How to set up a perfect WordPress xml sitemap

If you have installed an SEO plugin like All in one SEO Pack or Yoast SEO you probably already have an XML sitemap but do you have it? configured correctly? Not only do we have to create an XML sitemap from our website, and add it to the Search Console and to Tools for Webmasters of Bing we also have to configure it well.

What is the XML Sitemap and what is it for?

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<p> A XML Sitemap basically <strong> is a file that informs search engine crawlers about the structure of your website </strong>listing all (or part) of the existing URLs. search engine bots use this sitemap as an initial guide to crawl your website. </p>
<p> An XML Sitemap <strong> can contain information (metadata) about the frequency of update of each URL, the priority </strong> of it and, in the case of videos, the duration of the content. </p>
<p> You can (and must) create specific sitemaps for images, video and specialized content for mobile phones. of your compressed XML sitemap (gzip). </p>
<p> <span class= An XML sitemap is the first line of attack for indexing in SERPs #WordPress #SEO @fernandot Click to tweet

Search engines will not be guided exclusively by the information given in the XML Sitemap but it is your first map to your web, they will take into account your indications, will always benefit you and it will never hurt you to have it that's for sure.

So create a Sitemap XML is the first line of attack for the correct indexing in the SERP of the search engines, and configuring it properly is a fundamental task for any web administrator, but the default settings of the plugins are that, by default, and not they adapt to all existing webs.

If you use the Yoast SEO plugin you can only configure what type of content will be added to the XML sitemap without being able to determine more important settings, so we will concentrate on the aj You are available in All in one SEO Pack practically the same as you will find the fantastic (but heavy) plugin Google XML Sitemaps which do allow you to configure an XML sitemap with precision

What to include in the XML Sitemap

In the sitemap you must include all the URLs in which there is content related to the theme of your website and that offer unique, valuable information and relevant for readers and, logically, also for search engines.

 elements to include in sitemap xml wordpress

So, as a starting rule, the XML Sitemap should always include :

  1. The cover of your website most importantly, the gateway to your site.
  2. Pages : your invariable and unique content that it defines you and explains what you are, what you do, what you offer, what are your values?
  3. Entries : your periodicals, in which you offer valuable information to visitors to your website about the content of your sector or business.
  4. Taxonomies : those that serve organize and rank your content, such as labels and categories.

Also, depending on the orientation and segment of your website, the XML Sitemap can include :

  1. Videos : indicating the duration, content category and audience classification
  2. Images / Attachments : specifying the metadata that identifies them
  3. Mobile content : especially if you offer special pages for old mobiles, but also if you have defined a precise mobile strategy.
  4. Topics in the forums if you had them.
  5. Custom content types such as projects, portfolios, etc., if they are relevant to your topic and SEO strategy.
  6. Author files necessary for Google's authoring algorithms.

Additionally, if there are URLs that you want to add to the Sitemap and you have not generated them with WordPress the plugin allows you to add them manually and configure their parameters.

 pages added sitemap xml wordpress

What NOT to include in the XML Sitemap

It will depend a lot on your content strategy but as a starting rule the XML Sitemap should not include:

  • URLs with duplicate content.
  • URLs of attachment pages automatically generated by WordPress.
  • Membership URLs.
  • Files by date.
  • Taxonomies self-generated by the theme or plugins that do not offer organization or content hierarchy.

Additionally, you can also manually exclude URLs, even if you have indicated that they are included, indicating the ID or slug of the same. [196] 59003]  excluded elements sitemap xml wordpress

Update frequency of the XML Sitemap

An important parameter, that the search engines will value, will be the frequency with which your URLs are updated. The plugins that allow you to configure these values ​​offer you the following values:

  1. Do not overwrite : Which will use the default values ​​of the plugin. The default settings are usually for blogs so as a rule do not ever leave it like this.
  2. Always (always): Ask the crawlers to visit your URLs as often as possible, every minute if possible. Configuration suitable for sites with many news that are updated very often, such as digital newspapers of the first order.
  3. Every hour (hourly): You want the bots to visit you every hour. Suitable for news sites that publish new content several times a day.
  4. Every day (daily): To be visited once a day, ideal for blogs that post a daily entry as much.
  5. Each week (weekly): If you update the blog from time to time it is a good configuration.
  6. Every month (monthly): Typical for static websites without a news section or blog, for crawlers to check if Every year (yearly): For exclusively static websites and landing pages ( landing pages ) that never change, but that you want Google to remember that exist.

 frequencies sitemap xml wordpress

And now the usual doubt arises what frequency do I assign to each type of URL? Of course, you want the search engines to visit you the more the better. However, many visits from the trackers does not mean that they will position you better in the SERPs.

Make life easier for search engines and they will reward you, complícase and penalize you #WordPress #SEO @fernandot Click to tweet

In fact, the algorithms of crawlers could " think " that you cheat them if you make marks, for example, a frequency always and do not update anything from your content never or you do it very infrequently.

The rule that you should always apply with the search engines is not to lie to them or try to cheat them because they will catch you and they will penalize you if you generate a consumption of their resources inadequate to the result they will obtain. Google and Microsoft are million-dollar companies but they did not get rich by being fooled, and they are very jealous of the money they use to manage their tools.

I always recommend the universal rule of … " It makes life easier for search engines and you reward, complícales the task and you will be penalized . "

With this in mind, you must assign a frequency appropriate to the reality of each type of URL that you include in the XML Sitemap, being honest with your settings.

Do not try to cheat Google, you will always get caught #WordPress #SEO @fernandot Click to tweet

For a blog like WordPress Help a suitable configuration would be More or less like this:

  1. Portada : always because I publish every day, sometimes several times, and in many occasions I modify titles and extracts of the entries, with what what appears on the cover You can change . Also valid would be the value hourly .
  2. Entries : hourly for the same reason above, since it is quite usual to modify entries once published, to correct errors, add links, provide more content that comes up with the conversation with readers in the comments.
  3. Taxonomies : as they show the file of the entries should be the same parameter you use for them, in the example that we are following hourly .
  4. Pages : daily | weekly | monthly | yearly any of these values, it will depend a lot on how often you modify the information of your pages. When in doubt put the same frequency as for entries, although a reasonable value, even ambitious, would be daily .
  5. Author pages : the same frequency that you establish for taxonomies, being a file of entries.

Above all, keep in mind what we are talking about, how often the URL is updated, how often it shows new or updated information.

So you must clearly distinguish the archival pages, like the cover page and taxonomies, of the entries and pages. The first ones will be updated whenever there is new content, the second ones only when you modify them independently. Keep this in mind when defining frequencies.

XML Sitemap Priorities

One parameter of great relevance is the priority we assign to each URL in our Sitemap. The available settings come in numeric format of type: 1.0, 0.9, 0.8, and so on up to 0.0, and always include the option Do not overwrite to use the plugin's default values.

]  Sitemap priorities xml wordpress

Although the value is of this type then it will be displayed in the XML Sitemap as 100%, 90%, 80% and so on.

This is translated in which we are going to tell search engines what percentage value each URL of our website has in SEO of our entire site, that's nothing.

Come on, you have to decide what value has on the total weight of the positioning of your website each type of content or file difficult decision where they are or not?

My advice is that always, always, assign the value 1.0 (100% ) to the cover as a fundamental element of the SEO of your website (normally) since it contains the eta title main and the most relevant and up-to-date information on your site.

For the pages you must apply the value 9.0 (90%) as they must always contain absolutely relevant information about what What are you offering?

If, in addition, you publish entries with valuable content, that you use to reinforce your positioning you assign them also the value 1.0 (100%) or as little 0.9 (90 %) or 0.8 (80%) since the search engines feed mainly on relevant and updated content.

From here there is no fixed rule apart from not assigning very high values ​​to the rest of the URLs except specific strategy on some type of content (video, images, etc.) basically so that they do not compete with your main URLs (cover, pages, entries).

Basically, what you are saying to Google and Bing is where you publish your most relevant content with your theme which you prefer to position in front of other URLs in case of doubts or need of saving of resources.

More parameters to take into account in the XML Sitemap

, our beloved WordPress plugins also offer us other interesting parameters to configure, and the main ones are the following:

  • Create a compressed XML sitemap (gzip) : Believe it always, in fact the crawlers read them more faster than standard.
  • Notify Google and Bing : Here the plugin sends a ping to the crawlers when your sitemap is updated so they can see what has changed. I think it goes without saying that you always activate it.
  • Generate the XML sitemap dynamically when you publish new content: Do I really need to tell you whether to activate it or not? Ok, yes.
  • Schedule updating of the XML sitemap : This is in case you want to specify a specific time in which to update your sitemap. This is because the creation of the sitemap, on websites with many URLs (thousands), can consume many resources of your server, and it may be better to choose certain hours to avoid slowing down your website if you do not have a powerful server. If you use it you must disable the automatic update when you publish new content, for obvious reasons.
  • Prefix of the site map : By default the prefix is ​​ sitemap so your XML sitemap will be will call sitemap.xml . You should only change it if there is a conflict with another sitemap
  • Create indexes of the site map : If you activate this the sitemap will not initially show all your URLs, but it will be a kind of menu with links to other sitemaps , organized by type of content (pages, entries, taxonomies, etc.), in which the URLs of each container will be. You must not activate it unless your website contains so many URLs (the rule is that does not contain more than 50,000 URLs and does not weigh more than 10 Mb ) that slows down too much the visualization of the sitemap ( Note: the plugin Yoast SEO creates the sitemap with indexes by default, without the possibility of changing ). What has been said, ideally, unless you have many URLs, is to display it directly, without indexes, to facilitate browsing and indexing the crawlers, without having them visit several URLs to see the structure of your website. If you need to create the index the plugin All in One SEO Pack creates it with links to the compressed sitemaps of each type of content, much more efficient and fast loading for crawlers.
  • Add link to the virtual robots.txt file ]: WordPress always offers a robots.txt virtual file. If you are going to create a file robots.txt own (with All in one SEO Pack you can do it easily) do not activate this box, especially if both are going to be in the same route, usually in the root folder of the site . If you are not going to create your own file activate it, it is better than nothing.
  • Add sitemap in HTML format : The Google XML Sitemaps plugin offers you this option, but it is not necessary. The normal xml Sitemap offers the necessary, basic styles for the crawlers to read them correctly.
  • Change the sitemap route : Another setting that allows the Google XML Sitemaps plugin, very useful if not the root folder of your site does not have writing permission, allowing you to save the sitemap in any other folder.

Any questions?

If it has there is some doubt put in the comments and we all solve it.

NOTICE : this publication is from two years ago or more. If it's a code or a plugin it might not work in the latest versions of WordPress, and if it's a news story it might be obsolete. Then do not say we have not warned you.

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SEO in WordPress. Everything you need to know … or almost • WordPress Help

 seo wordpress

Let's see the important aspects about seo in WordPress. And when I refer to SEO, I'm talking about on page or how WordPress is structured in terms of search engines.

There are many things to keep in mind when we create a website and its content such as links , titles, descriptions, images, etc.

In this guide we are going to touch from the most basic aspects, to some more complex ones.

Are you ready?

Well, let's go to it.

What you need

  • Have your WordPress installed.
  • Install WordPress Seo by Yoast .
  • You want to learn and you sure have them.

Permanent links

 permalinks wp33 ]

The permalinks or permanent links are the way in which the url addresses of the web appear.

It is cleaner to see a url of the type:

http://miweb.com/contacto/

What to see it like this:

http://miweb.com/?p=123

Well you know that this is the first thing you should do when you install a WordPress.

Eye: If your website has been working for a while, I do not recommend doing this action, since your urls are already indexed, they have linked you from other sites and you may lose that positioning

To modify how the links of your WordPress appear, you must enter Settings Permanent links and choose the one you like the most.

Personally I like the Entry name or Post Name .

Titles and descriptions

Something very important to keep in mind are the titles and descriptions of both the homepage, other pages, entries, etc.

 Snippet Google

This one is the snippet that appears in Google results when you search for WordPress Help.

If you do not configure this properly, you will get the first paragraph of the page or article and you may lose visits

His is to optimize it to our liking and of course playing with the keywords that we want to position.

Which ones should I configure?

  • Main page: It is very important, since it is what people will see when they search your web in the search engines.
  • Other pages: They are equally important and you have to configure each one.
  • Entries: Each time you write a new article, you must fill in (if you want) the parameters title and description.
  • Categories and tags: If you want to index the categories and labels, it is important that you also configure them but you want to have duplicate content problems. In my case I do not index them in some blogs and I am aware that I miss some visits. But it's my decision.

Okay … but how do I do it?

 Title and description seo

As I said before, we must install the Yoast seo plugin or similar.

I install this one because I like it more. But since there is nothing written about tastes, put the one you want.

Main page and rest of pages

The plugin creates some sections below the page editor, in which we can configure the title and the description.

I personally only fill in these 2 parameters and pass the keywords, given their importance to this day.

Entries

As with the pages, you will find the section below each of them.

Categories and labels

With this plugin we also appear to fill in those parameters when we create a new category or label.

Images

When we upload an image to WordPress, we can fill in parameters such as the title, the alternative text, the description, etc.

It is very important that you fill in the first 2, title and alternative text, because you will also receive visits d e search engines

And as is the competition, everything that is to gain positioning and visits is good.

Sitemaps

Sitemaps or maps of the site, are some pages in which all the content of our site appears It is very important to add them to search engine webmaster tools such as Google, Bing, etc.

This is so because every time we publish our new content, we will be warning the crawlers that we have fresh content for them. to index it.

I've known people who after years with web pages, have not used webmaster tools and it's the first thing to learn to use.

I'm not going to explain how they work, but you can see a guide on the Google I did here .

If we enter the seo plugin and go to the section of Sitemaps we can see a box that says ] XML sitemap . [19659006] If we click, we can see the maps of our site from the pages, articles, categories, etc.

Now you must add them each to the webmaster tools of the search engines.

Microformats and structured data

A the best you've never heard of it or it sounds a bit, but you do not know what it is.

It's okay, I'll explain it to you.

Microformats are a way to label or differentiate certain contents of your web

When we make a new page, it is created by containers that vary their shadow depending on the version of HTML that we use.

For the eyes of Google, they are simply containers full of images, texts, etc.

Now there is a way for search engines to understand what each container means and that is done through microformats.

It is basically indicating on the web what an article is, what is a person, a header, a product and many things more.

Those who we have opted for WordPress, we have done it by using an easy to use and manage system, so we are not going to write code and modify our website.

The only thing I want to say is that when you go to buy your next template, do it with this in mind.

A well-structured internal website will help search engines understand your content and it will be beneficial for you when it comes to positioning yourself.

Duplicate content

If there is something that affects the indexing of your WordPress is the duplicate content.

WordPress is great, but I have found many problems of this type.

Today most can be solved from a plugin or with a bit of code . But you have to dedicate a while.

When I refer to duplicate content, I mean that 2 or more pages have the same title and description, but with different content.

If you go to webmaster tools and look inside Search appearance HTML enhancements You'll see what I'm talking about

If you do not have anything, I'm happy for you

Duplicate pages

When we already have several articles and the page mode 2, 3, etc., start to appear, it can harm us as duplicate content.

It used to be fixed from the robots.txt file, but now it's much easier

Inside the seo plugin by Yoast and in section Titles and Meta Tags there is a box that puts Noindex subpages of files .

If you activate it your problem will be solved

Parameters of url [19659006] Another of the "joys" that I have found is the content duplicated by url parameters.

It is another type of duplicate content, but due to the parameters that are added at the end of an address.

For example , when we use the WordPress commenting system and there are comments, we usually create urls of the following type:

http://miweb.com/titulo-del-articulo/?replytocom=100

This is a nightmare, given that each url will be indexed in Google as a new page and of course it does not favor you at all.

Imagine an entry with 200 comments …

If you want to see if your WordPress is going through this, enter the webmaster tools, Trace Parameters of url .

Solution

Here we can do 3 things:

1. From where we have seen these errors in Google tools, we can give the box next to and edit those parameters.

Tell Google that if is influencing the content and will stop taking them into account .

2. From the robots.txt file (I like this option more) put the following:

Disallow: *? Replytocom

But remember to do it with each duplicate parameter.

3. Use a system of alternative comments like Disqus but it will only be for that parameter, because there can be many.

I have found them of the type:

replytocom, share, action, etc … [19659101] Site speed

Today, your site is fast, it's almost as important as the content you write.

First, because people see a slow page and at 2 seconds it's already being pirated. And the second because Google wants fast pages and if yours is, it will compensate you for it.

The hosting

A good hosting can make your site increase visits and is something that I I have tried it myself

Do not go to a cheap or free one to set up your website and less if it is to make money or for the company.

Find one that is either specific to WordPress or that they know is going the thing.

If there is something important that the hosting must have, it has compression enabled. This greatly improves the loading of the web.

The theme or template

The theme is what your visitors and Google see and must be fast and well optimized. A good template can make your website fly.

In the time I've been making web pages, I've tried templates from most of the sites that sell them on the Internet and I can tell you that there are differences in both optimization, speed and other things.

I have changed for some time that are going very well. But I do not want to make hype. If you ever enter my blog you will see it.

If you are looking for an HTML5, design adaptable to mobile phones, tablets, etc., compatible with microformats, etc.

The images

Many people upload images as they are taken from the Internet or purchased. Grab a 1000px image so that after WordPress reduce it to 500px.

I tell you that it slows down a lot WordPress and I'm going to make you 2 recommendations:

  • You are using WordPress and he has a great image editor that with 2 clicks, reduce them in a moment.
  • Use an image editor and change the size before uploading them.

Use a cache system

There are very good ones that compress your web and frisk it. [19659006] If you read WordPress Help you have probably heard about WP Total Cache and WP Super Caché .

It is recommended that you install some and speed up your site.

There is this and I hope it is useful.

Let's see if I make an article to accelerate the speed of WordPress with very good tricks.

NOTICE : this publication is from two years ago or more. If it's a code or a plugin it might not work in the latest versions of WordPress, and if it's a news story it might be obsolete. Then do not say that we have not warned you.

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Webmaster Tools on WordPress.com

Did you know that you can register your site created with WordPress.com in the tools for webmasters and thus improve your positioning ?. Well yes, you already know.

For some time (do not ask me how much, I found it all at once the other day) on the Tools page on your WordPress.com Desktop ( yourname.wordpress.com /wp-admin/tools.php)

Yahoo is the slowest, it takes more than a day to verify your site.

From now on, you can not only control the positioning of your site / s but to improve it / them by means of strategies and tactics SEO helped by the reports of the tools for webmasters.