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Google Sitemaps

If you have a website then it's imperative you create a Google Sitemap for it and then submit your newly created Sitemap to Google using the freely available Google Webmaster Tools.

Google Sitemap Generator

There is software out there to create a Google Sitemap for you - but we would be very wary of using it - as most of the time we've found they do not list all your pages.

Creating a sitemap for Google is extremely easy. All you need is notepad which every computer has. Open notepad and cut and paste the following lines in...

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap/0.84">
Then simply put all your content pages in like so....
<url>
<loc>http://www.yoursite.com/index.html</loc>
</url>
Once you've added all the content pages finish it off with the following line...
</urlset>

Then save your file as sitemap.xml and upload it to your root folder where your first page is.
Login in at Google Webmaster tools and add your site by uploading your newly created sitemap file.

Once you are up and running the information may look something like the screenshot below...

From this screen you can go to other places and find out more really useful information about how your web site is performing or indeed where there are problems with your website which need sorting out.

Google Metrics

You can see how well your website is performing with some quite detailed information such as how many Google Impressions your website is getting and how positions have changed over a month.

google metrics

Google Crawl Errors

If you have a big site that has been around for a while invariably errors will occur. These can occur through no fault of your own - for example if another site links to your site incorrectly. This is where creating a Google Sitemap and submitting it really pays dividends. By looking at your "Not Found" crawl errors you can see where you need to correct your site. By doing this you should improve your visitors to the site as they will be landing at the right page and this should improve your SEO - a double whammy effect! You can adjust how people land on your site by modifying your .htaccess file which we show you how to do in another article.

google crawl errors

There is more information such as what sites link to your keywords and all the sitemaps you have - as you can have more than one.
You should also make sure you list your sitemap locations in your robots.txt file which we also show you how to do.

The above screenshot shows how many URL's are in the Google Index and how many URL's have been submitted. The two numbers very rarely match - most of the time the right hand number (URL's in Index) are lower (sometimes zero) than the URL's Submitted number. We wouldn't worry too much about it - use the Google Sitemap information to make sure you have done everything right with your site.