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How to add a sitemap to google webmaster toolsOne of the first and most important things you need to do to rank in the search engines with your new site, is to add a sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.

This ensures Google will crawl ALL the pages on your site and they’ll send you more traffic!

Since this is such a crucial step to ranking in Google, I’ve created this simple 3 step guide, which should take you all of 5-10 minutes to complete.

3 Step Guide Quick Links

* On my new sites, I like to add my sitemap immediately after I’ve set up my menu pages and I’ve written a handful of posts.

#1 – Add Your Site to Google Webmaster Tools

First, we’ll need to open up our Google Webmaster Tools account, add our site, and verify we are the true owner.  If you haven’t done this already, follow these simple steps.

1. Login to Google Webmaster Toolshttps://www.google.com/webmasters/tools  – use your gmail account info to login.  When you login for the first time, you’ll see a screen like this.  Add your website url at the bottom.

Add url to webmaster tools

2.  Verify you own the site.  The easiest way to do this is by Signing In to Your Domain Name Provider (such as godaddy or bluehost,wherever you registered your domain)  Then click Verify.

verify site ownership

3.  Log in to your domain account.  You’ll be asked by your domain provider to allow them to verify site ownership to google.  It will look something like this:

Verify ownership with Godaddy

4.  Go ahead and Accept/Verify.  You should now be the verified owner of the site you submitted.

If Google Webmaster Tools confirmed you as owner of the site properly, you should be directed to your Webmaster Tools dashboard,  a page that looks like this:

webmaster tools dashboard

#2 – Create Your Sitemap in WordPress

Once you are the established owner of your site, you can now add your sitemap file in Webmaster tools by going to Step 3, if you already have the sitemap.  If not, you’ll need to do these simple steps to create a sitemap:

1.  Open a new tab in your browser and log into your WordPress dashboard.

2.  We need to add a plugin.  Go to Plugins -> Add New

Add a plugin in WordPress

3.  Search for Google XML Sitemaps

4.  It should be the first one at the top.  Click “Install Now” and then click “Activate Plugin”.

5.  Now we need to set up your first sitemap by going to the control panel on the left and go to Settings -> XML Sitemap

Google XML Sitemap Plugin

 Your sitemap may generate automatically and you’re done with this step.

6.  If not, you may see a screen that says you haven’t built your sitemap yet.  Just click on the top link where it says “Click Here” to build it the first time.

build first sitemap google xml

Now your sitemap should be generated.  To check, type your your website domain and add /sitemap.xml   to your browser, like this: www.InsuranceBlogbyChris.com/sitemap.xml

It should look something like this:

example of google sitemap

#3 – Add Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools

Now that we have created our sitemap, it’s time to add it to Webmaster Tools.

Simply go back to Google Webmaster tools and in the menu look for Crawl -> Sitemaps, and then click on “Add Sitemap”

Now just add: sitemap.xml in the space provided and click Submit:

add sitemap to webmaster tools

You’re done!  Your Sitemap has been submitted to Google Webmaster tools.

Now it’s time to start getting some backlinks and watch your traffic and leads grow!

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