A sitemap is a list of all the pages on your blog or website. A sitemap is necessary so that bots will crawl on your website. You create the XML sitemap for the post or pages on your site. But have you created the image sitemap?Lets us see how to create image sitemap for your website.
Before we go to the steps to create Image sitemap for WordPress, lets see what is image sitemap and why it is necessary.
What is Image sitemap
Every website or blog has images in it. These images are attached to their respective pages. Like each page, the images will also have a unique URL.
Let’s see there are four images in a page or post. For this four images, four different URL will be created. You need to tell the search engine bots that these four images are part of that particular web page. This process is known as Image sitemap.
Why you need Image sitemap
Image sitemap is necessary if you are planning to do one of these things:
1. To increase traffic through image search with Google and Bing
2. When you have image centralized posts.
3. When the huge collection of images.
4. Have an eCommerce website.
Why Image sitemap for WordPress
Google image search and Bing Image search performs well for certain keywords when compared to web traffic. Mostly, people do not give much importance to image search.
But, when you optimize the images in your blog or website, you can easily increase the traffic and SEO of your website.
Also Read: Optimize images for SEO and Traffic
Just optimizing images will not do justice. You need to create Image sitemap and inform the search engines about the images.
There are websites online which generate more traffic with image search than web search. So, if you want to increase traffic to your website and rank higher, you need to have image sitemap
We have seen about image sitemap and its importance. Lets us how to create the image sitemap.
How to create Image sitemap
There are various methods to create the image sitemap. You can use your existing sitemap by adding the image information or create a new image sitemap.
Use existing sitemap for images
For each URL you list in your sitemap, you can add additional information about important images on that page. The following example shows a sitemap entry for the URL http://example.com/sample.html, which contains two images.
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
Using the steps above you can list upto 1000 images for each page.
<image:image> Add information about the image
<image:loc> Add url of the image
<image:caption> Add caption of your image
<image:title> Enter the title of the image
If the manual process is very difficult, don’t worry. You have automated the process. There are several image sitemap generators available online.
I will use one of the free online image sitemap generators and show you the steps to generate image sitemap.
Visit the free online image sitemap generator and enter the name of your site. Then click on generate. Image Sitemap for your website will be generated. Currently, this free image sitemap generator works only on 100 pages. Depending on the number of pages, it may take some time to generate the image sitemap.
Once the sitemap is generated, download it and upload to your website.
To submit the image sitemap to Google, you’ll need to first register for Google Webmaster Tools.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll see the Sitemap section in the dashboard for your site. Click on the section and then click on ‘Add/Test Sitemap’ – type in the URL and click ‘Submit Sitemap’.
Once you have submitted your image sitemap, it will be indexed within few hours. Here is the screenshot of the indexed image sitemap.
There are several WordPress plugins available to create the image sitemap.
I have used Udinra image sitemap generator. You can download this plugin here.
Once you have installed the plugin, go to settings and select the plugin. Put a check mark on all the option in the plugin configuration and create the image sitemap. Then submit it to Google.
When you have separate image sitemap, you can submit it to Google and other search engines. By doing so, you can increase the visibility of your website through image search and increase traffic.