How to Activate Google Sitemap on a WordPress Website
If you’re looking to have your WordPress website listed on Google, you need to have a Sitemap.
Google Sitemap is a free tool that helps with crawling and indexing of your content. Having a Sitemap means that when a visitor lands on your site, they will see a list of all the content on your site in a form that’s easy to scan and navigate. This can dramatically increase the likelihood that they will leave a positive impression of your website.
In this article, we’ll cover the process of how to get a WordPress website listed on Google and how to properly configure the Sitemap to ensure your visitors can find what they’re looking for easily.
Get a.com,.net, or.org TLD
It’s always preferable to use a top-level domain (TLD) such as .com, .net, or .org for brandable web addresses. Using a TLD like .com makes it much easier for people to remember and find your website. Additionally, Google prefers websites to be registered under a.com TLD.
If you don’t have a brand that fits nicely under a top-level domain, consider using a second-level domain (SLD). For example, if you have a brand that you think people will search for often, you can use the co.uk TLD for “.com” domains and the com.au TLD for “.org” domains. The advantage of using an SLD is that it is less likely that people will forget how to spell your brand or website, making it much easier for them to find.
Don’t Overlook The Importance Of A Meta Description
It’s always important to put the meta tag into your H1 and H2 headings, but the meta description is especially critical for your SEO. The meta description is the small bit of text that appears under the SERP title in the results of a Google search.
In order to have the meta description tag work for your SEO efforts, it needs to be concise, yet interesting enough to make the searcher click through to your website. This is particularly important if you’re blogging because people expect the content to be updated frequently and therefore click on the posts that they’re most interested in reading.
Make Sure You Have All The Important URL Matching Variables
If you’ve ever gotten an SEO friendly URL, you’ll know that it’s important to have all the important URL matching variables. These are the bits of data that are used to determine where your content appears in the SERPs. Having all the matching variables is crucial for ensuring that each URL points to the right place.
Most SEO friendly URL’s will have the SITE_ID variable, which is the ID number of your website. For example, let’s say you had a blog post about London that you published a while back. You can use this URL to point to that specific blog post: london.example.com/2016/06/londons-weather.
In addition to having the SITE_ID variable, all SEO friendly URLs will have the POST_ID variable. This is the ID number of the specific blog post that you’re trying to bring more traffic to. In our example above, the ID of the post is 201606. If you’re using the post shortcode, you can use this to reference a specific post on your site: nyc.example.com/2016/06/londons-weather.
If you don’t have either of these variables in your URL, it’s important to add them. The easiest way to do this is through some trickery with a bitly bookmarklet. When you share a URL with bitly, they’ll automatically generate the POST_ID and SITE_ID variables for you.
Bitly is a free service that allows you to shorten and track any URL. Once you’ve generated the short URL for the blog post you want to promote, simply click on the bookmarklet to automatically add the variables to the URL.
Use The Right Anchor Text
The anchor text around links on your site is very important. When a user clicks on a link, they’re essentially going to another URL, so the text that they see before they get there is very important in determining how effective that link will be.
When it comes down to SEO and links, the first thing that Google, and other search engines, look at is the anchor text around links on your site. In general, you want your anchor text to match the words and phrases that your target audience is using to find the products or services you offer. This will greatly increase the likelihood that your anchor text will appear in the text of a relevant link (i.e., the words and phrases that your target audience is using to find your product or service).
For example, let’s say your target audience is parents searching for parenting blogs, and you’ve got a page on your site with a list of blogs that you think are relevant. On that page, you’ve got a couple of links to other blogs that you think are interesting, but you don’t want to overdo it and make it look like you’re just trying to get links.
You might want to consider using something like the below for one of the links on your site.
The above will result in the words “parenting” and “blog article” being used as the anchor text for your links, which will make it much more likely that those words will appear in the text of a relevant link to your site.
Additionally, using the keyword “parenting” twice in the above anchor text will also increase the odds of it appearing in the text of a relevant link to your site. When someone clicks on a link with keyword-rich anchor text, that link will appear in the results of a Google search for that keyword. In the end, the more you can do to make your links relevant to your target audience, the better.
Use The Right Images
While the text on your site is very important, it’s always important to have images that can drive more traffic to your site. Even if you’ve got great writing, the right image can make or break a blog post.
Images can help your target audience understand your content better, which can result in them being more receptive to the points you’re making. In terms of SEO, having images that are relevant to your target audience will increase the likelihood that they will click on the links that you’ve linked to in your blog post.
When deciding which images to use, consider the size of your target audience and whether or not you think they’ll be interested in the subject matter of your blog post. If you’ve got an interest in economics, for example, you might want to consider using the euro symbol or the words “euro” or “European Union” in your blog posts’ titles and in the text of your articles. Anything that has to do with economics will be very relevant to your target audience, so using relevant images for your blog post on EU regulations or the euro can greatly increase the likelihood of a successful search engine optimization effort.
Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
It’s important to make your website accessible from any device. The moment that your target audience has to go through a complicated series of steps to reach the content you’ve offered, they’ll quickly leave and never look back. Having a mobile-friendly website is, therefore, important for ensuring that you can maintain a steady stream of traffic.
When it comes to a mobile-friendly website, the first thing to consider is whether or not you’ve got a responsive design. A responsive website will automatically adjust its layout and display content effectively on any device.