Can customers find your website’s pages on Google? - How to Submit your Sitemap
When you’re first building your Online Store and you’re trying to get to your first sale, it’s very important to consider how customers will find your website and potentially purchase your products. The most conventional method of pulling in traffic involves creating ads so you can run some proactive marketing to pull in customers, but what about customers that aren’t responsive to ads?
Not all potential customers will click on the ads they see. They may prefer to search out the products they want to buy. Basically, some customers prefer to retain more control over what they are deciding to pay for. They want to find the products instead of the products finding them. It’s a similar difference to going to the mall to buy something versus a door-to-door salesperson knocking on their door.
To reach these customers, you’ll want Google to index all the different webpages that make up your website, so they can be searchable in the Google search engine. The pages that make up a Shopify website are your products, collections, blogs, and informational pages (such as About Us, Contact Us, etc.).
Today, I’m going to show you how to make Google index all these pages that make up your website. This way you can reach potential customers directly from a Google search!
Let’s make your website discoverable!
Verifying your website with Google
Before you can submit your sitemap, you first need to have your domain verified by Google. Below, I’ll walk you through the steps for domain verification:
Step 1 - Login to Google Search Console right here
Step 2 - At the top right click Add a Property:
Step 3 - Add your domain:
Step 4 - Select the Alternate Methods for verifying your domain and select the HTML Tag method and copy the HTML Tag shown:
Step 5 - In a new browser tab, login to your Shopify admin and go to Online Store > Themes > Actions > Edit Code:
Step 6 - Go to your theme.liquid and add the HTML tag we copied under the <head> tag on a new line:
If you’re still unsure how to do this, I made a short video which you can follow along with here to see how to add the HTML tag.
Step 7 - The final step is to go ahead and click the Verify button back in the browser tab we left open with the Google Search Console:
Great work! Your website is now verified with Google!
Note: If verification has failed, make sure you have selected a plan and removed your storefront password for your Shopify account. Your website must have the password removed and be made live to the public before you can verify:
Finding your Sitemap
A sitemap automatically contains links to all the pages that make up your website. Your sitemap is constantly being updated whenever you add new content to your website. This includes simply changing product descriptions or even adding product images. You can submit your sitemap to Google at any time so it is indexing the updated information. Whenever you make any major changes that impact how your pages will appear in Google, it’s generally a good idea to submit your sitemap.
Your sitemap is simple to find. It will be whatever your primary domain is with /sitemap.xml appended to the end of it. For example: test.com/sitemap.xml
Your primary domain is located here in your Shopify admin:
Submitting your Sitemap
We’re almost there! Now we just have to submit the sitemap.xml to Google and you’re all set. Follow the steps below:
Step 1 - Login to the Google Search Console right here if you aren’t logged in already.
Step 2 - Click on your domain:
Step 3 - Go to Sitemaps at the top right:
Step 4 - Click the red button that says ADD/TEST SITEMAP:
Step 5 - Write in ”sitemap.xml” and click Submit Sitemap:
That’s it! You’re all done!
Now that you have submitted your sitemap to Google, all the pages that make up your website should be findable in the Google search engine once Google finishes indexing them.
Note: It can take Google between 7-30 days for it to finish indexing a website. It most cases it takes between 24-72 hours, but it can take much longer in some cases. This isn’t something Shopify can control, it’s entirely up to Google. So you may need to wait a bit!
That’s all for today! Feel free to share any questions or stories you have about getting your site on Google in the comments below!