We will start with Meta Tag verification and Sitemaps.
Meta Tag Verification
The concept is simple. The verification system will provide you with an HTML file or Meta Tag that you insert into your code and upload to your site.
Then you validate it by running their crawler to verify that you own that website. The image below is the Meta Tag version.
I also use the HTML file too.
There are several other ways to verify your site but HTML and Meta Tags are the most convenient. Yahoo Search merged with Bing some years ago so the Meta Tag y_key is no longer in use.
"Verification is the process of proving that you own the site that you claim to own.
We need to confirm ownership because once you are verified for a site or app you have access to its Google Search data, and can affect its presence on Google Search." - Google
"You can claim websites you own. To claim your website, you'll need to add a meta tag or upload an HTML file to your website's HTML code. - Pinterest
"The Sitemaps protocol allows a webmaster to inform search engines about URLs on a website that are available for crawling.
A Sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for a site.
It allows webmasters to include additional information about each URL: when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the site.
This allows search engines to crawl the site more efficiently and to find URLs that may be isolated from rest of the site's content." - Wikipedia
Sitemaps use to be a way to show users around their website but since the early days, search engines have taken over.
The two popular methods are HTML and XML. I use XML.
If you don't know how to do this from scratch then you can use many free generators to create your XML file.
Then you can submit the Sitemap to the sitemap section of Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools or other engine that has the ability to add sitemaps.
There is a lot of code to be written even before you display any content on your website.
We have Meta Tags for search engines, social media and verification.
We also have Schema and Sitemaps to guide search engines and users to our website.
Now I need to add this article to my sitemap.
We have covered so far...
CH 1: Search Engine Optimization - Meta Tags and Sitemaps