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Yoast Sitemap Guide

by | Feb 28, 2020 | Web Development | 0 comments

YOAST is incredibly powerful but one problem I faced when first utilizing the plugin was managing the unruly sitemap that it generates.

Yoast Sitemap Location:

If Yoast is installed and the sitemap is not disabled you can find your sitemap by affixing “sitemap.xml” to the end of your URL.

This is the URL that you will want to give to Google Search Console for indexing purposes.

https://clickshepherd.com/sitemap_index.xml

Gaining Control of your Sitemap & Being Deliberate:

If you are utilizing WordPress to make a web site for a client, it is important to submit a clean sitemap to each major search engine. WordPress, alongside YOAST, can go a little crazy with the number of items added to the sitemap. For example – if the website you are building is not blog focused, YOAST will automatically include Project, Author, and Tag sitemaps. They may be empty or be pages that you do not want to be visible on search engines. Be sure you are only including content you want visible on search engines when auditing your sitemap.

Auditing and keeping clean your YOAST sitemap is also important if you are inheriting a messy WordPress site and their SERP is all over the place. A very common complaint I get is that an author archive is showing up higher than the pages full of great content. This makes the companies online presence look absolutely amateur.

Being deliberate with the sitemaps takes work when working in YOAST, but the details really add up over time.

The Purpose of Archives and the multiple Sitemaps:

The idea behind having archival pages in WordPress is so search engines have an easy way to view all the content even if the blogger lets posts fall off of the website.

This is an excellent built-in feature, but quickly becomes a double-edged sword if you are not blogging. You generally do not want archives competing for SERP space with the pages with actual content.

A separate Sitemap for each content-type:

Under the “Search Appearance” settings menu in Yoast navigate to the “Content Types”. Here you will see the posts types.  Each of these post types will have a separate sub-sitemap generated.

If you would like to take down a section of your sitemap, such as all posts or projects, you will need to toggle on the option that says “Show Posts in search results?” (highlighted below).

Flipping this on creates a sitemap for all the content in this content type. Turning this off takes away the sitemap.

 

This guide is developing…