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Add Sitemap to Shopify: How-to Find, Create, Update and Submit

Table of Contents

Sitemaps are vital tools for improving the SEO ranking and visibility of e-commerce sites. Sitemaps help search engines like Google and Bing navigate and index the site more effectively by providing a structured overview of a website’s content. This enables search engines to discover and display relevant pages in search results, increasing the chances of attracting organic traffic. Sitemaps also help ensure that all important pages, including product listings and category pages, are included in the search engine’s index. By regularly updating and submitting sitemaps, e-commerce sites can enhance their online presence and improve their chances of being discovered by potential customers.

What Is a Sitemap?

A sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the pages on a website, designed to help search engines understand the structure and organization of the site’s content. In e-commerce, a sitemap serves as a roadmap for search engine crawlers to effectively discover and index the various product pages, categories, and other important content on the website.

The main purpose of a sitemap in an e-commerce website is to ensure that search engines can easily crawl and index all relevant pages, improving the visibility of the site’s products and content in search engine results. By providing a clear and comprehensive list of URLs, a sitemap helps search engines understand the hierarchy, priority, and relationship between different pages on an e-commerce website.

What Are the Benefits of a Sitemap?

The following points highlight the benefits that come from using a sitemap:

#1: Discoverability

Search engine crawlers use automated bots to navigate the web and discover new content. While these bots are sophisticated, they may encounter difficulties finding all the pages on a website, especially if the site has a complex structure or if certain pages are not easily accessible through internal links. A sitemap is a centralized reference point that ensures all important pages are included and accessible to search engine crawlers.

#2: Indexing

After discovering a page, search engine crawlers analyze its content and index it for future retrieval. By providing a sitemap, e-commerce websites can ensure that all product pages, categories, filters, and other relevant content are crawled and indexed accurately. This helps search engines understand the breadth and depth of the website’s offerings, making it more likely for these pages to appear in search results.

#3: Freshness and Updates

E-commerce sites often have a dynamic nature with frequent updates, new products, and changes to existing pages. With a sitemap, website owners can promptly inform search engines about new additions or updates, ensuring that the latest content is crawled and indexed quickly. This helps maintain accurate search engine rankings and provides users with the most up-to-date information when searching for products.

#4: Priority and Hierarchy

A sitemap allows website owners to indicate the priority and hierarchy of pages on their e-commerce site. This is typically done using XML sitemap protocols, where pages can be assigned priority levels or grouped into different categories. By specifying the importance of certain pages or sections, website owners can guide search engines to prioritize crawling and indexing critical content, such as high-value product pages or landing pages.

#5: Canonicalization and Duplicate Content

E-commerce websites often face challenges related to duplicate content, such as multiple URLs for the same product due to various filters, sorting options, or session IDs. A sitemap helps address this issue by specifying the canonical URLs, indicating the preferred versions of pages to be indexed. This helps search engines understand which version of a page should be displayed in search results, preventing duplicate content issues and preserving SEO efforts.

As you can see, a well-structured and regularly updated sitemap is crucial for e-commerce websites, as it enhances search engine visibility, improves indexing efficiency, and ensures that the most relevant and up-to-date content is displayed in search results. By helping search engine crawlers navigate and understand the website’s structure, a sitemap maximizes the chances of attracting organic traffic and potential customers to the e-commerce site.

What Is a Sitemap in Shopify?

A sitemap in Shopify refers to a specific file that lists all the pages, products, collections, and other relevant content on an online store. The Shopify platform automatically generates the Sitemap and serves as a blueprint or guide for search engine crawlers to navigate and index the website’s content effectively.

Here’s a detailed explanation of what a sitemap is in Shopify and how it functions:

#1: Automatic Generation

Shopify automatically generates a sitemap for each store, ensuring that it stays updated with the latest changes and additions to the website. Adding new products, collections, blog posts, or pages automatically includes them in the sitemap.

#2: XML Format

The Sitemap in Shopify is typically generated in XML format. XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a standard file format that provides a structured representation of the content on a website. Search engines favor this format as it allows them to understand the relationships between different pages and the importance of each page.

#3: Content Coverage

The Sitemap in Shopify includes a comprehensive list of all the important pages and content on the online store. This includes product pages, collection pages, blog posts, informational pages, and other relevant content on your Shopify site.

#4: URL Structure

Each URL within the Sitemap is listed individually. It includes additional information, such as when the page was updated, its priority level, and how often it should be crawled. This information helps search engine crawlers understand the significance of each page and how frequently it should be revisited for updates.

#5: Search Engine Crawlers

When search engine crawlers visit a Shopify store, they typically start by accessing the sitemap. The Sitemap provides a concise and organized overview of the website’s structure, making it easier for crawlers to navigate and discover all the essential pages. This improves the chances of the store’s content being properly indexed by search engines.

#6: Submitting to Search Engines

After generating the Sitemap in Shopify, you can submit it directly to search engines like Google and Bing. This ensures that search engines know your website’s structure and can crawl and index it efficiently.

#7: SEO Benefits

A sitemap in Shopify offers several SEO benefits. Providing search engines with a clear website map increases the chances of your store’s pages appearing in relevant search results. It also helps search engines understand your content’s organization and hierarchy, improving your online store’s overall visibility.

Please keep in mind that by ensuring that your content is properly discovered and indexed, the Sitemap enhances the search engine visibility and overall SEO performance of your Shopify store.

Shopify Sitemap submit and change in Shopify
Source: https://www.shutterstock.com/

How to Create a Sitemap in Shopify

Creating a sitemap in Shopify is a straightforward process. The platform automatically generates a sitemap for your store, so no manual configuration is required.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a sitemap in Shopify:

#1: Login to Your Shopify Admin

Access your Shopify account by visiting the Shopify website and logging in with your credentials.

#2: Navigate to the Preferences Settings

From your Shopify admin dashboard, click “Online Store” in the left-hand menu, then select “Preferences.”

#3: Find the “Search Engine Listing Preview” Section

Scroll down the Preferences page until you locate the “Search Engine Listing Preview” section. This section contains search engine optimization (SEO) and sitemap generation options.

#4: Locate the Sitemap URL

The sitemap URL is in the “Search Engine Listing Preview” section. It will be in the format of “https://yourstorename.myshopify.com/sitemap.xml.” This URL is the location of your automatically generated sitemap.

#5: Submit the Sitemap to Search Engines (optional)

Once you have the sitemap URL, you can submit it to search engines like Google and Bing. This step is unnecessary as search engines usually discover and crawl the Sitemap automatically, but it can help expedite the process. You can submit the sitemap URL through the search engine’s web admin tools or search console.

#6: Verify Sitemap Submission (optional)

After submitting the Sitemap to search engines, you may be able to verify the submission. The verification process varies depending on the search engine. Still, it typically involves following the instructions from the search engine’s webmaster tools or search console.

That’s it! You have successfully created a sitemap for your Shopify store by following these steps. Remember that Shopify automatically generates and updates the Sitemap for you, ensuring that it reflects the most current content on your store.

How to Add a Sitemap to Shopify

In Shopify, you don’t need to manually add a sitemap, as it is automatically generated and updated for your store. However, you can take additional steps to ensure your Sitemap is accessible and properly utilized by search engines.

Here’s a detailed explanation of how to add and optimize a sitemap in Shopify:

#1: Access Your Shopify Admin

Log in to your Shopify account and navigate to the admin dashboard.

#2: Generate the Sitemap URL

Shopify automatically generates a sitemap for your store, and the URL for your Sitemap follows this format: “https://yourstorename.myshopify.com/sitemap.xml.” This URL is the location of your Sitemap, and it is accessible to both you and search engines.

#3: Verify Sitemap Submission (optional)

Although Shopify automatically generates and updates your Sitemap, you may want to verify its submission to search engines. Verification can help ensure that search engines properly recognize and index your Sitemap. You can submit your sitemap URL through the search engine’s web admin tools or search console.

#4: Enable Crawling and Indexing

Shopify allows search engines to crawl and index your online store by default. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check your store’s settings to ensure that there are no restrictions in place. To do this, go to your Shopify admin, click “Online Store” in the left-hand menu, and select “Preferences.” Under the “Search Engine Listing Preview” section, verify that the “Visible to search engines” option is enabled.

#5: Submit Sitemap to Google Search Console (optional)

If you want to optimize the indexing of your Shopify store further, you can submit your Sitemap to Google Search Console. This allows you to monitor your site’s performance, resolve any crawl errors, and gain insights into how Google sees your site. To submit your Sitemap to Google Search Console, you’ll need to create an account, add your site property, and then submit the sitemap URL through the “Sitemaps” section of the console.

Sitemap submit to Search Console

#6: Regularly Update and Monitor Your Sitemap

As you make changes to your store, such as adding new products or updating existing pages, Shopify will automatically update your Sitemap. However, it’s important to periodically check your Sitemap to reflect your store’s structure and content accurately. You can access your Sitemap anytime by using the sitemap URL provided by Shopify.

Taking these steps into account improves the visibility of your store’s content in search engine results. It increases the likelihood of attracting organic traffic to your Shopify site.

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How to Submit a Shopify Sitemap to Google

Submitting your Shopify sitemap to Google is important to ensure that the search engine properly indexes your online store’s content. By submitting your Sitemap, you help Google discover and understand the structure of your website, which can improve its visibility in search results.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to submit a Shopify sitemap to Google:

#1: Create a Google Search Console Account

If you don’t already have one, visit the Google Search Console website (https://search.google.com/search-console) and create an account. You must sign in with your Google account or create a new one if you don’t have an existing one.

#2: Add Your Shopify Store Property

After logging in to Google Search Console, click on the “Add Property” button and enter your Shopify store’s URL (e.g., “https://yourstorename.myshopify.com”). Follow the prompts to verify your ownership of the property. Several verification methods are available, such as adding an HTML tag to your store’s homepage or verifying through your domain provider.

#3: Access the Sitemaps Section

Once your property is verified, you’ll be taken to your store’s Google Search Console dashboard. In the left-hand menu, under the “Index” section, click on “Sitemaps.” This will open the sitemaps management page.

#4: Add Your Sitemap URL

Click the “Add/Test Sitemap” button on the sitemaps management page. Enter “sitemap.xml” (without quotes) after your store’s URL in the input field that appears. For example, if your store’s URL is “https://yourstorename.myshopify.com,” enter “https://yourstorename.myshopify.com/sitemap.xml.” Then click the “Submit” button.

#5: Monitor Sitemap Status

After submitting your Sitemap, it is listed on the Sitemaps management page. Google will start processing the Sitemap, and may take some time to crawl and index your store’s content. You can monitor the status of your sitemap submission and any errors or warnings on this page.

#6: Additional Optimization

While the sitemap submission is crucial, optimizing other aspects of your Shopify store for better visibility in Google search results is also recommended. This includes optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs and incorporating relevant keywords in your content.

These steps will allow you to submit your Shopify sitemap to Google Search Console successfully. This helps Google discover and index your online store’s content, making it more likely to appear in relevant search results. Remember to regularly monitor the sitemaps section in Google Search Console for any updates, errors, or issues related to your sitemap submission.

How to Update a Sitemap in Shopify

Updating a sitemap in Shopify is a seamless process, as the platform automatically generates and updates the Sitemap for you. However, ensuring that the Sitemap reflects the most recent changes and additions to your online store is important.

Here’s a detailed explanation of how to update a sitemap in Shopify:

#1: Make Changes to Your Store

Whenever you make changes to your Shopify store, such as adding new products, collections, or pages, Shopify automatically updates your Sitemap to include the new content. This process is designed to keep your Sitemap up to date with the latest changes on your website.

#2: Verify Sitemap Updates

After making changes to your store, verifying that the Sitemap has been updated accordingly is a good practice. To do this, you can follow these steps:

#2.1: Access the sitemap URL

The sitemap URL for your Shopify store follows this format: “https://yourstorename.myshopify.com/sitemap.xml.” Open this URL in a web browser.

#2.2: Check for Recent Changes

Once you open the sitemap URL, please review the content to ensure it includes the latest additions or modifications you made to your store. You should see the new pages, products, collections, or any other relevant content URLs.

#3: Monitor Sitemap in Google Search Console (optional)

If you have previously submitted your Sitemap to Google Search Console, it’s recommended to monitor the sitemap section in the console. Google will automatically crawl and index your updated Sitemap. You can check for any potential issues or errors related to the sitemap submission.

#4: Resubmit Sitemap (optional)

In most cases, there is no need to resubmit your Sitemap to search engines like Google manually. However, to ensure that the updated Sitemap is immediately recognized, you can manually resubmit it through the search engine’s web admin tools or search console. This step is optional as search engines revisit and recrawl your Sitemap periodically.

These steps will enable you to update your Sitemap in Shopify effectively. Remember that Shopify’s automated system handles the sitemap generation and updates, making it easier for search engines to discover and index your store’s content. Regularly check your sitemap URL to verify that it accurately reflects the most recent changes on your online store, and monitor the sitemap section in Google Search Console for any potential issues or errors.

Shopify Sitemap add and replace sitemap
Source: https://www.pexels.com/

Shopify Sitemap Apps

Shopify allows you to automate the generation and editing process for your online store’s Sitemap using third-party apps. These apps can help save time and effort throughout the sitemap creation, generation, editing, and submission process.

Check out our comprehensive guide on Shopify sitemap apps right here.

How to Find a Sitemap

To find a sitemap on a website, including a Shopify store, you can follow these steps:

#1: Check the Default Sitemap Location

Many websites, including Shopify stores, have a default location for their Sitemap. In the case of a Shopify store, the default sitemap location is typically “https://yourstorename.myshopify.com/sitemap.xml.” Replace “yourstorename” with the actual name of your Shopify store. Simply enter this URL in your web browser to access the Sitemap directly.

#2: Look for Sitemap Link in the Footer

Some websites link to their Sitemap in the footer section of their pages. Scroll down to the bottom of the website and check for a link labeled “Sitemap” or “XML Sitemap.” Clicking on this link will take you to the sitemap page.

#3: Use the “robots.txt” File

Another way to find a sitemap is by checking the website’s “robots.txt” file. The “robots.txt” file is a text file that contains instructions for search engine crawlers. It often includes a line specifying the location of the Sitemap. To access the “robots.txt” file, type “https://yourwebsite.com/robots.txt” into your browser’s address bar, replacing “yourwebsite” with the actual domain of the website you’re interested in. Look for a line beginning with “Sitemap:” that indicates the URL of the Sitemap.

#4: Search for “Sitemap” in the Search Engine

If the above methods don’t yield the desired results, you can try searching for the Sitemap using a search engine. Enter the following search query in the search engine’s search bar: “site:yourwebsite.com filetype:xml” (replace “yourwebsite.com” with the actual domain of the website). This query instructs the search engine to look for XML files on the specified website, which often includes the sitemap. Look for the search results showing XML files, and check if any are labeled as sitemaps.

#5: Use Sitemap Generator Tools

If you cannot locate the Sitemap using the abovementioned methods, you can use sitemap generator tools. These tools crawl the website and generate a sitemap for you. There are several online sitemap generator tools available, and you can find them by searching for “sitemap generator” in your preferred search engine. Simply enter the URL of the website, and the tool will generate the Sitemap for you to access and download.

The steps above will enable you to find any sitemap you wish to locate. Regularly checking up on your Sitemap’s always a good practice to ensure your SEO performance is the best.

What to Do When Shopify Sitemap Couldn’t Fetch

If Shopify is unable to fetch your Sitemap, it means that there may be an issue preventing the automatic generation or retrieval of the Sitemap.

Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and resolve the problem:

#1: Check Sitemap Generation Settings

In your Shopify admin dashboard, select “Online Store” in the left-hand menu and select “Preferences.” Ensure the “Visible to search engines” option is enabled under the “Search Engine Listing Preview” section. This setting allows search engines to access and crawl your Sitemap.

#2: Verify Sitemap URL

Double-check that you are using the correct sitemap URL for your Shopify store. The standard format is “https://yourstorename.myshopify.com/sitemap.xml.” Replace “yourstorename” with your actual store name. Visit this URL in your browser to verify if the Sitemap is accessible.

#3: Validate Sitemap XML

Use an XML validation tool to check if the sitemap XML file is valid and error-free. There are several online XML validation services available that can help you validate the structure and syntax of your Sitemap.

#4: Clear Cache and Refresh

Clear your browser’s cache and refresh the sitemap URL page. Sometimes, cached versions of the page can cause issues fetching the most recent version of the Sitemap. Clearing the cache ensures that you are viewing the most up-to-date information.

#5: Retry After Some Time

If the issue persists, wait and then try accessing the Sitemap again. There may have been a temporary glitch or delay in the sitemap generation or retrieval process. Shopify usually updates sitemaps automatically, so it should resolve itself within a short period.

#6: Contact Shopify Support

If none of the above steps resolve the issue, it’s advisable to reach out to Shopify support for assistance. They can investigate the problem further and provide guidance specific to your store. You can contact Shopify support through their website, live chat, or email.

Please remember that Shopify automatically generates sitemaps, and most issues related to Sitemap fetching are temporary and resolved on their own. However, if you encounter persistent problems or notice any other issues affecting your store’s visibility, it’s important to seek assistance from Shopify support to ensure that your Sitemap is functioning properly and search engines can crawl and index your site effectively.

Conclusion for Add Sitemap to Shopify: How-to Find, Create, Update and Submit

Sitemaps are incredibly useful tools for online stores, as they facilitate easy navigation and indexing by search engines. Investing time in reviewing and implementing effective sitemap strategies is crucial to ensure that your online store’s Sitemap is up-to-date and accurately represents your site’s structure and content. By doing so, search engines can effortlessly locate and understand your site, significantly enhancing its visibility in search results. Keeping your sitemap current and optimized is a proactive step toward improving your online store’s visibility, attracting organic traffic, and ultimately driving success in the competitive e-commerce landscape.

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