The lines between social media and search engine optimisation are blurring. Professionals are having to become increasingly flexible and develop their knowledge in areas that 6 months ago would have been well outside their remit. So, although my passion may lie in social media, but that isn’t going to stop me talking about SEO. Not when it could help clients meet their objectives.
If you’re anything like me, SEO can feel really overwhelming. With so many aspects, tools, jargon and bits of coding it can seem impossible to even know which way is up. So I thought I’d put together some little “How To” guides to help keep you grounded.
How to submit your blog’s Sitemap to Google
Have you ever been to foreign country where you don’t quite speak the language. Imagine being dropped in a city with a roughly drawn map and told to make your way through making sure you visit every road – you might be able to stumble your way around, but you’re not really sure whether you’re heading in the right direction. That’s the challenge that faces Google Crawlers when they arrive at a website. The landmarks are familiar, it’s pretty simular to other places they’ve been before, but there is always the risk that they might end up down a dead-end or by-pass some key content.
Sitemaps are a way to tell Google about pages on your site. It allows Google to locate pages that it might not otherwise discover, and although Google doesn’t guarentee that it will crawl all of your pages, at least by submitting a “map” of your website to Google you can be more confident that the search engine is able to learn about the structure of your site, and get a rough idea where it should be going.
To get started you will firstly need to link your blog with Google Webmaster Tools – it’s a free service that allows you to find out some interesting stats on how Google crawls your website. Once registered you will have the option to submit or test a site map.
How to find a Blogger Sitemap
- Open up your web browser, and type in your Blogger blog’s URL and at the of the URL add robots.txt. For example, if the URL of your blog is http:/ /myblog.blogspot.com , then enter http:/ /myblog.blogspot.com/robots.txt
- Some text should now be displayed in your browser. It might look like an error message, but don’t panic. Look for a line that starts with Sitemap:. There will be a URL after that, and this is the location of your sitemap.
- Simply copy the second part of the link (the domain name part of the URL would already be included) into Google Webmaster Tools.
How to find a WordPress Sitemap
- WordPress Sitemaps are even easier to locate.
- Simply type your blog address into a brower but end the link with /sitemap.xml so for example http:/ /myblog.wordpress.com/sitemap.xml.
- If you visit this site you’ll be viewing your sitemap – simply pop the second part of the URL (e.g. “/sitemap.xml”) into the box withint Google Webmaster Tools.
And that’s it.
In the words of a famous meerkat: Schimples.