Add a sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools

OK, so far I have a WordPress site ready and some content on it. It is time to try to generate some traffic. To do that, besides all the great posts I wrote, and SEO optimization, I’ll need to “ask” Google and Bing to put my site on a map.

To do that, I need to have a sitemap.xml on my site, and Webmaster accounts on two Search Engines I have mentioned in the Title.

On this site TechReview.TOP I use the Yoast SEO plugin, and so I do have sitemap.xml URLs ready. The next step is to open Google Search Console and to Add property. Later on, I’ll do the same thing for Bing Webmaster Tools.

Google search console add property
Add property

Note: To do the steps following you’ll need to confirm your domain ownership. I prefer adding a TXT record inside Zone File. You can use some other ways, but the point is: You can’t finish these steps for a domain that doesn’t belong to you.

Reminder: Take one more look on How to change DNS records.

DNS Zone File
Zone File

Before I go any further, this is how my Zone File looks right now. I’ll create a TXT record to confirm domain ownership for Google Search Console and for Bing Webmaster Tools.

Add a sitemap to Google Search Console

Start your favorite Internet Browser and open Google Search Console. Click on Add Property and choose Property Type (Domain).

Add site to Google Search Console
Google Search Console – Domain Property

Click on Continue, and Google Search Console asks for domain ownership verification. If you can’t verify by using TXT record try a URL prefix property instead.

Google Search Console – Verify domain ownership

Google has generated a TXT string which you need to copy, and then paste into your Zone File (TXT record). Go to Zone File edit and add a new TXT record with a Google string. Save changes.

TXT Record

Save changes to Zone File and wait for 5-10 minutes. After that period of time, click on Google Search Console Verify. Check for the message: Ownership verified.

Google Search Console – Ownership Verified

Once you have made a site Property and confirmed domain ownership take a closer look inside Google Search Console. Submit a sitemap and check for any errors. Keep your site healthy and SEO-friendly. Do double-check for the sitemap URL. Not all plugins generate exactly the same sitemap URL. Try to navigate to your sitemap.xml by using Internet Browser and use URL that works for sure.

sitemap error Google
Submit sitemap – Couldn’t fetch

If you see an error message don’t panic. Google sometimes needs a few days to crawl your sitemap. However, if you are concerned and you think there is actually a problem of some kind, try to delete the current sitemap, and submit the sitemap again. Try to open the sitemap by following the sitemap URL and make sure it is accessible.

This example shows how YoastSEO sitemaps look like. You only need to paste the actual URL for the sitemap. Google shall categorize them later on.

XML Sitemap – YoastSEO

Add a sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools

I’m using MS Edge Internet Browser to add my site to Bing Webmaster Tools. Adding a sitemap to Bing hasn’t exactly the same as adding a sitemap to Google Search Console. However, the whole logic is the same and you’ll manage to do it without any extra effort.

Start by typing your site URL and click on Add.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing Webmaster Tools have 3 ways to check if the domain name belongs to you. I’ve chosen XML File verification. To do that you need to download the BingSiteAuth.xml file and upload that file to a server (Site root folder).

Note: You can also import a sitemap from Google SC directly. In this tutorial I choose no to, just to show you all steps required if you choose an old fashion way.

Bing Site Authentication
Bing Site Authentication

Make sure to upload the file in the right place. Search for WordPress files and upload BingSiteAuth.xml right next to them.

BingSiteAuth XML file

After the BingSiteAuth.xml file has been uploaded click on Verify. If you have done everything right, a Congratulations message should appear.

Add site to Bing Webmaster Tools
Site addition successful

Now it is time to submit a sitemap. This step looks like Submitting a sitemap to Google Search Console. Click on Sitemaps, Copy the sitemap URL and paste that URL when asked. Confirm your sitemap and wait for Bing processing to finish.

Sitemap Search Engines

In this example, I have made it run smoothly and without any error messages. Unfortunately, Google has shown some error fetching my sitemap. I’ll wait for a few days and hope that the error message will disappear.

sitemap search engine Bing
Bing Sitemap Processing

I hope you have learned something. If you try to publish a new site, and you want to have an audience for all good content, make sure to submit a sitemap.

Submitting a sitemap to all major search engines gives you a greater opportunity and potentially a boost to your online presence.