An important part of ensuring a search engine like Google knows your website is to submit your sitemap to the search engine.
What is a sitemap?
First let’s explain how a search engine finds pages. Search engines find pages through links. It looks at a page and identifies all links on the page. Then it travels to that link which takes it to a new page. It then looks for links on the new page and once again travels down those links. This goes on and on and all the links are added to search engines directory.
Sometimes you may not link to all pages from your site so if a link to this page does not exist then a search engine like Google may not find it.
This is where a sitemap is handy!
A sitemap is a list of links or pages you have on your website. A search engine reads this sitemap and adds this URLs to their search directory.
In the case of DecoNetwork we provide an XML sitemap and you access this by adding /sitemap.xml at the end of your wesbite. i.e. http://www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml
Adding your sitemap to Google
- Log into Google webmaster tools: www.google.com/webmasters/tools. If you don’t have a Google account then make one – it’s free! Don’t forget your gmail account is a Google account also.
- Log in to access your Webmaster Tools dashboard.
- Click the red “ADD A SITE“.
- Enter your websites URL such as http://www.yoursite.com
Google will require you to verify your account. Select the “Alternate methods” to validate your account and select “HTML tag“
- Copy the <meta name… … … /> tag.
- Log into your DecoNetwork website and browse to Websites and select Manage for the site’s sitemap you wish to add to Google. Select Appearance and then Customize Template HTML.
- Select the Custom layout option from the left menu and then check “Override default layout“.
- You should past the <meta name… … … /> tag you copied above between the <head> and </head> tags in your website.
- Click Save when done.
- Return to Google Webmaster Tools and click the Verify button. If the tag was saved correctly your site should now be verified.
- Now you need to add your DecoNetwork sitemap. In Google Webmaster Tools browse to the left menu Optimization and select Sitemaps
- Select ADD/TEST SITEMAP.
- enter sitemap.xml at the end of your Add/Test Sitemap field and click Submit Sitemap.
- The sitemap may take a short while to submit and will remain in the Pending status until it is submitted. Once submitted it will give you a report of how many URLs (pages) were submitted and how URLs (pages) Google has indexed to its search engine.
Overtime you should see your indexed pages start to reach closer to you submitted pages as Google adds more of your pages to its search index.