What It Is & How to Submit One

What It Is & How to Submit One


There are many methods you possibly can enhance your Shopify web site’s search engine marketing.

However top-of-the-line issues you are able to do is leverage your sitemap. Which is very simple you probably have a Shopify web site.

On this put up, we’ll go over the way to discover and submit your Shopify sitemap. And a way to maintain your sitemap up to date and optimized for higher search engine visibility.

Let’s begin with the fundamentals.

What Is a Sitemap & Why Does Your Shopify Retailer Want One?

A sitemap is a file that lists all of the vital pages in your web site. 

It acts as a listing for search engine crawlers (and for customers, relying on the format) to assist them simply navigate your web site. And guarantee they perceive your web site’s structure and the relationships between the pages.

Listed below are the 2 important sorts of sitemaps:

  • XML sitemap: A sitemap that’sused by search engine crawlers to find pages
  • HTML sitemap: A sitemap that appears like a typical webpage with all vital pages listed to assist customers simply navigate the web site

XML sitemaps present extra details about URLs, akin to once they have been final up to date and whether or not there’s an alternate model.

Right here’s an XML sitemap instance:

An XML sitemap example from Screaming Frog

And right here’s an HTML sitemap instance.

An HTML sitemap example from Apple

HTML sitemaps may also enhance your inner linking. Which contributes to your total search engine marketing efficiency. 

However for many Shopify shops, the header navigation bar accommodates hyperlinks to all vital pages. Which means there’s hardly ever any sensible want for an HTML sitemap you probably have a Shopify web site.

So, we’ll focus solely on XML sitemaps for the remainder of this text.

Do You Have to Know How one can Create a Sitemap in Shopify?

Fortunately, there’s no must dig into the way to add a sitemap in Shopify. As a result of anybody who makes use of the platform already has an XML sitemap.

The Shopify platform auto-generates and modifies your XML sitemap. And likewise helps region-specific sitemaps for worldwide websites.

Can You Edit Your Auto-Generated Shopify Sitemap?

Shopify-created sitemaps can’t usually be modified.

They’re mechanically generated and modified primarily based in your retailer’s content material. And Shopify is restrictive about altering them.

You need to use third-party Shopify apps to edit the prevailing Shopify XML sitemaps. And different exterior instruments to create one from scratch. However we’ll get into these choices later. 

How one can Discover Your Shopify Sitemap

Your Shopify XML sitemap is in your web site’s root listing.

Merely go to https://instance.com/sitemap.xml in a browser to entry your Shopify XML sitemap. (Simply substitute “instance.com” along with your Shopify retailer’s area.)

For instance, right here’s clothes model Hiut Denim’s Shopify XML sitemap:

Hiut Denim’s Shopify XML sitemap

That is the primary sitemap. Which is known as the father or mother sitemap or sitemap index. And it hyperlinks to all of the little one sitemaps, which include the URLs of the pages.

You may submit your sitemap index to engines like google as a substitute of submitting every separate sitemap. As a result of engines like google can entry these particular person sitemaps by way of the hyperlinks within the sitemap index.

Right here’s what one in every of Hiut Denim’s little one sitemaps appears like:

Hiut Denim’s child sitemaps looks like

Understanding the Contents of a Shopify Sitemap

The Shopify sitemap.xml file is a sitemap index. Which accommodates hyperlinks to your retailer’s different sitemaps.

It accommodates sitemaps for the next:

  • Merchandise (/sitemap_products_1.xml): accommodates URLs of all of the product pages and their media
  • Collections (/sitemap_collections_1.xml): accommodates URLs of all the gathering pages and their media
  • Weblog posts (/sitemap_blogs_1.xml): accommodates URLs of all of the weblog posts and their media
  • Pages (/sitemap_pages_1.xml): accommodates URLs of all different pages and their media

Every XML sitemap has a restrict of fifty,000 URLs. So, Shopify will mechanically create extra ones if this restrict is exceeded.

Which means the following product sitemap can be sitemap_products_2.xml.

And right here’s what a Shopify product sitemap appears like:

Shopify's product sitemap

Within the sitemap, every URL is outlined by the <url> tag. Which accommodates the next data:

  • <loc>: The placement (URL) of the webpage or picture file
  • <lastmod>: The date and time when the content material was final modified
  • <changefreq>: A sign of how typically the content material is more likely to change (e.g., each day, weekly, and so on.)

For the merchandise sitemap, every entry additionally accommodates an <picture:picture> tag for the product picture. It accommodates the next data:

  • <picture:loc>: The placement (URL) of the product’s major picture
  • <picture:caption>: The product picture’s caption, if current
  • <picture:title>: The product picture’s title, if current

How one can Add a Customized Sitemap to Shopify

There are just a few methods to customise your sitemap.

The primary is a workaround that includes creating and importing a static Shopify XML sitemap. Then making a 301 redirect to it from one in every of your webpages. 

This offers you extra management over which pages are included. However it’s important to be extraordinarily cautious to keep away from main search engine crawlers astray.

Listed below are some frequent errors to keep away from:

  • Making a clean sitemap with none URLs
  • Omitting vital pages and content material
  • Together with URLs with standing codes apart from 200 (i.e., redirects, 404 pages, and so on.)
  • Together with non-canonical URLs (which means different variations) 
  • Exceeding the sitemap restrict (i.e., 50,000 URLs or 50 MB)

And be sure that the sitemap.xml is legitimate. Which means it follows the sitemap protocol set by Sitemaps.org. For instance, the sitemap ought to:

  • Start with <urlset> and finish with </urlset> tags
  • Specify the namespace (protocol customary)
  • Comprise <url> tag for every URL, with a <loc> tag inside it

You too can use apps to change sitemaps. There are many them within the Shopify App Retailer.

Shopify App Store's results for "sitemap"

However it’s normally higher to stay to the default sitemaps and settings. 

Why? As a result of Shopify auto-updates the sitemaps frequently, retaining them updated. And decreasing the chance of errors.

How one can Submit Your Shopify Sitemap to Search Engines

Let’s go over the way to submit a Shopify sitemap to Google and Bing.

Submit a Shopify Sitemap to Google

You may submit your Shopify sitemap by way of Google Search Console (GSC). However first, you’ll must create a brand new property in your Shopify retailer and confirm it.

So as to add and confirm your Shopify retailer, begin by navigating to Google Search Console.

Right here, you possibly can confirm the property in two methods:

  • Area: Covers all URLs and subdomains
  • URL Prefix: Covers all of the URLs with the particular prefix

The URL Prefix methodology is best and best suited for Shopify. As a result of all of the URLs share the identical prefix (e.g., https://yourdomain.com/).

Within the “URL Prefix” area, enter your Shopify homepage URL and click on “Proceed.”

"Welcome to Google Search Console" window

Now, you will must confirm the positioning’s possession.

There are a number of methods to do this. For instance, you should use current Google Analytics or Tag Supervisor setup. However the easiest choice is so as to add a meta tag within the Shopify retailer.

To do that, broaden the “HTML tag” part and duplicate the meta tag.

"Verify ownership" screen in Google Search Console

Now, go to your Shopify admin. Within the left-side menu, navigate to “Gross sales channels” > “On-line Retailer” > “Themes.”

Navigating to "Themes" in Shopify admin menu

Within the Shopify themes, click on on the three dots beside the “Customise” button to open the menu. And click on “Edit code.”

Menu in Shopify themes

Open the theme.liquid file below the “Structure” drop-down menu.

"theme.liquid" file selected under the “Layout” drop-down menu

When you’re within the Shopify theme.liquid file, paste the Google search console web site verification code contained in the <head> tag as proven under.

Shopify theme.liquid file with Google search console site verification code added

And click on “Save”on the prime in the best nook.

Notice: Making modifications to your theme file can result in severe web site points for those who make errors. Should you’re uncomfortable with this step, attain out to a developer who will help.

Now, you’ll must return to the Google Search Console setup and confirm the meta tag.

Click on the “Confirm” button contained in the “HTML tag” part from the place you copied the code.

You’ll get a affirmation message as soon as the verification is full. When you’ve efficiently arrange your Shopify web site in Google Search Console, you possibly can see its presence on Google and observe its efficiency. 

Now you can submit your sitemap by going to “Indexing” > “Sitemaps” in GSC.

Navigating to “Sitemaps” in GSC menu

Enter the sitemap tackle below the “Add a brand new sitemap” part and click on “Submit.”

“Add a new sitemap” section in GSC

When your submission is profitable, you’ll get this message.

"Sitemap submitted successfully" message

Additional studying: How to Submit a Sitemap to Google (in 4 Simple Steps)

Submit a Shopify Sitemap to Bing

Bing Webmaster Instruments helps you perceive your web site’s presence on the Bing search engine.

You may submit your Shopify sitemap to Bing and assist it perceive your web site—it tells the search engine which pages you’d wish to get listed.

For that, you’ll want a verified web site.

Go to Bing Webmaster Tools and log into your account.

Should you’ve already verified the positioning on GSC, you possibly can import particulars and sitemaps instantly. In any other case, you possibly can observe the guide verification steps under.

Enter your Shopify area and click on “Add.”

"Welcome to Bing Webmaster Tools" window

Within the verification, broaden the “HTML Meta Tag” part and duplicate the verification code.

There are different verification strategies, akin to including an XML file. However the “HTML Meta Tag” choice is the best one.

"Add & verify site" screen in Bing Webmaster Tools

Now, observe the steps talked about for the Google verification within the earlier part on including the meta code to the Shopify theme.liquid file. And confirm the positioning.

As soon as the verification is profitable, you possibly can submit your Shopify sitemap to Bing.

Click on “Sitemaps” within the left-hand menu of Bing Webmaster Instruments.

“Sitemaps” selected in the left-hand menu of Bing Webmaster Tools

Within the prime proper nook, click on “Submit sitemap.”

“Submit sitemap” button highlighted in the top right corner

Enter the tackle of the Shopify sitemap within the pop-up window and click on “Submit.”

“Submit sitemap” section in Bing Webmaster Tools

Many retailers face the “Could not fetch” error whereas submitting a Shopify sitemap.

If this occurs, you should verify whether or not your web site is accessible to the general public (which means it’s not protected by a password). 

Merely open the sitemap URL in a personal browser window to see for those who can entry it.

Monitoring and Updating Your Shopify Sitemap

Your Shopify sitemap performs an important half in your search engine marketing efficiency. And retaining it updated and optimized for engines like google is crucial. 

This may be difficult for those who’re utilizing customized sitemaps.

The Semrush Site Audit instrument will help you discover and repair all of the vital points in your sitemap.

Open the instrument and observe the Site Audit configuration steps to create a undertaking and run a web site audit. 

As soon as the audit is full, you’ll see a high-level look of your web site’s technical search engine marketing well being within the “Overview” report.

Site Audit overview dashboard

Now, click on the “Points” tab and enter “sitemap” within the search bar on the prime.

Sitemap errors identified in Site Audit under "Issues" tab

The instrument will now present you any sitemap-related points. Like these:

  • Sitemap.xml not discovered
  • Sitemap.xml recordsdata have format errors
  • Incorrect pages present in sitemap.xml
  • Sitemap.xml recordsdata are too massive
  • Sitemap.xml not indicated in robots.txt
  • HTTP URLs in sitemap for HTTPS

Hover over “Why and the way to repair it” to be taught extra about a difficulty. And discover out what steps you possibly can take to deal with it.

Staying on prime of any points will provide help to keep your Shopify web site’s well being and search engine marketing efficiency. 


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