which offers more advanced features.
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The basic settings allow you to select which sitemaps you want to generate, you can add several different information including taxonomies, archive date, author archive and external pages. Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps is also multisite network compatible.
The plugin also has a built-in feature that allows new sitemaps to be submitted to Google News. You can choose to include or exclude articles from certain categories on the sitemap; assign specific categories to predefined genres of Google News guidelines, and map suggested categories to Google News keywords.
That's it for this plugin list. Hope it helps you create sitemaps for your blog.