How to Create and Submit an XML Sitemap to Search Console

One of the essential tools in achieving this is an XML sitemap. In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of XML sitemaps, guiding you through the process of creating and submitting them to enhance your SEO efforts.

Written by

Will Robertson-Brown

November 2023

What is a Sitemap XML?

A sitemap XML is a structured file that lists out all the pages of your website, providing search engines with a comprehensive guide to navigate through your content. It acts like a roadmap, allowing Google’s bots to quickly find and index your pages, thus improving your site’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). 


Not only does a sitemap XML facilitate faster indexing, but it also aids search engines in understanding the structure of your site and the relevance of your content, contributing significantly to your SEO success.

How to Create a Sitemap XML with YoastSEO

YoastSEO, a popular WordPress SEO plugin, offers a seamless and user-friendly way to create a sitemap XML for your website. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure you generate an accurate and functional sitemap:

Step 1 – Install YoastSEO Plugin: If you haven’t already, install and activate the YoastSEO plugin from the WordPress plugin store.

Step 1 - YoastSEO XML Sitemap

Step 2 – Enable XML Sitemaps: Navigate to ‘Yoast SEO’ in your WordPress dashboard, and click on ‘Settings’. Here, scroll down to the ‘API Section’ and ensure that the ‘XML Sitemaps’ option is toggled on.

Step 2 - YoastSEO XML Sitemap

Step 3 – View Sitemap: Once enabled, you have the option to view your XML Sitemap.

Step 3 - YoastSEO XML Sitemap

Step 4 – Find Your Sitemap: To access your newly created sitemap, append ‘/sitemap_index.xml’ to your website’s URL (e.g., www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml). This will direct you to your sitemap, where you can review the listed URLs.

Step 4 - YoastSEO XML Sitemap

How to Add Sitemap XML to Google Search Console

Once your sitemap XML is ready, the next step is to submit it to Google Search Console, a crucial step in ensuring that Google indexes your site’s content. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1 – Access Your Dashboard: Log in to Google Search Console and select the property (website) you want to submit the sitemap for.

Step 1 - Upload XML Sitemap to Search Console

Step 2  – Submit Your Sitemap: In the dashboard, find and click on ‘Sitemaps’ under the ‘Index’ section. Enter the URL of your sitemap in the ‘Add a new sitemap’ field and click ‘Submit’.

Step 2 - Upload XML Sitemap to Search Console

Step 3 – Check for Errors: After submission, stay on the ‘Sitemaps’ page to monitor the status of your sitemap. Google will provide feedback, highlighting any issues that need addressing to ensure optimal indexing of your site.

Benefits of Submitting Your Sitemap to Google Search Console

Submitting your sitemap XML to Google Search Console isn’t just a one-off task; it establishes a direct line of communication between you and Google. It ensures that Google is aware of all the pages on your site, even the ones that might not be easily discoverable. This can significantly speed up the indexing process, making your content appear on SERPs faster.

Moreover, Google Search Console provides invaluable insights into how Google views your site, offering data on indexing status, search traffic, and any crawl errors that may be hindering your site’s performance. Addressing these issues promptly not only boosts your SEO but also enhances the user experience on your site.

A sitemap XML is a critical component in your SEO toolkit, acting as a bridge between your website and search engines. By utilising YoastSEO, creating a sitemap becomes a straightforward process, ensuring that all your pages are accounted for and ready to be indexed. Submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console further solidifies your SEO efforts, providing you with the tools and data necessary to monitor and enhance your site’s performance on SERPs.

Embrace the power of sitemaps and watch as your website climbs the ranks, becoming more visible and accessible to your target audience. After all, in the competitive digital landscape, ensuring that your website stands out is not just beneficial – it’s essential.


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