In this tutorial, you'll learn a two-step process to grow your community by generating search engine traffic.
If you host a community, either on your own domain or a PeerBoard subdomain, search engines like Google will automatically discover its sitemap. Despite this, we still recommend adding your domain's sitemap to Google Search Console. Why? Because it will increase the likelihood that hard-to-reach pages get indexed. As a result, your rankings will improve.
To ensure that your site's pages are crawled and indexed, you'll need to complete two tasks:
- Verify your community in Google Search Console.
- Add your community sitemap to Google Search Console (or equivalent service for another search engine ).
💡 If you're using our WordPress plugin, you still should do all of the steps below to maximize your SEO gains, but for your main WordPress sitemap, if you haven't done it yet. Our sitemap is piped into yours automatically via our plugin. Except if you have a custom robots.txt, then you need to manually add the link to your sitemap there - it can be found in your PeerBoard plugin settings at the bottom. Everything else works out of the box. You can check it by opening yourwordpresswebsite/robots.txt to see if you have sitemap_peerboard.xml there.
Verify Community Ownership in Google Search Console
As a community host, you can use Google Search Console to generate analytics reports about your community's activities. First, you'll need to verify ownership of your domain:
- Open your Google Search Console account.
- Open the properties drop-down in the top left corner and select Add Property.
- Enter your community domain or subdomain into the URL prefix field and click CONTINUE.
4. Select HTML tag under Other verification methods and copy the snippet of code.
- Open your community homepage in a new tab, navigate to the Settings page, and choose General from the main right-hand menu. Paste the code into the Google verification meta tag field and hit Save.
- Go back to Google Search Console and select VERIFY.
Submit Your Sitemap for Better Indexing
After verifying ownership, you should add your sitemap URL manually by following the steps below:
- Go to Settings > General.
- Locate the Sitemap URL in the SEO section.
3. Open your Google Search Console account (or your alternative web services account).
4. Select Sitemaps from the main left-hand menu and input your domain. Click Submit.
5. Once the request is processed, your sitemap should display Success.
Note: Your domain sitemap only lets search engines know that pages exist. It does not contain any direct links to private community content that requires logging in.
We do not support sitemaps for custom integrations, including WordPress hosting. Ask your hosting service if it generates sitemaps automatically or if you need to create one manually.
You're all set! Follow these steps to ensure that your community pages are crawled and indexed. Soon, you'll see your rankings improve.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our support team at email@example.com.