The Easiest Way to Generate an XML Sitemap for SEO

  1. What an XML sitemap is01:04
  2. Yoast SEO02:20
  3. Google Sitemap Generator 03:27

Read the full episode transcript below:

00:28 David Blackmon: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of WP the Podcast, brought to you by WP Gears. I’m David Blackmon.

00:36 Tim Strifler: And I’m Tim Strifler.

00:37 David Blackmon: Today we’re going to talk about the three, the easiest way to generate an XML sitemap for SEO, and I’m going to apologize in advance if I sound a little bit different. I’m a little under the weather, and I’m honestly going to let Tim talk as much as possible. So, we’ve picked some Tim topics for the next couple episodes. I may jump in. I may not. I may just intro and outro. So, but it’s good to be here. Tim, take it away.

01:04 Tim Strifler: Yeah, definitely. So, before I talk about the easiest way to generate an XML sitemap, I’m going to fill everyone in that may not know what an XML sitemap is, and why you’d want one. So essentially, an XML sitemap is a map of all the pages on your site, and the main purpose isn’t so much for users. Typically, it’s not linked to on the front end. Users don’t see it. It’s mainly for search engines. You’re essentially giving the search engine a map of your website for them to index, so they know, okay, here’s all the pages, and then they can follow those pages, and see all the internal links, and the places that you’re linking out to, and all of that. And so, as you can imagine, if you want and are expecting to get any traffic from Google, you want to make sure that a sitemap is submitted to Google, so that they can follow your site and make sure all of your pages are indexed.

01:58 Tim Strifler: That’s not to say that they won’t find your pages from other ways. Google’s really smart. Their algorithms are very powerful, but you, as a site owner, you want to set yourself up for success. You want to help Google as much as possible, so that you can get the best rankings as possible. And so, that’s kind of the what and the why, and then the how, the easiest way to generate an XML sitemap, I have two plugins for you. First one is Yoast SEO. Now, this is a full blown SEO plugin. The main version is free. It’s a freemium model, so they have add-ons, but I’ve never really found a reason to get any of the add-ons because I don’t do a whole lot of local SEO. That’s one of the add-ons there. But for the most part, the main plugin will be sufficient 95% of the time. And within Yoast SEO, it will automatically generate XML sitemaps for you.

02:54 Tim Strifler: Now, this is really good because it’s automatic, so when you create a new page, or you update a page, it updates that sitemap. And so once you’ve submitted that sitemap to Google, and we’ll talk about that, on how to do that in another episode, but once you do that, Google’s going to automatically get notified that your sitemap updated, and they’re going to go and check, and then see what that new page is, or see what the updates are to an existing page. And so, Yoast SEO will do that for you in addition to all the other SEO tools that they have built in to let you control your on-page SEO.

03:27 Tim Strifler: And then the second plugin if maybe you’re using a different SEO plugin that doesn’t have XML sitemaps built in, well, you can use a plugin. All they do is sitemaps, and that’s Google Sitemap Generator, and we have a link to it in the show notes. And that will do just the sitemaps for you, but I would say in most cases, use Yoast SEO because it’s going to have a lot of other stuff built in that’s really important in addition to the XML sitemaps.

03:54 David Blackmon: Fantastic. Well, man, I am so sorry I talked so much this time. I’m going to try to do a better job, and not talk as much next time. XML sitemaps are important for SEO. Go check out Yoast, and Google Sitemap Generator, and stuff. Tomorrow, we’ve got another great topic: the three most important things for WordPress security. Tim, until tomorrow. We’ll see you then.

04:19 Tim Strifler: Take care. Bye-bye.

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