WordPress SEO – Create A Google XML Sitemap with YOAST SEO Plugin

By | December 5, 2019


hey everyone is Nigel Yates and in this
video I’m going to talk about how to set up a Google XML sitemap I’m going to be
using the Yoast SEO plug-in and I’m going to be doing this in WordPress and
if you stay tuned towards the end you’ll see a really cool way of telling Google
to go and index your website and you actually force Google to do that and
it’s one of those sort of little things you know you don’t you kind of assume
Google just knows your website exists well it doesn’t necessarily know that it
doesn’t know what pages you’ve got and it doesn’t automatically know what posts
you’ve got so this is why we do this we’re going to tell Google what our
content is and we’re going to tell Google to go find it and start to index
it in the search engine so it’s a really great way if you will say new to
blogging and setting up your website this is a great way to get started in
Google and I’m gonna just walk you through it’s very simple there’s a
couple of steps to take and as always if you have any questions leave comments
below get in touch with me if you’re watching this on youtube hit the
subscribe button there’ll be a link in the bottom left corner of this video
bottom right corner as you look at it or just beneath the video hit the subscribe
button because I probably do some more content related to this to SEO as a
follow up as well so if you’re interested in this and you want to learn
more stay tuned there’ll be more to follow so at the moment what you can see
on screen I’m in WordPress I’m in the backend of my wordpress account in the
dashboard area and you can see I’ve got the Yoast SEO plug-in installed I’m not
going to go into how to install plugins I’ll take that as read or do another
video otherwise this will start to become too long if I keep adding little
extra bits on I just want to focus on the XML sitemap I suppose some people
get confused when you start talking about XML and ago I got this all this
about XML is just a file format we’re familiar with the know dot docx or dot
yes or things like that so XML is just a file format and it’s kind of a set of
rules a set of guidelines that that give the file structure visible readability
for humans as well as computers we don’t need to get into the detail you don’t
need to worry about what it is we just need to know where it is how to find it
how to use it and how to tell Google what we want to do so in the back office
you can see I’ve got Yoast SEO and the dashboard comes up here I’m going to
jump straight into the features section just here click on that what I want to
do is bring up the features of the Yoast set up you can see here and literally
just scrolling down we can see we’re XML sitemaps firstly there turn on now it’s
just worth mentioning there are other plugins that will do this for you
there’s a Google plugin for XML sitemaps and if I went if I went to the add new
plug-in section and just searched XML there will be a ton of different plugins
that come up so different ways of doing it I recommend using Yoast it’s it’s one
of the best if not the best and it’s got some great help support how-to guides
that kind of thing but it’s fair to say there are other
ways of doing this – and also you only need one sitemap I guess that should go
without saying if you start to have multiples you’ll create duplicate
content and Google does not like to see duplicate content because it doesn’t
make much sense so just just to work to the wise just to be careful if you do
add other plugins just to see what they do what they look like or if you prefer
them be sure to sort of you know you would
turn this off for example if you’re going to use the Google XML plug-in so
you need one that’s the point I’m making we only need one plug-in to create an
XML sitemap we only need one XML sitemap for our for our website and we click on
here on the question mark just clicked on there and we get a couple of things
pop up here enable the XML sitemaps that used to generate so you’re not
having to create this use is doing it automatically and we can see the site
map we can read why I mentioned Yost has some good support articles and follow up
and this this is one of them just clicking here will explain in more
detail if you just want a bit more information but we can look at the XML
sitemaps here and there’s nothing too much to get worried about now all I’m
interested in well there’s three things I’m interested in here and we’ll see in
just a moment how they come into play if you look at the you error URL up top
this is this is the main fire this is the parent file that we are in and it’s
sitemap index HTML that’s that’s the that’s the top-level XML sitemap that
we’re going to use that parent sitemap as in this instance three children and
if you look closely you’ll see ignore the bottom one that’s just something
else I’m working on you won’t see that so just just ignore it and I’m not going
to add that either it’s that’s not my focus at the moment it’s just something
separate so I don’t want to distract you with that
so we already focused on to it and it says post and page sitemap so they’re
the two children sitemaps that were most interested in so all we’re doing at the
moment is grabbing the parent URL I’m going to jump across now to Google
search console now you may not be familiar with this it’s a lot of people
don’t even know this exists you literally just search in Google for
Google search context now I should say you can see that I’ve got an account set
up not only have I got an account set up my
website is verified with Google so I to Google that I own the website now the
two are connected through a verification code I’ll do a separate video on that
otherwise this video will start to become too long but if you’re setting us
up for the first time Google will tell you you need to validate authenticate
your website I’ve done that and as I say we can if you need help on that
I’ll do the video will ask me questions but if
you’re logging in for the first time and you just set up your Google search
console yep I think it will prompt you to verify your website and it will give
you multiple options and that that’s why it’s potentially a long a longer video
just to go through the multiple options are and different ways of doing it
as a quick indication for jump to webmaster tools you see here Google
verification code there’s mine I verify with being and the Yandex search
platforms as well so that’s one way of doing it there are others and that’s why
I’ll do that as a separate video coming into the Google search console now you
know what I’ll point out here is I’ve actually added all four URL combinations
for my website so if you look at this carefully it’s the same website there is
just one website but you know you can go to the browser you could type in HTTP
modulates comm HTTP which is the one I’m using HTTP and with the www prefix or
HTTP with the www prefix so I add all four to the search console to tell
Google that these are potential variations of my website and if it sees
any of those it’s okay to follow those and index them and the one I’m working
on is this one here I’m going to click on it and this is the only one we need
to set up and here’s the where the clever bit happens I’m going to go to
crawl if you see here as a section called sitemaps and that’s that’s what
we want now obviously I’ve already added my sitemap but do you remember here when
I copied this URL the sitemap index dot XML nears the XML file okay that’s the
one I copied and I came across here and you can see there it is there so all I
did was go here and paste that it so it’s pre-populated with my root domain
paste that in there actually you can run a little test it’ll
little tell it’ll have a quick look test complete view test results site number
of children 3 no errors found great so I could go back here paste it in there and
click Submit I’m not going to do that because as you can see there’s no need
for me to delete this just to show you that I can read it hopefully that makes
sense so or do it we’ll hit submit there and you will then have a site map added
like this now I mentioned it there’s two left this is the parent and there are
two children within the site map so let’s take a quick look if you click on
there we should now see there’s the post there’s the pages and there’s the one I
said to ignore please because that’s something else so you’ve got post and
page children site map and quite literally what we’re telling Google
effect I’ll show you so let’s take the page for example and when you click on
there you get a bit more information it’s telling us what’s going on but this
is the bit I want to just drill down to in a little more detail so what we’re
seeing there are my pages these are the pages of the website and I’m saying to
Google that I want you your spider to go and crawl my website and look at these
pages I’m open I want you to look at the content and index the content and also
if you notice over here we’ve got the last modified date so whenever I change
a page Google will be notified that there’s been a change and therefore we
want the spider to recrawl and refresh and affected the update it’s its
findings of our pages so this really just tells you know from from my main
landing page cookie policy privacy policy you can just see that these up
just pages just the pages of that make up my website so we could do the same
for posts as well and it will just display the various posts that we’ve the
various posts that I’ve got on the website too so that would just be sim
coming down here post sitemap there’s the URL there and there’s just a short
list of the posts that have created so far what was the latest for you know the
last modified dates what I did one fit Internet traffic mastery for example you
casually click on those links and we’ll take you to the web pages there we go
this kind of thing so you can see I’ve been busy doing posts reviews I should
say of different products videos with me all that good stuff there we go anyway
so so what we’ve done we’ve got our site map added and that’s that’s great
now you’ve seen that is a list of posts and there’s a list of pages that’s
really the only content we want Google to look at you may as you’ve seen here
there was a third file you may see other files too but focus on posts and pages
because for example it might try and index your media library but if those
photographs are incorporated into your pages and into your posts you don’t want
to index them separately otherwise that will be duplicate content so really just
just try and think logically what do you want Google to see now there may be
pages or posts you don’t want Google to see and that’s no problem because we can
if we go let’s say posts for example and we’re still using the Yoast SEO plug-in
so here’s remember I showed you a second ago the list of posts in the sitemap yet
here they are in the editor section of my WordPress site
so if I just click on edit we can actually put a little tag using Yoast so
you have Yoast here Yoast SEO settings wheel is just here and here’s where we
can tell it to not index says allow search engines to show this post in
search results we can say no so if this content for whatever reason we’d rather
not show to the search engine it could be I don’t know for whatever reason you
might have published something that the way to look at it
is if someone was searching Google and they saw a link and it’s got maybe your
name or your website’s name and the description of content and they clicked
on that link and land on your page what’s their experience does it make
sense is it something you would want them to do as cold visitors coming into
your website does that make sense I hope so it’s just try and think
through what the user experience is so like my pages I’m pretty I’m quite happy
that anybody could come into an individual page and start to get a feel
for what’s going on what I’m about that see the menu bar up top they could click
around so I don’t mind which direction they come in and similarly with the
posts as well because they’d see other content but you may have pages that
aren’t like that if they don’t really work well as a standalone page or a post
so you might not want Google to follow them so just something to think about so
we’ve covered the nofollow aspect we’ve added you found our sitemap through the
Yoast SEO plugin we’ve added the sitemap to the Google
search console we’ve checked that you’ve got the children that we want involve in
the sitemap one thing you can also check is what what does Google currently see
for your domain listing and if you see up here I typed it already but if you go
to the Google search bar and type site colon then your domain name and hit hit
the search option like so it’ll show you exactly what’s being indexed for your
site let me just take that off sorry cite that yeah there were some extra
there wording in the search box so this is this is a search for site colon
Najee Nick’s com that’s my web site and you see right at the top is the home
page and that’s my listing there then there’s the blog page in the contact
page and the essentials page I have an under-construction plugins for when I
maintenance mode that’s that’s got a listing not great I wouldn’t want people
to click on there there’s nothing to see but it’s it’s been sucked up through
different tests that I’ve been doing of the whole sitemap thing but that’s okay
I’ve now cleaned it up so that this will this will narrow overtime my posts FAQ
page etc so you know someone if someone come I can now see what Google sees for
in relation to my website so it’s a very useful way of just having a quick look
to see you know and then people might click that’s a sort of link I want
people to click on this is the sort of page I want people to land on so they
can come here and start doing you know engage with the website with content
that sort of thing that’s cool so just just a little tip
there really regarding using the site and again it’s just typing in site colon
like that and then your domain name and that works really well so I mentioned
there’s one last thing I want to show you regarding the use of the search
console there’s a lot of things going on here but I’m just trying to focus on the
sort of get you started get your website indexed and know that you have your
pages and your posts sitemaps as within Google you know set up within the Google
search console and that the crew that is being indexed so we’ve added it to the
console but we haven’t yet told Google to go and take a look so how do we do
that if we go back to the cross section here on the left you see there’s a fetch
as Google menu option and if you click on there what comes up now you can see
you down here there’s a few I’ve been doing I’ve been testing but essentially
what we’re going to do is use this to tell Google please now go and crawl my
website or crawl my post or crawl my page or do the whole thing and why would
we do that well if we just set up a new blog now suppose for example you’re in
the 4% you you I’m one lifetime member of the 4% it’s
one of the systems I promote it’s one of the systems I’d do a lot of coaching
help with if you have say the e stage platform in the 4% group and you’ve just
set that up you’ve got your first website online it’s your hub you want to
start bringing people to your hub and you’ve got posts content and you’re
building a building don’t assume Google knows you exist but you want some
organic search to find you in the search listings so this is how we can get that
started and if you see here fetch as Google see how Google renders pages from
the website we can try that but if I focus on here
it’s again pre-populated with my domain now I could leave this blank and simply
hit fetch well I’ll do that crashing move this out the way what’s up Dan now
what it’s doing here’s where we hear this if you look at this line here so I
look by leaving it blank it’s actually looking at my main website nice nice my
URL for the landing page for my website the root domain Nigel XCOM and I told it
to fetch widgets done it’s used the desktop mode status is complete I’ve got
the green tick and now I can request indexing I’m not going to I’m not going
to hit the request indexing button because all that will happen is it will
change to indexing requested and you can see I’ve done that already but I would
also do this for the mobile smartphone oh it’s fetch again and then hit request
indexing and that’s forcing Google to go take a look at my website both in the
desktop and mobile domain we’re being open and honest with Google we’re saying
hey I’ve got this content I want you to give a look at it I want you to index it
and I want to get for the spiders to crawl all over it and and start to rank
it within the search engines so it’s just fetch and then request indexing now
you don’t only do that if you just say set up your website or
your hub for the first time that’s something you should do but you can
equally if you’ve just written a new blog post perhaps as you can see I’ve
done here I can take just the actual to do that I
can take just that part of the the blog post from look from the address that’s
just I’m just going to jump to a URL so I can take part of it and show you this
one here just one second to come they can see it so there’s my this is the web
address for this review all I would do is take that part of the URL back to the
domain I missed the four actually I’ll just
copy that and then go back to search console I’ll paste that in there four
percent challenge review fetch it as long as I’ve entered the URL correctly
it says complete and I can request indexing for that review which is a post
on my blog and I would again I would do that for desktop and for mobile as well
so it’s just a really great way of saying to Google right not only if I
told you with my sitemaps where my content is and what the structure is
I now want you to go take a look at it and you can you can do that as I say
starting off with your root domain or you can do it for individual posts and
pages if they’ve been added as new and you want Google to go take a look now so
that’s a very quick run thing I’ve tried to keep it short but 21 minutes you can
see why I didn’t want to do the whole validation verification thing with
Google and there’s other features here as well I will probably do additional
videos on such as the robots dot txt file which is another sort of next step
with SEO and setting up your site for success with the Google search engine so
we’ve covered quite a bit there emphasis really is on using the Yoast SEO plug-in
to create our XML sitemap to create an account with the Google
search console to verify our website and then to add the sitemaps to the search
console here and from there we then go to the fetch as Google and and force
Google to go take a look at our content and then we know the search engines will
be able to find us from there and equally don’t forget it’s good practice
in fact there we go it’s good practice to add all the variations of your
website to the search console you may need to verify each one individually
again I’m going to cover that in a separate video but but this is this is
giving Google as much information as we can but who we are where our website is
what it contains and that one them to go and take a look at it and hopefully once
all this is set up the organic search will help drive visitors to your website
people can find you and that’s that’s what this is all about really key point
being you can build a website but don’t necessarily assume good ones go to find
it any time soon unless you tell it to do so and tell it what you want indexed
what you want it to take a look at its it makes it makes sense otherwise if you
will just have duplicate content and that that’s going to work against you in
the search results so I’m gonna wrap it up there I hope that makes sense I hope
if you have any questions as always comment below
get in touch I always reply I’ll always get back to you I’m always here to try
and help thanks for watching if you’re on youtube hit the subscribe button as I
say just to stay tuned for the other videos I mentioned I may be doing or I
will do as a follow-up to this just so we can go into SEO search engine
optimization and a little bit more detail so have a great day thanks for
watching tick everybody and bye bye for now

3 thoughts on “WordPress SEO – Create A Google XML Sitemap with YOAST SEO Plugin

  1. Hometown HVAC 1 Post author

    is it a good idea to have all the different variations of the urls of your site listed on search console ? all 4 http , https ect.

    Reply
  2. Mehmet Ersoy Post author

    Nice tutorial Nigel! You said installing two different plugins may lead Google to think "duplicate content" which made me worry. I migrated my PHP website to WordPress yet some pages like login, sign up and some technical pages remains in PHP. So I have 2 sitemaps. What do you think I should do? Should I just delete the php sitemap? There are tons of pages for PHP site which are necessarily not need to be ranked but they may help my homepage to rank better maybe?

    Reply

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