There are a few important tasks you’ll need to complete if you want Google to crawl and rank your website.
One of those tasks is creating and submitting your sitemap to Google. Submitting a sitemap directly helps Google’s crawl bots index your site, understand your website’s relevance, and determine your site’s ranking.
In this guide, we’ll share how to submit your sitemap to Google and some sitemap best practices.
What is a Sitemap?
Sitemaps detail the structure and webpages of your site in a format Google’s bots can understand. You can use your sitemap to indicate content hubs and internal links between pages.
A sitemap guides the crawl bots through your site, showing them the most important pages. Remember, you want Google’s bots to crawl your site, so the search engine understands which search terms your website is most relevant for.
There are 2 common sitemap formats:
- XML: Only search engine bots can read this format.
- HTML: Bots and users can both browse these sitemaps.
XML sitemaps indicate the most important pages on your website to Google and can tell the search engine when your website has been updated.
Regularly updating your website’s content with dynamic content like blog posts or a customer testimonial page can help boost your ranking. Updated content signals to Google that your website may be useful and relevant.
Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunshine and Happiness at Google, confirmed again in 2019 that XML sitemaps are the second most important source of URLs for Google’s bots after previously discovered hyperlinks.
HTML sitemaps are made available on the website via a webpage. They often appear as a collection of links to important pages on your site. They’ll helpful for attributing PageRank throughout your website, as they link to pages with fewer internal links.