It’s great to have a brand new website, but how does it get found on Google? Well, you need to make it get found by submitting a sitemap so it can be indexed. There are a few tasks that you need to carry out to get your site listed on the Google search engine results page (SERP), lets see the steps below.
I’ll go through the steps using this site I did for a client.
1. Log in to Google Search Console
If you are already logged into Gmail then when you search for ‘Google Search Console’ you should automatically be redirected to the console. But if you are not, then you will be presented with this page below. ‘Sign in’ by clicking on the blue button in the top right hand corner.
2. Add a Property
Once you have signed in you’ll be presented with this page. I have links on this page because I have added a sitemap to an existing website already. If this is your first time doing this then you won’t have any links. So don’t worry!
Click on Add a Property
Here, just enter your website address and click Add.
3. Verify Ownership of your site
Yes! You must prove that this site is indeed yours by following a few simple steps of verification.
Make sure you have your FTP/SFTP credentials close by since you’ll need them. Or this can also be achieved by using the file upload/manager that comes with your hosting such as c-panel. You will just be uploading files. For the FTP/SFTP you can use Filezilla
2. Upload the HTML verification file to [your website]
Okay, but where do I upload this HTML file? I was just as confused as you until I found out by watching a YouTube video. It is uploaded in the root of where your website lives.
Then confirm success by visiting the file name in the browser – look at point 3 on the screenshot above if your don’t remember. If all is done correctly you’ll see this in your browser
Now go back to Google Search Console and click that verify button and confirm you are not a robot!
Then you get a confirmation message!
4. You have Mail!
Google will have now sent you an email detailing steps you can take to improve your search presence of your website. I will take you through the necessary steps of how to submit a sitemap file to google.
5. How to add a sitemap file
Go to this website https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ and enter the name of your website then click start. This site will generate an xml sitemap for you!
The site then tells you what to do after you have downloaded the xml sitemap! It can’t get better than this. Just follow the steps.
Do you remember where we placed the HTML file in the domain root? Well, it’s time to do it gain for the sitemap – i’ll give you a reminder!
6. Go back to Google Search Console to add the sitemap
It is now time to add the sitemap to Google. Go back to the Google console and click Add/Test Sitemap.
You can click Test if you desire to test the sitemap first, to make sure it’s the correct one or you can click Submit. If you click Test, you are given a little summary. Keep in mind my site is a one pager and you probably will have many more links.
Click on Add/Test Sitemap again and this time click Submit. Just like magic your sitemap has been submitted! Now how long will it take for your site to be indexed (adding pages into Google search) by Google?..It varies, and I can’t give you a definite answer :(.
Well done you made it!