What is an XML Sitemap?

A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the pages on your site and the relationships between them. 

Search engines like Google read sitemaps to more intelligently crawl your site. A sitemap tells Google which pages you think are important in your site and also provides valuable information about these files: for example, when the page was last updated, how often the page is changed, and any alternate language versions of a page.

Do I Need an XML Sitemap?

According to Google: 

"If your site's pages are properly linked, Google can usually discover most of your site. Even so, a sitemap can improve the crawling of larger or more complex sites, or more specialized files.
Using a sitemap doesn't guarantee that all the items in your sitemap will be crawled and indexed, as Google processes rely on complex algorithms to schedule crawling. However, in most cases, your site will benefit from having a sitemap, and you'll never be penalized for having one."
You might need a sitemap if:
  • Your site is really large. As a result, it's more likely Google web crawlers might overlook crawling some of your new or recently updated pages.
  • Your site has a large archive of content pages that are isolated or not well linked to each other. If your site pages do not naturally reference each other, you can list them in a sitemap to ensure that Google does not overlook some of your pages.
  • Your site is new and has few external links to it. Googlebot and other web crawlers crawl the web by following links from one page to another. As a result, Google might not discover your pages if no other sites link to them.
  • Your site has a lot of rich media content (video, images) or is shown in Google News. If provided, Google can take additional information from sitemaps into account for search, where appropriate.

You might not need a sitemap if:

  • Your site is "small". By small, we mean about 500 pages or less on your site. (Only pages that you think need to be in search results count toward this total.)
  • You're on a simple site hosting service like Blogger or Wix. If your site is on a service that helps you set up a site quickly with pre-formatted pages and navigation elements, your service might create a sitemap for your site automatically, and you don't need to do anything. Search your service's documentation for the word "sitemap" to see if a sitemap is generated automatically, or if they recommend creating your own (and if so, how to submit a sitemap on your hosting service).
  • Your site is comprehensively linked internally. This means that Google can find all the important pages on your site by following links starting from the homepage.
  • You don't have many media files (video, image) or news pages that you need to appear in the index. Sitemaps can help Google find and understand video and image files, or news articles, on your site, if you want them to appear in Google Search results. If you don't need these results to appear in Image, Video, or News results, you might not need a sitemap.

Where to Find XML Sitemap Settings in HighLevel

In order to find your XML sitemaps, you will need to navigate to the SITES section in your HighLevel sub-account and click the small gear icon in the secondary navigation menu in the top right corner of your screen.

You will be directed to the DOMAINS section in your sub-account settings. You can also get to this section by navigating to SETTINGS in the main navigation and scrolling down to DOMAINS on the left-hand side of your screen.

Once you're in the DOMAINS section, you will see an icon, with 3 dots aligned vertically, to the far right side of any domain that you have added to this sub-account. This 3 dot icon is the "actions" button for the domains you add here.

Important: If you have not added a domain to your sub-account, you will need to do so before you see the three-dot icon on your screen.

Once clicked, you will see the different actions you can perform to any domain that's added to your sub-account. One of these actions is labeled "XML Sitemap". This is the action you'll need to click in order to add, change, or delete XML sitemaps for your domains.

Once you click the XML sitemaps action button, you will see a list of all websites and funnels that are connected to that particular domain.

Because you can connect many different websites and funnels to the same domain in HighLevel, you will need to be careful when provisioning your XML sitemap. Only choose the website and funnel pages you want Google to crawl and associate with that domain.

When looking at websites and funnels in this view, you will see a few different elements on the screen that are important to understand:

  • Connected Websites and Funnels: Websites and Funnels connected to this domain are separated from each other inside a light blue rectangle accordion drop-down.

  • Website and Funnel Names: The name of the website or funnel will be visible in these rectangle accordion drop-downs.

  • Checkbox: The checkbox located on the left-hand side of the website or funnel name allows you to select the entire website or funnel and add all pages to the XML sitemap.

  • Carrot (arrow): Located on the right-hand side of the website or funnel, there is a carrot, or arrow, icon. When clicked, this icon allows you to see all pages associated with that website or funnel so you can select individual pages to be added to your XML sitemap. This allows you to keep certain pages from being crawled by the Google bot in relation to your XML sitemap.

Not adding a web page or funnel page to your XML sitemap DOES NOT mean it will never get crawled by a search engine. If there are any hyperlinks that link to a page you wish not to be crawled, you will need to restrict access to that page in other ways.

Click here if you want to learn how to block search engines from crawling your website or funnel pages.

How to Create/Change XML Sitemaps In HighLevel

In order to create your first sitemap or edit an existing sitemap, the first thing you need to do is click on the carrot (arrow) on the right-hand side of the website or funnel in the XML sitemap configuration wizard.

If you don't know where to find the XML sitemap settings, scroll up in this article or click here to read "How to Find XML Sitemap Settings in HighLevel".

Select the website or funnel pages that you would like to add to your XML sitemap. You are allowed to connect many different websites and/or funnels to the same domain, so make sure you select all the pages you'd like added to your XML sitemap before proceeding.

Once you're ready to move to the next step, click the "Proceed" button at the bottom of the list of websites and funnels.

If you have not created an XML sitemap in the past for this domain, you will see a message like this. Make sure to click the "Add New" button to create your first sitemap.

After choosing the pages you want to be included in your XML sitemap, you will see a popup like the one shown below. This popup will contain:

  • List of XML Sitemaps: This list will show all XML sitemaps created for this domain. If you have more than one XML sitemap, you will see more than one displayed in this list.

  • Custom Path: This is the custom URL path assigned to your XML sitemap when it's created. It is configurable and can be changed at any time. If you make changes to this URL path, remember to resubmit your sitemap to be crawled by Google.

  • Last Modified Date: This date indicates the last time the sitemap was modified. You can modify an XML sitemap by adding or removing pages or changing the custom URL path.

  • 3-Dot Action Button: This action button gives you the option to either EDIT or DELETE an XML sitemap.

Once you are satisfied with your XML sitemap, click the "Generate & Save" button to complete creating or editing it. You will see a message like the one below, which will confirm that the sitemap was created and give you the URL of your new XML sitemap.

How To Submit a Sitemap to Google?

Google doesn't check a sitemap every time a site is crawled. A sitemap is checked only the first time that Google notices it and thereafter only when you ping Google to let them know that your sitemap has changed. You should alert Google about a sitemap only when it's new or updated; do not submit or ping unchanged sitemaps multiple times.

Submit it to Google using the Search Console Sitemaps report

Google recommends submitting your sitemap using the "Sitemaps Report" and Google Search Console. This method will also give you tons of data and insight into your sitemap, such as:

  • Active status
  • Total crawled pages
  • Crawl errors
  • and more!

Let's walk through the steps to submit your sitemap using Google's sitemaps report!

Step 1: Open Sitemaps Report

Click this link ( to navigate to Google's "Search Console Help" center, specifically the page that contains the Sitemaps Report link. Once you're on this page, click the button that reads "Open Sitemaps Report".

Step 2: Add Property to Google Search Console

If you don't already have a property (website domain) associated with your Google Search Console account, you will need to add one.

Click here if you already have a Google Search Console property configured to jump a few steps ahead in this process!

Step 3: Verify Your New Property (Domain)

Once you add your property, you will need to verify it so that Google can collect and showcase all of the search console data associated with that domain.

Step 4: Navigate to Sitemaps Tab

In order to submit your sitemap, make sure you navigate to the "Sitemaps" section in your Google Search Console.

Step 5: Submit Your XML Sitemap

To submit your XML sitemap to Google you will need the URL of the sitemap. HighLevel provides this to you after you create or edit a sitemap in your sub-account. Grab the URL path for your sitemap and add it here.

Normally, the URL path for your XML sitemap created in HighLevel will just be "sitemap.xml"

This may change so make sure you take note of the URL path so you can successfully submit it to Google.

After you successfully submitted your XML sitemap to Google, you will need to wait until the Google bot crawls your site to see any data associated with the sitemap. Once your site is crawled you'll see a ton of useful data that will help you better understand how Google and other search engines are interacting and crawling your site.

This information will be found in the "Pages" section of your Google Search Console, and can be accessed from the "Sitemaps" section by clicking the 3-dot action button to the right side of any XML sitemap in your list.

If you're having trouble submitting your sitemap to Google using the recommended method, you can use the following alternative methods!

Alternative Methods for Submitting Your XML Sitemap to Google

If you're having trouble submitting your sitemap to Google using the recommended method, you can use these alternative methods:

1. Insert your sitemap's URL path anywhere in your robots.txt file.


2. Use the "ping" service to request Google to crawl the sitemap.

Send an HTTP GET request like this:<complete_url_of_sitemap>