How To Use A WordPress Sitemap

In my post, I show you how to use your WordPress sitemap, step by step.

Sitemaps are essential for your website because they help search engines index your site. Getting your blog on Google and Bing faster helps get organic traffic.

Let us begin.

Step One – Open Your Sitemap URL

Open your sitemap URL in any internet browser.

For Newblogr.com, my sitemap URL is https://newblogr.com/sitemap.xml.

Newblogr sitemap URL

Sitemap URLs change depending on the tool generating the map. Check out my How to find your WordPress sitemap URL guide to learn more.

Are you using the Yoast SEO plugin? Add /sitemap_index.xml after your homepage URL.

Are you using the Rank Math SEO plugin? Add /sitemap_index.xml after your homepage URL.

Are you using the All In One SEO plugin? Add /sitemap.xml after your homepage URL.

Step Two – Open A Google Search Console And Bing Webmaster Account

Before using your sitemap, you must have a Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools account. Once you open an account, you must verify ownership of your blog.

Google Search Console

On Google, you need a Google Search Console account. You can sign up for an account at https://search.google.com/search-console/about.

Google Search Console

Google offer various methods to verify a site. Once verified, you get the green tick.

Verify ownership

Bing Webmaster Tools

On Bing, you need a Bing Webmaster Tools account.

All website owners can open a free account at bing.com/toolbox/webmaster. Head over to their website and click on ‘Sign Up.’

Sign up for a free webmaster account

Open an account and verify your site.

Step Three – Submit Your Sitemap To Google And Bing

Submit Your Sitemap To Google

Once your website is verified, submit your blog to Google for indexing.

Go to your Google Search Console and paste your site address into the inspect any URL tool.

Inspect any URL

Select enter, and then Google checks its index database.

Retrieving data

If Google has indexed your site, you see this message.

URL is on Google

Pages not indexed won’t have the green tick. In that case, select the ‘Request Indexing’ link.

Once you request indexing, Google checks the URL for errors.

Testing URL

If there are no issues with the URL, Google confirms your indexing request. To clear the message, click on ‘Got It’.

Indexing requested

Repeat this process every time you publish a new blog post.

Submit your sitemap once. After Google has your sitemap URL, it frequently visits the same URL to check for changes.

You can check if Google has indexed your website from your internet browser. Open a new browser tab, then type ‘site:(site URL)’ into Google.

For example, to check my website, I type site:newblogr.com. Google lists all pages indexed from my site.

Site indexed by Google

If Google hasn’t indexed your website, you get this message.

Not indexed

Indexing takes time, so give Google a few days to work before checking.

Submit Your Sitemap To Bing

To submit your sitemap to Bing, select the ‘Sitemaps’ link on the menu on the left.

Select sitemaps from the menu

Next, select the ‘Submit Sitemap’ link on the top-right.

Submit sitemap link

Paste your sitemap URL and then select ‘Submit.’

Paste your sitemap URL and select submit

Once submitted, the sitemap status is on the same page. You can see the day you submitted your sitemap, the last time Bing crawled the sitemap, the sitemap status, and how many URLs Bing discovered.

Sitemap details

Submit your sitemap once. After Bing has your sitemap URL, it frequently visits the same URL to check for changes.

To check if Bing has indexed your website, open a browser tab, then type ‘site:(site URL)’.

For example, to check my website, I type site:newblogr.com. Bing lists all indexed pages from my site.

Indexed pages on Bing

Conclusion

That is how you use a WordPress sitemap. The latest version of WordPress generates a free sitemap for your site. Alternatively, you can install an SEO plugin to get a sitemap.

All SEO plugins disable the WordPress sitemap by default. The sitemap is disabled because your site should only have one sitemap.

Once you have your sitemap, open the sitemap URL in a browser tab and copy it. Go to your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools account and submit your sitemap URL.

You submit your sitemap once. After Google and Bing have the URL, they frequently check your site for changes.

When making edits to your website, the changes don’t show on Google and Bing. It usually takes a few days.

I hope you found my blog post informative. If you have any questions, please leave them below.

If you would like to contact me, kindly complete this form.

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