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XML Sitemaps

This video explains an XML Sitemap and why are they important for SEO
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What is an XML Sitemap and why are they important for SEO? An XML Sitemap is a file that lists out all the URLs you have on your website, including the ones you are hiding from your menu, AKA the geo-relevant pieces of content. Having a XML Sitemap makes it super easy for Google to view your website and get a quick and clear understanding of all of the pages you have on it. If you don’t have a sitemap, Google have to find the other pages on your site through internal links.
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As you can expect that puts more pressure on you as you now have to ensure your internal linking game is perfect and that every page on your site is linked too. Rather than worrying about this, we can simply create a sitemap and then submit it to Google to make them aware. So this is the sitemap for LevelFinish. So as you can see I’ve got two sections to the sitemap. I have the post which will essentially list out all of the posts on my site. So these will be all of my blog posts such as how to clean carpet, different types of hardwood boards for example. If we go back we can now see a sitemap for the pages.
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So this is our generic pages on our slide we have the About page, the Contacts, we have our carpet installation page, our tile and if you look closely we also have all our pages for a geo-relevant piece of content, as like I said in the sitesmap will list out every single page on your site and not just the pages that are visible from the menu. So you can see I’ve got my posts and my page sitemaps, and it both come under one sitemap index URL. So this is the main URL for my sitemap. So creating a sitemap is very simple you can do it using Yoast SEO which is the plugin I showed you earlier on in the course.
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So this is the plugin just to show you again if you have forgotten, hopefully you haven’t Yoast SEO. So they have a section built-in to the plugin for sitemaps. To access the plugin you simply need to go to SEO down here and then go to Search Appearance. So before you create your sitemap, you wanna determine what you want in your sitemap. So I’m gonna show you what I have in mind. So on the General tab, it’s blank if you go into Content Types, you can see you have a section all for your post right now. So currently I’m showing my Posts in the search results I’ve clicked Yes.
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I don’t want the date to show in a Snippet Preview so I click Hide and I’ll click Show for Yoast SEO Meta Box So this is what I have for my Post for Pages I have Yes, Hide and Show again. For Portfolio, I have No, Hide and Show, so I don’t wanna show my portfolio in the search results. I already have a page on my site talking about the images we do which is Our Gallery. So there’s no need to show my portfolio again. So I’ve clicked Hide for that. However, you can customize this for you if you wanna show your portfolio in search results, just simply click, Yes. So I’ll show you what I have for slides.
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So this is my WordPress slider. So I don’t want my slides showing in the search result so again, I’ve clicked No. So hope you get the idea and why I’m saying no, so Team Members I’ve clicked No, I don’t want that to be in my index or in my sitemap. Testimonials I’ve clicked No, as I’ve already had them on the site on a page. So long as the page gets indexed, my testimonials would get indexed as well. So Media is one of the most important one you need to pay attention to.
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You need to make sure yours is set to Yes, if not, what happens is every image you have in your site will be on a different URL and then will also be visible in your sitemap. As your images are already gonna be on a page, you wanna make sure the page is gonna be in your sitemap and not an individual URL for that image. So Media will be one of the most important things you need to pay attention to. So essentially you wanna make sure this is set to Yes, and as you’ll see it will redirect attaching URL to the attachment itself.
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So essentially what this means is each image on your site won’t have it’s own URL, it will simply be an image on a page and as we know our page is gonna get indexed and are gonna be included in our sitemap we don’t need to have this to No. So do you make sure that that is on Yes and if you go through the other headings on here, you can see I’ve got Categories, No. Tags, I have my No and I have Show. Formats I’ve got Enabled and I’ve got No here. Again, it all comes down to preference.
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Categories so these are my projects if I have like different type of carpet, if I have hardwood, if I upload a whole category to my site as a project I don’t want them shown in a search results. They should just be visible on my site The last time couple, Archives I’ve got mine Enabled. Show author archives I’ve got mine as No as I don’t want my author archive showing in the search results and if you go to Breadcrumbs I’ve got my to Disabled.
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So once you’re happy and you’re finished picking all the elements you wants to appear in your sitemap, you need to scroll down to the Yoast SEO plugin and then click General and then you wanna go over to Features and then where it says XML sitemaps you wanna click the question mark and you’ll see it gives you a link right here to see the XML sitemap for your site. So why don’t you then get your XML sitemap URL? You simply wanna go over to your search console so let’s copy this first, go over to your search console.
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So this is what we set up in the first section of the course and you wanna go down to sitemaps down here on the left and where it says, enter sitemap URL you simply wanna paste in your sitemap URL and then click SUBMIT. So now I’m submitting my sitemap to Google and as you can see it’s done successfully. So now Google is gonna crawl my sitemap and have a look at all of the pages I have on it.
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It makes it a lot easier when you have a new page on your site as Google can just check out your sitemap and see what’s there and like I said if not will have to crawl each page individually and they can only do that for using pages that have links on them internally.
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