It’s all very well having a beautiful, mobile-friendly, content-full site if nobody knows about it! In this post we’re going to discover how you can tell Google that you’re ready for them and you want them to come and see what you have for them.
I’ve divided this post into 3 parts and all you’ll need to do is follow along step-by-step.
Now, I have to say, this post will help those whose websites are on WordPress. If your site is an HTML-based site or some other Content Management System (such as Drupal) then this won’t make much sense to you. I have always developed my sites using WordPress because I find it easy so, my apologies if this explanation can’t help you.
Creating A Sitemap
So, what is a sitemap and why should you create one? Well, a sitemap, as well as being a ‘map of your site’ is also your direct line into the heart of the search engines – in fact, it’s very much like this:
The best thing though, is that a sitemap takes almost no time at all to create – especially if you have a plugin that will do the job for you.
The plugin I have on this site is the All-In-One SEO plugin by Michael Torbert. Now, there are plenty of other SEO plugins out there such as Yoast and Jetpack for WordPress but I will only be showing you how to work with All-In-One SEO as that is the plugin I have installed.
At the time of writing this post I haven’t got my site into Google, it doesn’t know we exist – that will all change soon 😀
So, let’s get going.
Step 1: Enter your back office of your wordpress site, find the All-In-One SEO tab, click on it and select ‘Feature Manager’
Step 2: On the Feature Manager page, find the XML Sitemap image and click on the blue button, labelled ‘Activate’
Step 3: Once it has been activated, you’ll see an entry appear in the AllInOne SEO menu called ‘XML Sitemap’
Step 4: Click on the Sitemap menu entry and on the next screen you’ll see this piece of text:
Step 5: Click on that link and you’ll be taken to a page which lists all your URLs – this is your sitemap.
You have just created your very own sitemap! Well done! Wasn’t that easy?
Now, our next step in getting our website to appear on Google is to install Google Analytics. Let’s get to it.
Installing Google Analytics
Why sign up for Google Analytics? Well, Google is, currently, one of the world’s largest search engines and if you want to be able to harness some of that search power for your own site then being ‘part’ of Google can only help. So, you are going to need an account with Google to do these next parts.
Step 0: Create an account at your local google or at google.com then
Step 1: Go to google.(whatever)/analytics and sign in with your (new) Google account.
Step 2: On the bottom of the left hand side of the screen select ‘Admin’
Step 3: Select ‘Create a new account’ from the drop down menu
Step 4: On the New Account page
- Ensure that ‘Website’ is selected
- Give this account a name – so you can recognize it later.
- Enter your website’s name
- Enter your website’s URL – don’t forget to ensure that either the HTTP:// or the HTTPS:// is selected
- Choose the Industry Category closest to your line of business. I’ve chosen ‘Internet and Telecom’
- Choose your country (the time zone will change automatically)
- I’ve left all my Data Sharing Settings alone – feel free to change yours however you like
- Click on the blue button labelled ‘Get Tracking ID’
You’ll see an online agreement document come up automatically, read and agree
Step 5. On the next screen, scroll right to the top and you’ll see your Google Analytics tracking code – it begins with ‘UA’ and has a string of numbers afterwards.
Step 6: Highlight and copy this tracking ID
Step 7: Return to our WordPress dashboard and open our All In One SEO.General Settings
Step 8: Scroll down until you see the image below:
Step 9: Paste your tracking ID into the box labelled ‘Google Analytics ID’
Step 10: Scroll to the very bottom of your All In One SEO settings and click the blue ‘Update Options’ button
You’ve just installed Google Analytics! Soon, you’ll be able to check all that traffic that’s pouring into your site – good job!
We’re not quite finished telling Google about our site yet. Now we have to create an account at Google Search Console.
Installing Google Search Console
Google Search Console is the updated name for ‘Google Webmaster Tools’ so, in order to work in this I googled ‘Search Engine Console’ and I picked the 1st result as per the image below
Now, because I opened a Google Search, the program automatically took me to my homepage in Google Search Console.
So, to add our website to G.S.C. we follow these steps:
Step 1: Click on the red ‘Add A Property’ button in the top right corner
Step 2: Type in your full URL for your website in the box as per the image below (remember to add the HTTP or HTTPS as per your website)
Step 3: Click ‘Add’
Step 4: Now, we’re going to use the recommended method, so we’ll just hit the ‘Verify’ button and, fingers crossed, we’ll be verified and…
Yay! We’re verified now we need to add our sitemap to Google Search Console. Why? Well, because our site is new and small it doesn’t have a lot of links either within it or coming into it from external sites. Submitting a sitemap to the search engines gives them the chance to look at all of our pages and/or posts and index them.
So, on the congratulations page click that blue ‘continue’ button and that takes us to our Search Console dashboard.
Step 1: Click on the ‘No Sitemap’ button on the far right of your dashboard as per the image below:
Step 2: Click on the red ‘Add/Test Sitemap’ button in the top right and add your sitemap address – it is going to be ‘sitemap.xml’ as per image below:
Step 3: Once submitted we need to refresh the page (as per image below)
Step 4: Yeehah! We now have our sitemap submitted and found by Google Search Engine Console!
Well done! Awesome job!
Let’s just review what we’ve managed to do:
1) We used our SEO plugin to create a sitemap
2) We created an account at Google Analytics
3) We linked our website to Google Analytics
4) We installed Google Search Console
5) We submitted our sitemap to Google Search Console
Stupendous jobs folks! Now, it going to take a little time before Google sends its ‘bots to crawl your site. If you want it to go faster then you can get that information inside Wealthy Affiliate.
Please find the access link here: Wealthy Affiliate