Ways to Use XML Sitemaps to Improve Your SEO

The usage of sitemaps goes back to 2005 when Google first started using them. Soon MSN and Yahoo followed, and at the speed of light, they became one of the most important steps to effective SEO. But why exactly are they important?

What is an XML Sitemap?



One of your objectives when optimizing your website is to give Google the right cues to index your website. A file known as an XML sitemap contains a list of URLs that search engines, such as Google, use to draw traffic to websites. It functions as a map for search engines to understand what content is accessible and how to get there. Additionally, sitemaps enable users to navigate your website after they arrive on a page. You can use a sitemap to describe the many types of material on your website, including videos, images, and news articles.

But a well-organized sitemap can accomplish even more. For crawlers, XML sitemaps can have characteristics that offer more details about each URL. These crawlers have the ability to read a variety of data. An XML sitemap essentially functions as a table of contents for your website, enabling the crawler to gather the necessary information and index your site appropriately. Your website has a better chance of fast raising its rank after it accomplishes this.

Creating dynamic XML Sitemaps


XML sitemaps should be optimized because they are a crucial component of your technical SEO strategy. If you want to achieve quicker indexing and better rankings, an optimized XML sitemap is one of the first steps to take. Since many online content management systems allow you to automatically produce one, creating an XML sitemap is usually relatively simple. There are two methods of creating XML sitemaps: automatic and starting from scratch.  


Send to Google

To quicken and secure the indexation of your web pages, you can submit a sitemap to Google through Google Search Console. Sitemaps can be sent to Google with a maximum uncompressed size of 50 MB and a maximum number of URLs of 50,000. You can make more than one sitemap if the file is bigger or contains more URLs.


Use indexed URLs

URLs named “Noindex” do not result in traffic from search engines, hence Googlebot has no need to crawl them. Make careful to double-check your sitemap content before submitting it to see if any problems prohibit websites from getting indexed. Moreover, if you choose to utilize that approach, be sure the output is error-free and in the proper format.


In your sitemap, use canonical URLs

You should utilize the canonical tag to notify Google which page is preferred to be indexed for highly similar pages, such as product pages. Search engines will eventually discover and index the URLs if the website has a robust internal linking structure. Instead of relying on submissions, search engines continually monitor websites in search of new content.


Don’t forget to… 

After creating your XML Sitemap and uploading it to your web server, you should check it with the search engines. Google Webmaster Tools make this simple. Before checking your sitemap, ensure it is in the proper format and has been correctly posted to your web server.

SEO and XML Sitemaps 



XML sitemaps are crucial for SEO for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that they help in the page discovery process for search engine bots. XML Sitemaps are crucial in particular cases where:

  •     • You have dynamically generated pages on your website (e.g., some e-commerce sites)
  •     • Your website is not properly organized or linked (internal links)
  •     • Your website is either new (a newly constructed site that has just gone live) or has few external links
  •     • Your website may have a lot of outdated information and/or be very huge and poorly linked


As stated before, the sitemap, which is placed correctly, will provide information to the search engine. This is important because there are millions of websites to sort through, and you want to be sure that skipping an XML sitemap won’t hurt your own website. 

The general quality of the website is a significant determinant of search engine ranking. The plugins will automatically incorporate all of your website’s pages, articles, tags, archives, and media, but for SEO purposes, this is not what we want. Regarding SEO, optimizing your sitemap can be compared to optimizing your content, especially when pointing visitors to relevant sites. This is one of the reasons we want you to update the content on your website. Moreover, when you actively give users the most recent information in the most readable formats, Google appreciates it and your chances grow. 

You want your website’s information, videos, images and hyperlinks to be easily crawled by Google and other search engines so that they may evaluate them on the search engine results page. Google receives the final push it needs to go via an XML sitemap. As a result, both you and the search engine gain from it. Furthermore, it is absolutely significant to know the most effective SEO strategies of 2022. You should thus optimize them accordingly. 



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Tips to improve your XML Sitemaps



Choose carefully

Include the pages and articles that are crucial to your website’s operation in your sitemap. These are the pages that are more likely to drive organic traffic to your website and feature high-quality content.


Don’t stuff pages

Leave out “thin content” pages. You should avoid adding low-quality pages to search engines’ indexes while optimizing a website for them. It’s not about the number of overall pages that matters but the number of good pages in the index. 


Follow updates 

Make sure that your XML Sitemap contains the “latest modification time” field, a value that informs Google of the most recent modification time for a page. This is helpful if you want Google to re-index your website’s pages.


Reach your maximum SEO level



Following the steps below while using the tips mentioned in this article, you will be one step closer to a better SEO strategy. 


    1. Log into Google Search Console and select “Sitemaps” from the menu on the left.

    2. Add your sitemap’s URL where it says “Add a new sitemap” at the top of the page.

    3. After clicking submit, Google will start to crawl your XML sitemap.


This provides the most recent version of your website to search engines, enabling them to provide the best results to users who conduct searches for it. A sitemap is necessary for practical SEO techniques, and SEO is necessary for increasing website traffic and revenue. 

Final Thoughts 


An XML sitemap is simply a list of the URLs on your website. Primarily, an XML sitemap makes the process of accessing content on your website more straightforward. Sitemaps are essential for search engines to crawl and index the webpage for its content to appear in search results. It also assists users in navigating and comprehending your website and facilitates communication with search engines. 

By building a sitemap, you can inform search engines like Google about your website’s key pages and components. A sitemap is a comprehensive, single view of all the pages on your website in a language search engines can understand.



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