How to create Sitemap.xml and running site submissions
Get search engines to index every word you publish!
OK… So you’ve read SEO Basics — Part 1, and you have added the
meta-tags to every page on your site. Great! So what’s next? Well, how
’bout getting the search engines to index every page on your site? How
you say?? — The answer is to make a little road map for search engines
to find all the pages of your site. Honestly, don’t expect all search
engines to even attempt this.
As mentioned in before, many search engines are just paid Internet
‘phone books.’ The idea being that your index rank is based on how much
money you pay them. Of course, most Internet users out there know who
these companies are by now, and are avoiding using them more and more.
It’s important to note however, that advertising with these search
engines may not be a bad idea. Specially if you find that a large
segment of your audience are users, or members of these services. At
first this might be an educated guess, but later you will quantify who
your users are, and where they are coming from with statistical data.
More on statistics later.
The sitemap.xml file and what it does…
Why wouldn’t a search engine just spyder your entire site? Well the
reason is time and bandwidth. These search engines have to index
millions of new sites everyday. Following all the links buried all over
a typical website would just take years to do. Especially because
developers may call the pages they create, anything they like. One
company might title your “About Us” page ‘about.aspx,’ while another
might use a numeric value like ‘2_1.html’ instead. That’s why search
engines, and organizations like the good folks at sitemap.org have
attempted to create a standardized method for ‘mapping’ your site for
search engine indexing. This map is an XML document that tells the
search engines some key information about the pages on your site.
Basically, where these pages located, when they were last modified, the
frequency of modifications and the priority of the pages in relation to
It is a really good idea to have a sitemap.xml uploaded with your other
site files before submitting your site to search engines. This is
because sometimes it takes a while to get those search engine spyders to
come across your site and you want to connect to your audience as fast
as you can so that you can start seeing some ROI on your website. You
can create this file using a simple notepad editor with rich formatting
Below is a sample entry on a sitemap.xml file (use all values within
</url> for every page you plan to index):
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
Need an easy way to do this? I thought so… The good people at
XML-Sitemaps.com have made a terrific
tool to help you generate a sitemap automatically.
Now that you have everything in place you can start submitting your site
URL to different search engines! There are many helpful services out
there that will help you submit to multiple sites at once, but I always
visit all the major search engines, one by one, and find the “Submit a
Site” link. One of the reason for this is that sites services like
Google have many optimization types. Business listings for Google Maps™
being just one example. You can even submit a logo and photo of your
business while you are at it! The thing is, you never really know how a
person will intuit themselves to your site. Every time you visit these
sites, there is a good chance that you’ll learn something new. This is
an ongoing process and only begins with your initial submission.
To learn more visit Sitemaps.org
Next in SEO Basics — Part 3, we’ll find out why content
is everything in SEO
SEO Basics by Joseph Steck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.