A good XML sitemap performs as a roadmap of your website that connects Google to all your vital pages. XML sitemaps can be good for SEO, as they help Google to quickly find your important website pages, even if your internal linking is not ideal. We want Google to go through every vital page of your website. But sometimes, pages do not have any internal links, which makes them hard to find. An XML sitemap records a website’s important pages, making sure Google can find and see them all, also helping it to understand your website’s format.
Which Websites Need an XML Sitemap?
According to Google documentation XML sitemaps are profitable for – large websites, websites with large archives, new websites with few external links, and websites with rich media content. When we accept that these kinds of websites will definitely help the most from having one, at Yoast, we think XML sitemaps are useful for every website. Every single website needs Google to be able to simply find the most vital pages and to know when they’re last updated. That’s why this feature is integrated into the Yoast SEO plugin.
Which Pages Should be a Part of XML Sitemap?
It is very hard to decide which pages to include in your XML sitemap or not. Always start by thinking of the significance of a URL: when the audience lands on a particular URL, is it a good result? Do you want the audience to land on that URL? If not, it possibly shouldn’t be in it. However, if you don’t want that URL to display up in the search results you’ll need to add a ‘noidex, follow’ tag. Parting it out of your XML sitemap doesn’t mean Google won’t record the URL. If Google can discover it by following links, Google can record the URL.
XML Sitemap in a New Blog
For example, you are beginning a new blog. You will want Google to discover new posts rapidly to assure your target audience can see your blog in the search results, so it’s a good idea to make an XML sitemap right from the beginning. You might write a handful of first posts and classifies for them as well as some tags to start with. But there won’t be sufficient content yet to fill the tag overview pages, making them “thin content” that’s not important to visitors – yet. In this case, you should leave the tag’s URLs out of the sitemap for the current situation. Set the tag pages to ‘noindex, follow’ as you don’t want people to discover them in search results.
XML Sitemap for Media and Images
The ‘media’ or ‘image’ XML sitemap is also needless for most websites because your images are possibly used within your pages and posts, so will already be incorporated in your ‘post’ or ‘page’ sitemap. So having a detach ‘media’ or ‘image’ sitemap would be meaningless and we advise leaving it out. The only exclusion to this is if images are your core business. Photographers, for example, will possibly want to show a different ‘media’ or ‘image’ XML sitemap to Google.
How to Check Your XML Sitemap?
Now, you know how vital it is to have an XML sitemap: having one can help your website’s SEO. Google can effortlessly access your most vital pages and posts if you add the right URLs to it. Google will also be able to find new content easily, so they know when a URL needs to visit again. Lastly, adding your XML sitemap to Google Search Console helps Google locate your sitemap fast and allows you to check for sitemap errors.