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No matter how beautiful your navigation menu is, it's always helpful to have a map that locates everything on your blog, does not it? Well, it's the same for search engines. They are able to explore your site themselves, but you can simplify their work by creating a site map or " sitemap ».
Essentially, a sitemap informs search engines like Google and Bing about the structure of your site. In this way, they can analyze and index your site more efficiently. This is an essential part of your SEO strategy. And in this article I will show you how to create a site map on your WordPress blog.
What is a site map and how useful is it?
A site map or " Site map Allows search engines to have a basic understanding of the structure of your website. Essentially, search engines send robots called "bots" that follow links on the internet. Whenever they find a new link, it will index the new page (of course, some guidelines may change his behavior). And from there, your pages are displayed in the search results.
The site map speeds up the process by providing search engine robots with a detailed map of your site. Instead of having to manually explore your site for links, muzzle Will instantly know where each page and article is.
Being considered a magic bullet in SEO, site maps will improve the indexing of your WordPress blog. It will allow all your content to be visible on the search engines.
They also allow you to provide search engines with optional information like the date a page was updated, how often a page is updated. This information can also help search engines optimize the way they explore your site.
Sitemap XML vs Sitemap HTML
XML site plans are more common. They are exactly what I mentioned above: a map dedicated almost entirely to search engines. Their data is not really useful for visitors.
HTML site plans, on the other hand, can be used by humans and search engines. This is a real page on your website where humans and search engines can get an overview on the organization of your site. Search engines can also crawl this page, but it also gives some curious visitors a better user experience.
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So, what type should you use?
The answer is both. This is not a comparison between the two because they are not in conflict, and use both offer benefits.
How to create a sitemap or sitemap on WordPress
Given the popularity of SEO plugins, there is a good chance that you already have all the features needed to create an XML sitemap. If you are using Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, or SEOPressor, you just need to find the relevant plugin setting to configure your XML sitemap.
Creating a sitemap with Yoast SEO
For example, with Yoast SEO you just have to navigate to " SEO → XML Sitemaps To enable the feature and configure it:
An interesting feature with the sitemap tool on Yoast SEO is the ability to include attachments in your XML sitemap:
When enabled, it can increase your traffic by improving the indexing of your media additions.
Creating an XML sitemap is similar with " All in One SEO Is also simple, you just need to access "All in One SEO → XML Sitemap":
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Creating an XML Sitemap with Google XML Sitemaps
If you do not have one of these plugins, or want additional control over your XML sitemap, you can easily create one with the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. It is free and available on the WordPress plugin directory.
After installing the plugin, you can configure it by going to " Settings → XML-Sitemap »:
Here's what you'll definitely want to set up on this page:
- Priority of articles : Define how you want to calculate item priorities. You can define that the plugin automatically calculates the priority by the number of comments, or manually.
- The content of the site map: Choose which content types are included in your sitemap. For example, if you want to exclude the archive category, just uncheck this box.
- Change frequencies: Set the frequency of each type of content is changed. This gives search engines an idea of how to prioritize their exploration. For example, you will definitely want to define the page that displays your recent articles to be crawled by day.
- priorities: Allows you to manually set exploration priorities for different content. You will want your homepage and unique items to have high priority.
How to create an HTML site with WordPress
To create an HTML site map, you will need to turn to a different plugin. His name is " WP Page Sitemap And it's also free on WordPress.org.
Once you install the plugin, you can customize it by going to " Settings → WP Sitemap Page »:
You can exclude certain publication formats, choose how to display titles, and choose whether or not to display articles multiple times if they appear in different categories.
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Then you can add your sitemap to a page using a shortcode. The plugin includes a lot of custom shortcodes that will allow you to do things like display only pages, labels, categories and more. You can also customize the sorting options to display them in the exact order you want.
The ideal would be to place this shortcode in a page that is accessible from your footer. In this way, it will be easier for humans and search engines to find it, so it is not necessary that it occupies an important place in the main menu.
That's all for this tutorial, I hope it will allow you to create a site map (sitemap) For your WordPress blog.