Sitemap is one of the most important element that you can have in your website. Sitemaps are a simple way to communicate the content that resides in your website (e.g. posts, pages, images and videos) to Google, Bing and many other search engines to better discover and index your site.
When crawlers see these sitemaps, most of the time being served in a hierarchical fashion, they are able to see the complete structure of your website and retrieve information needed for indexing in a more efficient way.
In this article I am sharing four WordPress plugins that you must have to generate sitemaps:
This WordPress plugin can automatically generate a XML sitemap when you edit, publish or delete a post of your site and it will also automatically submit the sitemap to Google, Bing, Ask.com, Yahoo! and adds the sitemap URL to the virtual robots.txt file to help search engines to better discover and index all your content. Here are the installation instructions.
You can also generate sitemaps for different type of content in your site like from images and videos:
As the name implies this WordPress plugin is able to generate a special XML file named sitemap-image.xml containing a sitemap of all the images in your website. Here are the installation instructions.
In the same way the sitemap for images works, this plugin can generate a spacial XML file named sitemap-video.xml containing the records for all the YouTube videos that you may have embedded in your WordPress site. The video sitemap XML file will include the URL of the pages that have videos from YouTube or from pages that may contain links to YouTube videos. One thing to notice is that if the video from YouTube is removed, the record (or information) that was included in the video sitemap file will now be ignored by Googlebot.
This plugin will generate a sitemap for your WordPress site with URLs that delivers mobile content. Here are the installation instructions.
Unlike Google XML Sitemaps plugin in these last three plugins there some extra steps to submit the sitemaps. You have to go to the plugin settings page, generate the sitemap, then go to your Google Webmaster Tools account and submit the sitemaps.