So you’ve set up Bing Webmaster Tools and you’ve added your website to it. What’s next?
The next action I highly recommend you take after setting up Webmaster Tools is adding you website’s XML sitemap to your account.
A sitemap is essentially a list of all of the content on your website, and when you submit your sitemap to a search engine like Bing, crawlers will read the file and index your content. This will help your website’s content appear in Bing’s search results, and hopefully result in lots of traffic to your website.
If your website is powered by WordPress then creating a sitemap could not be easier, especially if you have the Yoast SEO plugin installed.
In this post I’ll show you how to create a sitemap using Yoast SEO, and I’ll then show you how to submit it to Bing Webmaster Tools.
1 | Install Yoast SEO
The easiest way to generate a sitemap is using a plugin, and I personally recommend you use Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is more than just a content analysis tool. It has lots of amazing features, including the ability to create a sitemap for your WordPress website.
If you don’t already have Yoast installed you will need to install this first. Log into your WordPress admin area, hover over Plugins in the left hand menu and click Add New.
Once you are on the plugins page, search for “Yoast” and you should see a plugin that looks like this:
Click Install Now and then click Activate when prompted to.
And that’s it! Yoast SEO is installed and ready for you to use.
2 | Create your sitemap
The next step in this process is to create your sitemap. So once you’ve installed Yoast SEO, you will see a SEO menu item on the left hand side of the screen. Click on this.
This will take you to the general settings page for Yoast. Once here, click on the Features tab at the top of the page.
On the Features page you will see numerous settings. Scroll down this page until you see an option called XML sitemaps. You need to make sure this option is turned on. It should be on by default, but if not, click the On button and then Save changes at the bottom of the page.
To view your sitemap, click on the question mark icon next to the XML sitemap setting. This will reveal some text and links.
Click on the See the XML sitemap link to to view your sitemap.
Your sitemap page will look a little something like this:
As you can see, your sitemap index file contains multiple sitemaps. If you have WooCommerce installed, like I do, then you may see quite a few sitemaps here.
We aren’t bothered about the individual sitemaps; what we want is the URL of this sitemap index page. So, make a copy of your sitemap URL. It might look something like this:
3 | Submit your sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools
Now you’ve generated your sitemap and you know what the URL of this is, it’s time to head to the Bing Webmaster Tools website.
If you haven’t already set up a Bing Webmaster Tools account and added your website to it then you will need to do this first. I’ve shared a blog post explaining exactly how to do this.
After you’ve logged into Bing Webmaster Tools, click on your website from your My Sites list.
Once you are on your website’s dashboard, click on Sitemaps in the left hand menu. You’ll find this under the Configure My Site title.
This will take you to the sitemaps page where you can submit your sitemap. Remember the sitemap URL you copied earlier? Paste this into the Submit a sitemap box and click Submit.
After submitting your sitemap you will see it in the table below with the status Pending. It may take sometime for your sitemap to be added to Webmaster Tools. Eventually the pending status will change to show the number of URLs that you have submitted to the sitemap.
If you head back to your dashboard then you will start to see this become populated with information about your website, including the number of searches your website has appeared in, clicks from searches, crawl errors, popular keyword searches and inbound links.
(Note: My stats are still quite low as I only recently added my website to Bing!)
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