Sitemaps: What They Are, How to Create One & Submit it to Google?

Team TypeStack
Team TypeStack ...
Nov 21, 2022  . 8 min read
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When it comes to technical SEO, a lot of people come up with a common question- How to create an XML sitemap? There is no doubt that sitemaps are an important part of technical SEO. Numerous factors help you to rank on search engines like Google. Sitemaps are one of the crucial factors to consider while improving your search engine results.

If you want to rank higher on search engines, you cannot afford to miss out on sitemaps. Submitting sitemaps to Google can improve your site’s search visibility and help in solving technical SEO issues.

In this guide, we will be learning what is a sitemap, how to generate a sitemap, how to submit them to Google, types of sitemaps, and all the essential sitemap best practices. So, let’s deep dive into understanding the meaning of sitemaps first.

What is a Sitemap?

A sitemap is a file that provides important elements of your website like images, videos, the last time you updated your web page, and more. These files are then read by search engines like Google to crawl your web pages effectively and efficiently.

It is nothing but a blueprint or roadmap of your website that allows search engines to crawl and index all the content of your website.

Sitemaps have become an important part of SEO campaign strategy. But why do you need a sitemap and how it helps in ranking your web pages higher on search engines? Let’s find out!

Why Do You Need a Sitemap?

Sitemaps are an important element of an SEO strategy. And here’s why you need them.

It helps search engines like Google to better understand your content, and crawl and index your web pages.

Sitemaps not only help in understanding the structure and content of your website but even make it easier to navigate your entire website.

They are driving factors for your website’s success.

In short, your SEO strategy is incomplete if you don’t use sitemaps properly. They can be a game-changer for your brand and help you rank better.

Types of Sitemaps

Before you go forward with using sitemaps, there are different types of sitemaps you need to know about. They are:

Page Sitemap

The first in the list is a page sitemap. These sitemaps help in improving the indexations of your web pages. Under the page sitemap, you can use three types of tags to indicate different things. <lastmod> tag is used to indicate the time when the web page was last edited. <changefreq> tag tells about how often the web pages are edited. And a <priority> tag indicates how important a particular web page is on your website.

Video Sitemap

Video sitemaps majorly focus on the important videos or video content on your website. You can use these sitemaps if you think your website video content is too important for your business.

These sitemaps are important as they tell Google about the video pages that need to be crawled and indexed. They make sure that text content and even videos are shown on the search results.

You can use a video sitemap generator like Vimeo to structure the videos on your website. A video sitemap generator can help search engines with crucial video data on your website.

Image Sitemap

An image sitemap is used to help Google to crawl and index important images on your website. These sitemaps specifically rely on HTML tags to identify the most crucial images for your business.

You can use an image sitemap generator like Slickplan to allow websites to easily navigate on your website and index important images. It can help you to avoid duplicate images for all the web pages.

News Sitemap

Apart from videos and images, you can even rank new stories on top of Google search results. For the news sitemap, make sure you include articles that were published in the last two days on your file.

Furthermore, be specific about your article thumbnail and structure your data to get the most out of your news sitemap. You can use these different sitemaps according to your preferences. But, now let's understand — What does a sitemap do and how to create an XML sitemap.

What Does a Sitemap Do?

Sitemaps come in various formats like XML., text., RSS, and more. They are used to manage the content that will be shown to different search engines with the intention of indexing. Moreover, they help in listing a website’s essential pages and allow webmasters to put additional information about every important URL.

How to Generate a Sitemap?

Usually, sitemap generators like an XML sitemaps generator are used to generate a sitemap. But in case you don’t have access to an XML sitemaps generator, you can even create a sitemap without using a generator or a plugin. You can use content management systems like WordPress for the same. These systems have plugins for updating and creating sitemaps every time you create a new page or update an old one.

But, if there are no plugins available, you can easily create a sitemap using a crawler. Decide the pages you want to be crawled, and the number of sitemaps you need, and ensure that you code all these URLs in XML tags.

Furthermore, you can even create sitemaps manually by simply creating a text file with a .xml extension. Further, make sure to fill it with a code that contains important and relevant information.

In the end, make sure the sitemaps you are using are valid or else you will end up impacting your website. To check the validation of these sitemaps, you can even use a sitemap validator.

Now, let us understand how to find the sitemap of a website. Let’s get started!

How to Find the Sitemap of a Website?

There are 5 simple ways through which you can easily find the sitemap of a website. Here are the following ways you can do it:

One of the most commonly used ways is to check the Robots.txt which is a special file that usually includes the link to the sitemap. It makes it easier for search engines to detect the sitemap and crawl your entire website.

Make sure you manually check the most common locations where the sitemaps can be present.

Third, look for an XML file with the use of Google Search Operators. These operators can be site:, ext:, or inurl:.

Several online tools like SEO Site Checkup Tool help you detect a website's sitemap.

Lastly, even the content management systems which you used to create a sitemap can work in this case. You can check these tools and detect the location of the sitemap.

How to create an XML sitemap and the ways to find them isn’t enough information. You also need to learn — How to submit a sitemap to Google. Let’s get into it.

How to Submit a Sitemap to Google?

You can simply use tools like Google Search Console to submit the sitemap to Google.

First, create an account on Google Search Console and select your website or web page URL. After this, add a new sitemap and upload its XML file to the root directory. Make sure you properly type the sitemap’s file name in the required section. And finally, submit the sitemap.

Yes, that’s it. Create the sitemaps manually or automatically and then submit them to Google.

Sitemaps Best Practices

Indeed, knowing how to create an XML sitemap can be a game-changer for your website. But, here are some sitemaps best practices that you should definitely follow.

Prioritize important web pages that will drive more traffic to your website.

Use a sitemap tool to create and submit sitemaps to Google.

Structure your website better by categorizing your content and making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site.

Make sure to place your sitemaps at appropriate places like the homepage, so that search engine crawlers can easily find your content.

XML Sitemap Example

An XML sitemap example can ease your understanding. We all know that an XML sitemap is used to detail all the important URLs on a website. Here are some sitemaps examples that are generated by Yoast SEO — post-sitemap.xml, page-sitemap.xml, video-sitemap.xml, and more.

Sitemap Priority Values

Often businesses believe that using sitemap priority values can differentiate their web page content from their competitors; however, many experts believe that these priority values are unnecessary. Because until your content is original and adds value, Google will find its way to rank your website higher on search results.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have understood — How to create an XML sitemap and the ways to submit them on Google. Sitemaps are an important component of your website as they can help Google to find your important web pages and crawl them easily. This will further help in improving your website’s performance and better ranking your content on Google.