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How to Set Up and Optimize a Sitemap For Wordpress site and all website Seo

Here’s an interesting way to get more information on optimizing your sitemap index file and Optimize your WordPress site.

How to Set Up and Optimize a Sitemap

Also Check: Top 10 Website Checker Tools to Analyze Your SEO

What is a Sitemap Index?

A sitemap index file is simply a group of individual sitemaps, using an XML format similar to a regular sitemap file.

You can provide multiple Sitemap files, but each Sitemap file that you provide must have no more than 50,000 URLs and must be no larger than 10MB. If you want to list more than 50,000 URLs, you must create multiple Sitemap files.

If you do provide multiple Sitemaps, you should then list each Sitemap file in a Sitemap index file.

Googling For a Sitemap Index
I’m going to search for a sitemap index to use as an example. To do so I’m going to use the inurl: and site: operators in conjunction.

Googling For a Sitemap Index

Opening a Sitemap Index

You can then click on the result and see the individual sitemaps.

Opening a Sitemap Index

A listing of each individual sitemap. In this case there are 15 of them, all sequentially numbered.

Looking at a Sitemap

The sitemaps are compressed using gzip so you’ll need to extract them to look at an individual sitemap. Copy the URL into your browser bar and the rest should take care of itself. Open with your favorite text program and you’re looking at the individual URLs that comprise that sitemap.

Looking at a Sitemap

Sitemap Index Metrics

Within Google Webmaster tools you’ll be able to see the number of URLs submitted and the number indexed by sitemap
Here’s an example of sitemap index reporting in Google Webmaster tools.

Sitemap Index Metrics

Sitemap Index Optimization

Instead using some sequential process and having products from multiple categories in an individual sitemap, what if you created a sitemap specifically for each product type?
  • sitemap.tv.xml
  • sitemap.digital-cameras.xml
  • sitemap.video-games.xml

In the case of video games you might need multiple sitemaps if the URL count exceeds 50,000. No problem.

  • sitemap.video-games-1.xml
  • sitemap.video-games-2.xml

Now, you’d likely have more than 15 sitemaps at this point but the level of detail you suddenly get on indexation is dramatic. You could instantly find that TVs were indexed at a 95% rate while video games were indexed at a 56% rate. This is information you can use and act on.

To do so would be relatively straight forward. Just split each product type into separate page type sitemaps.

  •  sitemap.tv.category.xml
  •  sitemap.tv.product.xml
  •  sitemap.digital-camera.category.xml
  •  sitemap.digital-camera.product.xml

What’s the indexation rate for category pages versus product pages? What’s the indexation rate by product type?

In addition, you don’t need 50,000 URLs to use a sitemap index. Each sitemap could contain a small amount of URLs, so don’t pass on this type of optimization thinking it’s just for big sites.

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