If you are in the process of creating a website or have just discovered the Google Webmaster Tools then it would be best if you know to set it up and to be able to use it effectively
Webmaster tools are not only offered by Google but are also available from other major search engines, such as the Yahoo! ‘Site Explorer’ and Microsoft’s ‘Bing Webmaster Tools’. As commented by Google:
“Google’s Webmaster Tools help justmyfitness webmasters better control how Google interacts with their websites and get useful information from Google about their site.”
Allowing any webmaster to identify any current issues or problems that may exist with site performance, including how the site itself performs within Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Not forgetting to help improve the crawling and indexing of your site by using the webmaster tools.
To begin it is required that you sign up for the webmaster tools and then add your website, if you already have an existing Google account you can access all of these tools already. It will then be required to verify that you own the site and the easiest way to achieve this can be to upload a html file to your server or to link your Google Analytic s account with your webmaster tools.
Once logged in you can add a website URL to the webmaster tools by clicking on the ‘Add a Site’ button from the Home page. Enter your website address and then click ‘Continue’. Once selected you will be asked to choose a verification method. Using the previously mentioned methods you can upload a HTML file to the server by downloading the ‘HTML Verification File’ as instructed and place it into the root file of your server. Or to simply select the option to ‘Link your Google Analytic s Account’.
If you already have a Google Analytic s account and already have imported the data through to the Google webmaster tools this can help create a much richer data pool. If not simply select the ‘Manage’ option that is along from the website previously uploaded and then choose ‘Google Analytic Profile’ this will then allow you to choose the correct Google Analytic account that you want to import the data from.
If you have managed all of the above and all the data fields have began to populate this will be an essential tool that will help any webmaster in the beginning to help master the search engine optimisation techniques that will now be important to focus on now that you are properly being indexed by Google.
The information at your disposal will be very valuable to any webmaster in trying to calculate how their website is currently performing within the SERP’s. This can be further enhanced by submitting a site map. This will help Google determine what pages exist within your website so each page can be indexed, if this is not included then not all pages may be displayed therefore affecting your search traffic. This can be carried out by submitting a site-map that is in a XML format not exceeding 10megs.
The initial information at your disposal will be the top search queries that turned your site as one of it’s results, while showing your Google search rank for each of those searches. Not forgetting that it also displays all links to your website, keywords, internal links, crawl errors, site performance and much more. It should be very straightforward once set up, with much of the information be familiar to Google Analytics.
Harvey McEwan writes to offer information and advice on a variety of areas, from technology to holiday destinations. Read through Harvey’s other articles here to find out more.