Indexing on the search engine plays an important role in defining the success of your e-commerce store and any other site. The main role is of the Google Sitemap. Thus, let’s know how to create a sitemap page for your Magento store.
What is a Sitemap?
A Sitemap is the most simple way of telling search engines about the pages of your site which are available for scanning. XML file is the simplest form of sitemap in which all the URLs of a site are mentioned. Metadata is used while the page design helps the search engines for fast and more accurate scanning of the pages.
A sitemap.xml file helps the search engine bots in many different ways like:
- The bots can understand which pages are new on the site and need to be reindexed
- Decide the priority of the pages on the basis of specified parameters
- Find out when was the last changes took place in the pages which have been already indexed
- Remember the frequency of the pages
- Index all the pages of the sitemap without exception.
If there will be no sitemap then it is possible that some pages will get missed by the search engine bots.
In simple words, a sitemap is like a guide of your site which helps the search engine to know about your site and thus increases the level of trust. And this also adds to the web resource some very useful additional rating points.
How to create a Sitemap in Magento?
As a rule, the sitemap helps in finding the internal links of the site and in some cases, it also helps in finding the external ones which are very useful. Using the metadata, you can bind several pages of the site together, compute the necessary URL for indexing and much more.
But you should remember a thing that creating a sitemap doesn’t guarantee that the site will get a place on the top Google Search engine results by some requests or the page will be indexed necessarily. However, the creation of a sitemap gives a tip or hint to the search engines about your Magento store which can improve the ranking.
How to Create Sitemap in Magento?
If your aim of creating a sitemap is telling search engine crawlers of your Magento store then creating them within an XML platform would be the best decision. However, if you want to help the users easily navigate through your Magento store then we recommend using an HTML sitemap.
As both these approaches have their individual benefits for your e-commerce store we suggest going for both instead of either-or. Depending upon what you decide as your need it will directly influence which of the two you opt into.
How to create a Magento sitemap?
Magento is a highly functional e-commerce development and it never disappoints whenever we have any custom functionality requirement. The same is the case with the Sitemap. Magento has an advantage over other CMS in that it can create sitemaps automatically but not with a special file integration in the root system.
For creating a sitemap, you have to log in to your Magento Admin Panel and then navigate to the Top Menu Section – Catalog. In this section, you will find a section named Google Sitemap. Select the Add Sitemap item here. Enter the sitemap name and its format, in our case we are opting for XML format.
The saving path of the sitemap will be specified automatically, but if you wish then you can indicate it manually. For e.g. if you want to save the sitemap in a subsection of the main menu, then you can use this path:
Subsection/Sitemap (Diagonal slash is necessary)
Check whether the selected section is indexed. Then, choose the Store view item and click on the Save Sitemap button.
This simple algorithm will create an automatic sitemap having all the links to all the categories, SKUs, and other CMS pages of your store. All these items will be chosen in the appropriate position. Also, if you add or remove any page from the site then Magento will edit your file with the sitemap itself. If you want to configure this function then you have navigated to the Magento Admin panel: System -> Configuration -> Google Sitemap.
For a detailed description of the requirements to this file, navigate to http://www.sitemaps.org
Magento Sitemap Generation Settings:
After the file creation, you have to add it to the Google Search Console (GSC) and robots.txt. If there are multiple types of content (videos, text, images, pages, etc.) then you have to use different sitemaps (on the Google side different crawlers are used to index different content types). If you want robots not to stumble while viewing a map of your web resource, you should know how to set up sitemap.xml correctly and what are the main conditions:
- Apart from UTF-8, no file coding is allowed
- File size is limited to 10 MB.
- The limit of URLs in the sitemap.xml body is 50,000
- If one or two previous conditions aren’t met, the sitemap.xml involves breaking it into multiple files
- The file should be stored in the root folder of the web resource.
Tell Search Engines About Sitemap:
To tell search engines about the sitemap you can bind it to the file called robots.txt. Go to this file and edit it. For registering a Sitemap, go to the control panel of the website for webmaster in Google Search Engine. If you don’t want to go through all this hassle then you can contact the Ceymox Technologies Magento Experts who are having expertise on this.
For configuring the sitemap.xml file, you can use any one of these steps:
- If you want to do this manually then it is a very strenuous job until & unless there are a few pages. It requires skills to work with the main tags.
- You can use online services for customizing sitemap.xml. Both free and paid options are available. The majority of the online services have a similar principle – you share the main address of the site, the initial settings, and get the generated result. Generally, the limit for online services is 5,000-page addresses per site.
- Generators are highly useful for setting up sitemap.xml with numerous advantages including a maximum number of addresses and large settings. But there is a small drawback that some advanced options are available on purchasing a license.
Frequent Errors in the Sitemap and how to check them:
Errors will not have a high-level impact on the attitude of search on your site. But you must eliminate errors for better indexing of the necessary pages. The common mistakes are broken links, redirects, incorrect dates for publishing or updating content.
To know the accuracy of your site map, there are many online services available that will do it for you automatically and mention all the errors that have been made:
- Site validity
- Indication of URL from another domain
- Excess file size
- Online diagnostics of the indexing
In this article, we have gone through different aspects of how to generate a sitemap in your Magento store. At Ceymox Technologies, the best Magento development agency in India, we are having expertise in developing Magento stores from scratch and implementing custom features and functionalities. Our certified developers are highly experienced in creating sitemaps and other required features. Let us know your requirements.