How to Submit XML Sitemap to Google Search Console and Why It Affects SEO

When you’re building a website, it’s important to include a sitemap. A sitemap is a list of all the pages on your site, including their titles and links. Google uses sitemaps to determine the content of its search results.

For our context here in submitting a sitemap to Google, we would be focusing on the XML sitemap.

An XML sitemap is a text file that contains a list of all the pages on a website.

But does submitting a sitemap to Google help SEO?

It helps search engines like Google and Bing to crawl and index the website’s pages more effectively.

Google has comprehensive documentation on how they crawl the sitemap, make sure you give it a read.

For non-technical users, a sitemap XML file is simply a file that helps search engines find and understand all the content on a website.

It lists all the pages on the site, along with information about when each page was last updated, how important it is relative to other pages on the site, and other details that help search engines determine how to index the site.

Having a sitemap can improve the visibility and accessibility of your website, which can lead to more organic traffic and better webpages discoveries.

Many content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Shopify, and Squarespace automatically generate sitemap files, but you can also create one manually using tools like XML Sitemap Generator or Screaming Frog.

How to Create a Sitemap for Your Website

There are two methods to create a sitemap index file. The manual and the automatic generation type.

a) Manual:

Start by creating a list of all the web pages you want to include in your sitemap. Then, use a tool such as to generate a sitemap for your site.

This tool will create the sitemap by crawling your site and listing out all the pages and posts available.

Or you could use the old-fashioned way to write your own using notepad or any text editor software.

Open Notepad on your computer. Start with the XML declaration <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>.

Add the opening urlset tag with the XML namespace declaration. Add the URLs of your website within the url tags. 

You can add as many url tags as needed for all the pages you want to include in the sitemap.

Once you have added all the necessary URLs, close the urlset tag.

Save the file with a .xml extension (e.g., sitemap.xml) in a location on your computer where you can easily access it.

Here’s an example:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?><urlset xmlns=”″>

Once you have created your sitemap, be sure to update it regularly as you add new content or delete existing pages.

This will help ensure that your website remains up-to-date and that search engines have access to the latest version of your content.

Creating a sitemap is a simple process that will help you manage and grow your website in a more efficient manner.

b) Automatic Generation:

Some CMSs like WordPress, Shopify, and Squarespace generate sitemaps for you. Or by using SEO plugins such as Yoast, All in One SEO and etc.

To see if your CMS generates a sitemap, open the Settings page for your website.

If you see a setting to generate a sitemap, select the checkbox and click Save Changes.

Your website will then generate a sitemap for you.

Still, you would have to submit your sitemap manually to Google where I’ll be showing you the way to submit your XML sitemap to Google in the process below.

What Makes a Good Sitemap?

A well-structured sitemap should contain accurate, descriptive content about each page on your website. It should be up-to-date and include all of the important links on your site.

When creating your sitemap, be sure to include the following information: 

• URLs of all the pages on your website 

• The date the page was last updated 

• The importance of the page relative to the other pages on your website 

• Any alternate versions of the page

In addition, make sure to exclude any pages that are not important or relevant to your visitors. This will help ensure that bots don’t waste time indexing pages with no value.

As a rule of thumb, always include important pages that need to get indexed by Google.

Once you have created your sitemap, you will need to submit it to Google. You can do this by logging into your Google Search Console account and submitting the sitemap URL. This will help Google crawl and index your website more efficiently.

How to Submit Your Sitemap to Google Search Console

Submitting your sitemap to Google search console is a simple process.

If you are generating them manually, make sure you upload your file to your root domain.

Say for Justrank, I would need to upload my XML file which I name it as sitemap.xml to root domain. And when you type in, you should be able to view all your URL that you generated here.

Once you are sure that your file is in the right folder, log into your Google Search Console account. Then, click on the Sitemaps tab.

Next, enter the URL of your sitemap in the box provided, and in our case here would be []. Once you have done this, click the Submit button.

Google will then begin to crawl and index your website. The submitted sitemap may take several days to process.

Congratulations! You have successfully submitted your sitemap to Google.

Why Sitemaps is Important to SEO Optimization

A sitemap is an essential tool for SEO optimization because it helps search engine crawlers discover and indexes the content on your website.

It is a roadmap that tells search engines which pages are important and how often they should be crawled.

Sitemaps also make it easier for users to find the pages they are looking for on your website. Reducing orphan page content is another benefit of using a sitemap.

When building your website, make sure to include a sitemap in your content management system (CMS) or use the plugin to generate one for you. This will help you manage and grow your website in a more efficient manner.

With a well-structured sitemap, visitors can quickly identify the content they are interested in and navigate to the relevant page.

Sitemaps also help search engines understand the relevance of your content.

By including specific information about each page, such as when it was last updated and what its importance is relative to other pages on your site.

In short, sitemaps are essential for helping bots to discover, crawl, and index the content on your website and helping visitors quickly find the information they are looking for.

Finally, make sure to update your sitemap regularly if you are generating them the manual way.

This will help ensure that search engines are always aware of any changes you make to your website, such as new content or deleted pages.

Final Thoughts

Creating a sitemap for your website is an important step in SEO optimization.

But will it improve your search rankings?

The short answer is No.

But this simple thing can make it easier for search engines to understand your website structure and improve the chances of your web pages getting crawled and indexed.

You should also exclude any pages that are not important or relevant to your visitors.

Now that you’ve learned that creating and submitting a sitemap is a simple process that can have a big impact on your website’s SEO.

So make sure to include it in your SEO strategy.

Joe is passionate about SEO and has been working in the digital space for more than 10 years. Founded JustRank and aim to share his knowledge and passion about search engine optimization. Most love phrase - "David vs Goliath". Connect with me on Linkedin.