You have a beautiful self-hosted blog with lots of great posts, so why is no one viewing it? A lot of traffic to blogs are from search engines. You are most likely not getting a lot of blog views because Google does not know your site is there. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps Google know more about the pages on your blog, including URLs that may not be otherwise discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process. Let us go over how to submit a Sitemap to Google.
First, you’ll need a Google Webmaster account
Go to http://www.google.com/webmasters to sign in with your Gmail username and password. Once you’re logged in, click on the red box that says “Add A Site” and enter in your blog’s URL. Next, you’ll have to verify that you are the owner of the site. If you already have your blog connected to Google Webmaster, click on the thumbnail of your blog to be taken into Google Webmaster’s dashboard.
Now, you’ll need a Sitemap to submit
There are several WordPress plugins that will generate a Google Sitemap for you such as Google Sitemap Plugin or Google XML Sitemaps. If you prefer to not use a plugin, XML-Sitemaps.com is a great free alternative. With XML-Sitemaps.com, all you need to do is enter your blog’s URL and answer a few questions such as how frequently your blog content changes and the last time your URL was modified. Once the site is done generating your Sitemap, you will need to place it into the domain root folder of your site.
Add your Sitemap to Google Webmaster
Going back to Google Webmaster, click on the Sitemaps button. Then, click the red box that says “Add/Test Sitemap” and enter in your Sitemap’s URL. You may want to test your sitemap. If so, click the “Test Sitemap” button. If you are ready to submit it, click the blue “Submit Sitemap” button. Once that is done, you will be able to see how many web pages were submitted to Google and how many are being indexed.
It is a good habit to check in with Google Webmasters frequently as they will alert you if there are problems crawling your site. Please keep in mind that this only submits a Sitemap to Google and not to other search engines.