With the massive amount of online content available today, it can become difficult for your content to develop a foothold. Sitemaps make it easier for your site to stand out. The easier it is for search engines to track content available on your site, the higher your chances of being discovered.
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing constantly update their algorithms to provide the best search results. In recent years, they have prioritized structured content and maps --so site maps are becoming important now more than ever!
Creating a sitemap for a website involves figuring out what needs to be included, where it should go, how it should look, etc. But thanks to the power of Squarespace, you no longer need to sweat over creating your site map. As long as your website is hosted on Squarespace, the platform offers its free sitemap generator - which allows creating a sitemap in seconds!
Squarespace Sitemap makes it easier for you to create and manage the sitemap and make it submit it to search engines like Google and Bing. Learn how to create Squarespace Sitemaps with this article.
What Is A Sitemap?
Search engines need a website’s blueprint to locate, crawl and index its content. This blueprint is also referred to as a sitemap. It also helps them identify the most important web pages. It’s a website URL list that helps search engines know about the website’s structure.
According to Google, a sitemap is a file that includes information related to web pages, images, videos, and other content on the website. It also tells the search engines the relationship between them. Google and other search engines read this file to crawl and index a website.
Google also states small websites which include less than a hundred pages don't need a sitemap. However, most small business sites don't properly follow the site structure. Therefore, it is always ideal to submit the sitemap to Google.
Sitemaps can be divided into five categories:
Normal XML Sitemap
Normal XML is the most popular sitemap type. It links to different website pages.
As the name indicates, this site map helps Google search engines identify the video content published on a webpage.
This sitemap helps search engines find content that falls under the Google News category.
As the name indicates, this sitemap helps Google locate images published or hosted on a website.
It's like an XML sitemap but for users. You don't need these as it's been proven that Google and other search engines now rely heavily on Squarespace XML sitemap. But if they're beneficial for human visitors, an HTML sitemap could be the way to go.
Why Are Sitemaps Important?
Sitemaps are important for many reasons. All search engines rely on sitemaps to locate different pages on the website. A sitemap is Google’s guide to your website pages. Google states that properly linked website pages help web crawlers locate and index most websites.
Even though it's not necessary to use sitemaps, since they don't hurt your SEO efforts, you should use them. In most cases, sitemaps boost your SEO efforts and maximize results.
For instance, Google generally relies on links to find your website. A sitemap helps a brand-new website with only external backlinks get noticed by Google search engines.
Or there could be an ecommerce website with over 5 million pages. Google will only find all those pages if they're perfectly internally linked or include many external links. In such cases, a sitemap comes handy.
What Are Squarespace Sitemaps?
Squarespace generates an SEO-friendly sitemap for your website. This includes the URLs to every page on your site and any uploaded images. As you add or remove pages, this update should happen within 24 hours, but sometimes this process doesn't work out as expected.
To check on your sitemap Squarespace sitemap, visit:
If there’s a problem with the sitemap, you suggest looking at the known issues and solutions.
Only some site owners are bothered by not being able to edit their sitemaps. For most Squarespace site owners, not being able to edit their XML file directly is of no concern because they would rather not update the XML file. But in some instances, it would be desired - for example, it would be preferred to make updates for language variants on multilingual sites.
How To Submit Your Sitemap?
It's easy to submit a Squarespace google sitemap! Here are a few quick steps.
Google's sitemap submission process can be tricky if you don't know what we're doing. To make it easier, learn more about Squarespace and Google Search Console, and then follow these steps:
- Open Google Search Console. On the dashboard, scroll down and click on the property menu in the top left. Select the site you want to index.
- The menu on the left-hand side of the screen contains a section called Sitemaps. To add a new sitemap, go to Add a new sitemap to enter the sitemap's URL.
- While working with a domain property, be sure to enter it using the preferred version of the domain and the correct protocol (ex: www or HTTP). While working with a URL property, just enter "sitemap.xml" where necessary.
- Now click Submit. If Google says it can't fetch your sitemap, take a minute to ensure the website is unlocked or the sitemap it's generated properly.
How to Delete a Sitemap from Google Search Console?
When moving to Squarespace, you might see old sitemaps in your sitemaps report. If so, these can be deleted by clicking on the sitemaps you want to remove from the Submitted list, then clicking the 3 vertical dots in the upper right corner and removing the old sitemaps.
What Are The Squarespace Sitemap Issues?
Squarespace provides its users with accurate automatic sitemap generation. That said, this is not always the case. Moreover, given the number of times we've contacted Squarespace to answer concerns or get help on certain problems, it's been frustrating that they still need to offer their users the ability to regenerate sitemaps themselves.
The following are some of the Squarespace sitemap issues you may encounter:
The Sitemap Might Not be Loading
Wait 24 hours, and the Squarespace sitemap should load automatically. If it is still missing after waiting, contact the customer support team at email@example.com and ask them to generate it.
Sitemaps Aren't Updating
In some cases, the sitemap fails to reflect new content. Sometimes the URLs won't update after a few weeks of no updates.
Another issue with some websites is that the lastmod tag will not update if only the page titles or descriptions are changed. The most recent modification date should reflect when a page was updated meaningfully. This would mean changing the title or description of that particular page.
Make sure the sitemap stays updated by checking in on it periodically. If it isn't working as expected, contact Squarespace Support for help.
Wrong Meta Data
In June 2021, you reported that all Squarespace sitemap URLs with recently uploaded images had missing and duplicated metadata. The error appears on sites using standard inline image blocks in all versions of Squarespace up to and including 7.1. Image titles also contain the phrase, “whatever it is, the way you tell your story online can make all the difference” or "Make it stand out."
This issue still needs to be fixed as of October 2022. Take a look at the boilerplate text in Squarespace's sitemap:
This is occurring as a result of the standard image block on Squarespace. While awaiting a fix from the developer team, you can scan your sitemap for impacted images and remove the demo text. Then, ask them for a sitemap regen.
Note that the tags in the sitemap are optional, but Google highly suggests that you include them to provide more information and a better user experience. Repetitive titles and uninteresting descriptions will negatively impact your rankings.
Sitemap Pro Tips
Consider the following while adding sitemaps to Google or other popular search engines:
Break Bigger Websites Up Into Smaller Sitemaps:
Google recommends breaking up your sitemap into several smaller sitemaps if your site has a lot of pages. This way, Google can better manage the size of your sitemap and deliver it faster to users.
Here are some tips for creating smaller sitemaps:
- Start by identifying the largest category or topic on your site. This will help create a smaller map for that section.
- Remove any pages unrelated to the largest category or topic. For example, if your site is about cooking recipes, don’t include pages about clothes, furniture, or food preparation in your cook recipe sitemap.
- Use keywords throughout your sitemap to help Google find specific pages more easily. Place them near the top of each page, on the title tag, or in the document section. You can also add a link to your home page at the beginning of each file so users can start immediately.
- Define specific search criteria for each page in your sitemap so that only relevant pages appear when people search for those terms online. For example, for a blog with posts about different topics, ensure all posts appear in the blog search indexing file even though they may not be listed on individual web pages.
Sitemap Last Modified
Regularly update your sitemap dates if you make significant changes to your site (or add new content). Otherwise, updating dates on pages that haven’t changed can be seen as a spammy tactic.
If you want to give yourself the best chance of ranking in Google, your pages must be up-to-date and include all of the latest information. For example, if you just added a new page or made major changes to an older page, be sure to update the date in your sitemap. This will help Google know that this page should be more prominent in its search results.
However, don’t overdo it. If you only make minor changes or updates to your site, don’t bother updating your sitemap. Google will not penalize us for this, but it may not give your pages as much prominence in the search engine results.
Don’t Sweat Video Sitemaps
There was a time when video sitemaps were the must-have for any page that wanted to rank for videos. But those days are largely behind us, thanks to the rise of video schema.
A video sitemap is essentially a list of your videos, with detailed information such as title, description, and thumbnail. However, nowadays, video schema is more than enough to show Google what your videos are all about. That means there’s no need for a video sitemap if I have a good video schema.
Stay Under 50MB
If we're looking to optimize your website for Google and Bing, it's important to keep your sitemap size under 50MB. Both search engines allow sitemaps up to 50MB in size, so we're good to go as long as we're below this limit.
However, if we're looking to take your optimization efforts a step further, consider using a smaller file size for your sitemap. Not only will this reduce the time it takes for Google and Bing to process your site, but it may also improve your ranking in certain instances.
Turn to UPQODE For the Best Squarespace Site With Sitemap!
Like most website owners, you want to ensure your site is as search-engine-friendly as possible. And one great way to do that is by submitting a sitemap to Google and other major search engines. A sitemap is simply a list of all the pages on your site, including their titles, descriptions, keywords, and other metadata. Submitting a sitemap can help Google crawl your entire website more easily and quickly index relevant content.
So if you haven't done so already, submit your site's sitemap today or reach out to us, and we'll get your website up and running in no time!