By Chris J. Everett, Principal & Founder
Captivate Search Marketing
As a follow up to Part III of my advanced SEO tips for Exponent CMS webmasters
that discussed installing webmaster tools, I'll now discuss the importance of XML
Sitemaps and how to create and configure one for your Exponent site.
XML Sitemaps for your
website notifies the
search engines about
each of the web pages
on your site, and how
important each page
is, as well as how
often the site is
Creating an XML
Sitemap also provides
a way for the search
engines to discover
pages on your website
that they might not
have found through
the normal site
A complement to the Robots.txt file, after they are generated, XML Sitemaps are
uploaded to Google and Bing Webmaster tools to help you manage the indexation
of your web pages.
Generating an XML sitemap is very easy by going to www.xml-sitemaps.com.
This website gives you step by step instructions on how to create your XML
Sitemap. You'll first need to enter your website URL and then select the frequency
that your site is changed.
Next you can tell the search engines precisely when the last time your site was
The Priority tag for your XML sitemap assigns a value to your URLs between
0.0 and 1.0, where 0.0 identifies the lowest priority URLs on your site and 1.0
identifies the highest priority URLs. The default priority of a page is 0.5.
Once you've filled out the necessary data, you can then run your XML Sitemap by
clicking the “Start” Button.
As you can see in the image above, you can run a XML Sitemap for a website up to
500 pages for free. If your website has more than 500 pages that need to be
indexed, you'll have to find an alternative sitemap generator, or pay for the
Once you click “Start”
the Sitemap crawler will
start to build your XML
Once the Sitemap generator is finished running, you can download it and
push it up to the public_html directory of your Exponent CMS website via
FTP or cPanel/WHM.
You can verify that you've properly uploaded your XML sitemap by going to
www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml It should look something like this:
So now that you've created and uploaded your new XML Sitemap to your
web server, you now must go to Webmaster tools for both Google and Bing
and submit your XML Sitemap URL.
Google Webmaster Tools
In the Google Webmaster Tools, you can access the Sitemap configuration
page from the dashboard, or on the left hand menu under Optimization by
clicking the “Sitemaps” link.
Once you've landed on the Sitemaps configuration page, you can submit a new
sitemap by clicking the red “Add/Test Sitemap” button on the right hand side.
There, you'll simply enter “sitemap.xml” in the rest of the URL field and click
You'll receive a “Sitemap Submitted” message to let you know that you've
successfully completed the process:
Bing Webmaster Tools
Similarly to the Google Webmaster Tools, you can submit a XML Sitemap on the
Bing Webmaster Tools dashboard under the “Sitemaps” section:
To submit the sitemap, simply click “Submit a Sitemap” and fill out your XML
Once you've filled out your URL, click submit and you're done.
You now have successfully notified the search engines about each page on your
website. While it does not guarantee every page will be indexed, it does help
eliminate URLs not getting picked up through normal crawling.
In Part V of this Advanced SEO Tips series, I'll discuss how to configure and install
Google Analytics on your Exponent CMS website.