How to Submit a Sitemap in Google Search Console
This article will guide you through submitting a sitemap to Google Search Console (GSC). This process helps Google discover and index all the pages on your site, improving your site's visibility in Google search results.
What is a sitemap?
A sitemap is a file that provides information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site and the relationships between them. This can help search engines like Google understand your site's structure and crawl it more intelligently. For example, a sitemap can be in XML or HTML format, but for SEO purposes, XML is the most used.
Why submit a sitemap to Google Search Console?
While Google's crawlers are quite efficient at discovering pages on your site, they might miss some if your site is new, has few backlinks, or if some pages are not linked to other pages. By submitting a sitemap to Google Search Console, you are ensuring that Google is aware of all pages on your site, including any URLs that might not be discoverable through the regular crawling process.
How to submit a sitemap to Google Search Console:
Step 1: Generate your sitemap
If you're using a content management system (CMS), it may automatically generate a sitemap for you. Some website platforms like WordPress have plugins such as Yoast SEO or Google XML Sitemaps that can do this for you. Alternatively, there are online tools available that can generate a sitemap for you (like XML-Sitemaps.com).
Your sitemap should be accessible at a URL on your site, like http://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml.
Step 2: Verify your website on Google Search Console
Before you can submit a sitemap, you need to verify your website on Google Search Console.
To do this:
• Go to Google Search Console (https://search.google.com/search-console/about)
• Click 'Start Now' and sign in to your Google Account.
• Click 'Add Property.'
• Enter your website URL and click 'Continue.'
• Verify ownership of your website by one of the methods provided (HTML file upload, Domain name provider, HTML tag, Google Analytics tracking code, or Google Tag Manager container snippet).
• Once verified, your website will appear in your GSC dashboard.
Step 3: Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console
• Click on your website in the GSC dashboard.
• Click on 'Sitemaps' from the menu on the left.
• In the 'Add a new sitemap' section, enter the URL of your sitemap (it's often something like yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml).
• Click 'Submit.'
Step 4: Monitor your sitemap report
After you submit your sitemap, Google will begin to crawl your website. You can check the status of your sitemap in the 'Sitemaps' report in Google Search Console. If there are any errors, they'll be listed here, and you'll be able to take action to correct them.
Remember, submitting a sitemap doesn't guarantee that all pages of your site will be crawled or included in search results. However, it does help Google understand your site better and improve its ability to crawl and index your pages.
A best practice is to keep your sitemap updated and resubmit it whenever you make significant changes to your site.