While I have been blogging for a little over a year, I still have much to learn about the art of blogging. A couple of days ago, I became technologically savvy and decided to add a site-map to my fitness blog. Not knowing much about site-maps, except for the fact that they are supposed to increase traffic, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. Seemingly simple, I started utilizing some of the free tools that the web provides, such as Free Site Map Generator and XML Site-Maps I was on a promising path. The path swiftly came to a halt when realizing Blogger does not allow one to make changes to the root directory. I took a step back and created this small fool-proof guide to adding a site-map that is sufficient for Blogger.
Step One: Understand basic terms, perform a simple Google search to find more information. I found the following terms helpful: SEO, root directory, site map, XML, html, atom, metadata. Do not get nervous, they are very simple terms and understanding them will help you a great deal. 1) SEO – means search engine optimization, it is how the different search engines find and use the data from your sites. 2) Root directory – the main or top directory, (the starting point). 3) Site-map – helps the World Wide Web find the data on your site faster. 4) XML – simple computer language for web documents. 5) HTML – hyper-text-markup-language, the main type of language for web documents. 6) Atom – another form of computer language, actually a syndicated form of XML. 7) Metadata – contains special information (code) that helps the web identify what your site is about and how the data will be indexed.
Step Two: Familiarize yourself with Google Webmaster Tools . I have utilized Google Webmaster Tools for quite some time. It can be used for various diverse purposes such as creating a metadata and tracking the relevance of your key words. This is where you will submit your site-map when ready. Once you are familiarized with Google Webmaster Tools, if you have not already done so, add your site to Google Webmaster Tools and verify ownership. Please follow the simple step by step instructions that are provided by Google.
Step Three: Once your site is linked to Google Webmaster Tools, it is time to create your site-map. You do not have to add any code into your blog for this step. You simply go to Google Webmaster Tools and choose Optimization from the Dashboard followed by the Site Maps option. Once you have entered the Site Map area look for a red button titled Add/Submit a Site Map. This button is located in the top right corner. When you click on the button you should see your URL. I would see http://www.365daysofhealthandfitness.com/ you would see your respective URL. You must add the following extension to the file: atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=1&max-results=100. Next hit test site-map, Google will check and see if the site-map works. Once you are finished testing add the site-map and watch your links increase, as well as your visits.
This method is fairly simple and I promise it works. It was found after various dead-end attempts and many web searches. Good luck!
a) You can have more than one site-map linked to your blog or website. This is helpful when you have over 250 posts and or entries.
b) The key to getting more exposure is links, links, and more links, the more links your site contains the more exposure it will attract. I went from approximately 20 links to over 700, just by creating a site-map.
c) You can utilize the free site-map generators if you have access to the root directory of your site. Do not utilize them for Blogger – dead-end.
d) Join social networking sites such as Google+, Twitter, PinInterest, Instagram, and more to share links with others.