Getting to grips with the technical side of SEO can often be challenging, especially when you have limited technical knowledge and already feel like you are being stretched too thin with marketing and management tasks.
However busy you may be, understanding and implementing Google Webmaster tools for your website is one task that you cannot put-aside for later. Submitting a sitemap, understanding the errors Google encounters when it crawls your website, and how you display your website are just a few things that can help you increase your website traffic – especially if you are unaware that your website is not listed due to some major error.
In this blog post we hope to explain what Webmaster Tools is, and how you can set it up on your Website.
What Is Google Webmaster Tools?
Google Webmaster Tools is a free service offered by Google that allows you to evaluate the technical side of your website to make sure it is as search engine friendly as possible. Put briefly, Google Webmaster tool allows you to see your website the way Google sees it, errors and all.
What Can I Do With Webmaster Tools?
Webmaster Tools allow you to find and fix a wide range of technical issues, as well as provide you avenues for a better search listing:
- Receive alerts from Google that warns you about your website errors
- Submit sitemaps
- Analyse your search data
- Check who is linking to your website
- Check for crawl errors
- Set up preferences on you would like Google to show your website in search listings
How to Set Up Webmaster Tools:
Step 1: Sign-up for Google Webmaster Tools
To set-up a webmaster tools you will need to have a Google Account – If you do not have a Google Account, you can set one up in under 2 minutes by visiting Google Account Set-Up Page.
Once you have set-up your Google Account, go straight to Webmaster Tools website http://google.com/webmaster and login with your Gmail account.
Optional Step 1.1: Watch a 1 minute intro to Webmaster Tools video, which is both entertaining and informative:
Step 2: Add and verify your website
Google offers multiple options to allow you to verify your website. The easiest verification methods are:
1. Google Analytics: If you already have a Google Analytics account set-up, simply connect it to Webmaster tool by selecting Google Analytics and then pressing verify
Make sure the Google account you used to login to Webmaster is the same account you use for your website’s Google Analytics.
2. Kigo Back-end: If you are using a Kigo website, you can easily add the Google Tag straight from Kigo’s back-end system. Simply copy and paste the content as follows:
If you are having difficulties adding the verification code, be sure to visit our SEO Support Page.
Note: When you are setting up Webmaster Tools for the first time it may take a few days for accurate data to appear.
Step 3: Understanding Webmaster Tools Interface
If you were able to successfully get over the technical hump of setting up Webmaster, this is where you can take a deep sigh of relief, grab a coffee and explore the tools Webmaster offers for you.
You can use Webmaster tool in as much detail as you desire. We would suggest that you at minimum check out the following tools:
Crawl -> Sitemaps
Add your sitemap to Google Webmaster, and regularly visit this page to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Crawl -> Crawl Errors
See if any of your pages are having difficulty being crawled by Google. Also see if you have any 404 Errors (this is a page not found error, meaning you are linking to a page that does not exist, a big SEO no-no you want to fix asap).
Search Traffic -> Links to Your Site
See which websites are linking to your website, what is the most common anchor text used and which one of your pages are linked the most (this is great insight to show you which pages are popular to allow you to recreate similar pages for extra linking)
Search Appearance -> HTML Improvement
Check to see if you have any issues such as duplicate, too-long or too-short tags that might be affecting your SEO.
The above pages are only top-level suggestions, so make sure if you have enough time you go through all of the webmaster pages. If you have website issues that you did not notice before webmaster, you will notice that in time when you fix these issues you will see an increase in your search ranking.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment below and we will swiftly answer them.
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