It is a file that provides information about your website content to Google & other search engines.
The sitemap file in XML format (Extensible Markup Language) provides information about pages, posts, videos, and other content on your content to search engines. It provides a quick roadmap of your website content to search engines.
Is XML Sitemap required for every website
Ideally, a neatly coded website with proper content linking can be easily discovered by Google Search. However, to make Google’s work easy – it is recommended to set up an XML sitemap for more comfortable and quicker understanding of website content.
A sitemap is a must for large websites with a lot of content for search engines to understand various content types. Also, this allows all the newly published content to be considered for Google Search indexing without any exceptions.
How to create XML Sitemap
Websites built on the WordPress platform can easily generate XML sitemap using specific plugins. Generally, SEO plugins like Yoast, SEO Press have this feature by default. Static HTML websites can use any of the online sitemap generator tools.
Once you generate the XML sitemap file, the next step is to submit that XML sitemap URL to Google. For this, add your website to Google Search Console and then add XML Sitemap URL in the sitemap section.
XML Sitemap for Images & Videos
By default, an XML sitemap would include information of post and page URLs. However, if your website has a lot of videos – you can consider making a separate video XML sitemap with more specific video information. Similar, an image XML sitemap can be considered for image-rich websites.