How would you like to increase your search engine traffic easily and significantly? My site receives around 30-40% of its traffic each week from Google and other search engines.
As you probably know, Google is the most widely used search engine, and if you are not in Google’s index, you are missing out on a significant amount of traffic.
Today I will explain why a sitemap is so beneficial to blogging and how it can easily increase the amount of search engine traffic you receive.
What is a sitemap?
In a nutshell, a sitemap is an XML text file which contains all of the links on your site and their respective priority. By using a sitemap, you are showing Google that your site is well organized and ready for indexing.
When a search engine spider, such as the Googlebot, gets ready to crawl your site, it first looks for a sitemap. If it does not find a sitemap, it crawls your site manually and has to determine for itself the most relevant pages. The advantage of having a sitemap is that Google will take less time to crawl your site, crawling will occur more frequently, and the Googlebot will automatically know what pages are the most relevant.
How does Google know when to crawl your site?
Everyone should use Google Webmaster Tools. By using Webmaster Tools and adding a sitemap, you can boost the chance that Google will crawl your site more often.
The first step is to verify you are the owner of your web site. You do this by adding a meta-tag to your site which shows Google that you own that particular site. Upon verifying site ownership, you can add a sitemap.
Google Webmaster Tools also contains a variety of other useful tools that show you how you rank for various keywords and what possible 404’s Google has found in your site structure. Here is a picture from Google Webmaster Tools showing the last time my site was indexed.
How do I create a sitemap?
Luckily, there is a very handy WordPress plugin called Google Sitemap Generator which will automatically build a new sitemap everytime you publish a new post. The great thing about WordPress is that it is already very SE-optimized as far as onpage structure and source code. If you use this plugin in combination with Optimal Title, you are virtually guaranteeing that your site will rank well for a variety of different keywords. For more information about Optimal Title and its benefits, see this post.
The other advantage of using the Google Sitemap Generator plugin is that it will automatically ping Google telling them to reindex your site when you submit a new post. My site is now recrawled by Google almost everyday. This plugin also gives you the ability to set the priority of pages and posts on your site.
In conclusion, all bloggers should build a sitemap. Every post you write contains a variety of keywords people search for everyday. Wouldn’t it be nice to get more targeted traffic for free? The combination of Google’s Webmaster Tools and the Google Sitemap Generator WordPress Plugin make it is very easy to increase the amount of SE traffic your site receives.
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