Beginners guide to google webmaster tools
Google Webmaster is a service that helps web developers with ideas on how they can continually take control and improve the performance of their websites.
Google Webmaster does this by presenting the web developer with an array of tools which easily help them track different metrics about the websites so that the developer knows exactly what to work on to improve the performance of the sites.
Who is a webmaster?
In a layman’s language; a webmaster is someone who maintains a website. So, if you control how a given site works, you are a webmaster, and this article is for you.
Sorry if Google Webmaster tools sound like some sophisticated machines which you have to pay Google handsomely to use. Google Webmaster Tools are free of charge. These important accessories are essential to anyone who owns a website, especially if you are planning on a Search Engine Optimization Campaign.
So maybe you’d consider signing up for a Google Webmaster Tools account as the first step to a successful web optimization campaign. Once you successfully sign up, you’ll head to the Google webmaster tools login page, and you’ll be presented with a number of these renowned tools.There’s at least a webmaster tool or two for every step of your website optimization.
Here’s what you need Google Webmaster Tools For;
There are many uses of webmaster tools. Generally, they give some valuable information about some metrics on your website. Depending on the value of a parameter, a webmaster can then know what to improve on the site. Here is some info that the tools will provide you with:
- Quality of website content
- The originality of website content
- The responsiveness of your website.
- Difficulty of keywords
- Page Ranks
- Page Index
- Valuable and valueless links
- Broken links
- How long your website takes to load on different devices
- Crawl errors
- Google webmaster tools ensure that Google knows your site
Also, so much more.
Setting up a Google Webmaster Tools Account
This Google webmaster beginner’s guide on how to set up google webmaster tools to your website is a simple handbook you’ll need to keep close if you’re trying out these tools for the first time. I’ll go through these tools one by one providing vital information on how to make the most out of every application.
First, you’ll need a Google account so if you don’t have one you need to create it. Here’s how to create a Google account. Once you have a google account, log in, and search for google web console link then sign in into your google webmaster account.
Once you have the account up, whenever you want an insight into the performance of your site and search engine traffic, all you’ll have to do is log in to a google webmaster tools account.
Verify your site with Google
The first thing you’ll note on signing in should be the option to add your site to the google webmaster tools and test it. This is important because, for security reasons, you’ll have to verify that you are the owner of the website so make sure you verify your site with Google.
Google gives web developers many options to verify that you are indeed the owner of the website. The verification of your site can be done in any of these four webmasters website verification methods depending on which way is most convenient for you;
- You can add DNS record to your domain’s configuration-this applies if you can log in to your domain registrar and then add a new DNS record.
- Linking your google analytics to google webmaster tools (GWT)-for this to work your site should have Google analytics webmaster tracking code. It would help if you were an administrator to access the admin area of the website where you’ll plant the Google Console code.
- You can also upload an HTML file to your site; this is a line of code which will be sent to you by Google Console. However, this will only work if you can effectively sync the code to an appropriate code on your website.
- Verification can also be done by adding Meta-tag to the central page or homepage of your website.
As soon as your site is verified you’ll have full access to data that will help you with the optimization of your website, and you can now use the google webmaster tools to plan and execute an SEO plan.
It often takes a few hours before you access data about your website. If you can’t see all the data you expect to see, don’t be worked up, give it some time. Eventually, you’ll get all the data so don’t worry. It’s all normal since Google needs some time to crawl your site before it gives you the full information about your website tools.
Understanding the webmasters’ dashboard
The google webmaster tools dashboard will provide you with an interactive interface which lets you use all the tools to the benefit of your website.
At first, you may do a trial and error with the tools, which may not be right for you. To make the best out of the tools, take some time to study how each of the devices works. You can find a quick fix YouTube videos on how to go about this.
You will know if you have new messages, if there are crawl errors, webmasters dashboard help you to see how many websites link to yours, the number of pages in your site that are indexed by Google, among other metrics. Remember to add a sitemap because it enables Google find all your website’s pages.
Configuring your website with Google Webmaster Tools; what to adjust and what to leave;
Google isn’t perfect—but it has the best free tools we can make use of for now. So, for optimal results, make it easy for Google webmasters tools to help you out. Configuring your site is very important because it helps with the ranking of your website. However, before you do the configurations here are some things you don’t need to tamper with unless you are familiar with them:
Sitemaps will help Google determine the number of pages you have on your website. It also helps Google index the pages on your website. Therefore, you need to submit a sitemap to google because if you fail to, Google may not be able to index all pages on your website, and this may result in little organic traffic for your website—less than your site’s potential.
To do this right; submit your sitemaps in an XML form. It shouldn’t exceed 50,000 URLs or larger than 10 Megs. When you present sitemaps which exceed the required limit you’ll need to split your sitemaps to many files, as appropriate, before you submit them to Webmaster Tools Google.
To create a sitemap, enter the URL of your homepage on an XML size sitemap then click on the ‘’start’’ button. It’s that easy.
Once your sitemap transfers, Google webmaster will let you know how many of your site’s URLs indexed. It may not be possible for Google to index all your pages indexed at once; give it some time. This is often caused by the commonness of the title tags and Meta description and the fact that only a few authority websites are linking to your web pages.
Sitelinks are links found in the interior pages of a website. Although not all sites have site links, they are vital to search engine marketing. Their presence or absence largely depends on the web design or the website template/ theme you are using. Most templates are engineered for SEO, so they have site links. However, if your website has none of these, don’t you worry; they come automatically as your site grows and becomes famous.
Webmaster tools give you so much versatility. It has a tool to help you challenge almost any challenge you may face in your web development. For instance; if you have a specific audience that you are targeting with your website, say a particular country, go to the google webmaster tool GWT and select the country you need.
On the settings tab, you can choose a domain name of your choice, and you can change so many attributes so that the tools help you get the best results for your specific niche. You can use either of this: http://yourdomain .com or http://www.yourdomain.com all you have to do is select a domain you consider most appropriate for your marketing.
Another setting you may tweak is on the crawl rate. If you need google to be crawling your website at a particular speed, you can set that too.
- Your website Crawl
Web crawl tool will help you see how Google is crawling your website, and it may let you know when your site has crawl errors or problems that need to be fixed.
- Changing your website’s address
You know that you can change your website’s address. If you need to change the address, it is important to let Google know about this before you initiate the change of address. If you change your address without notifying Google, your organic website traffic may go down significantly after the change.
Here’s how to go about it;
- Set up the new website- make sure the new site is running, and all the relevant quality contents are available, and can be seen by the visitor.
- Divert all the traffic from the old address to the new address-301 permanent redirect will let the visitors and search engines know that your site has moved.
- Make sure you add your new site to google webmaster tools and verify.
- Let GWT know about your new domain.
- Google webmaster tools keywords
It is apparent that you may have an idea of what of keywords you need for your site, but you don’t know what keyword phrases to use for best SEO results. Google website tools have your back on that too. The Google keyword planning tool will expertly help you get keywords ideas and give you an insight on keyword difficulty, a long list of keywords related to your niche, and the number of searches per month for the keywords.
Google webmaster tools keywords make everything about keyword search and keyword planning easy.
- Website’s internal links
Google Console developed a tool to help with internal linking too. It shows you the internal links on the pages of your site, so you’ll know which pages have links and which pages don’t.
When you interlink your internal pages, you may get higher Page ranks compared to when you don’t.
This is very important for your SEO.
It’s essential because through these internal links Google gets to know which of the pages on your website have valuable contents and which ones you don’t think have content worth referring visitors. You see, Google will only love you and reward you with high ranks if the visitors adore you. Links are a sign that you have valuable content. Google rewards that, richly.
- Messages tool
Messages tool is located at the left-hand side of google webmaster tools GWT. This is a convenient dialogue box which you can use to communicate with Google, so this is where google console team will send you messages whenever they have something to tell you.
Other tools which are rarely used, and which you may not want to tamper with their default settings are:
- Subscribe tool
If you have a blog which you write posts on frequently, you may want to ask readers to subscribe, share their suggestions on the blog, or comment on your posts. Using this Google webmaster tool, you can monitor the performance of your posts and know which of your posts are the most read or subscribed to. You can then establish what people love to learn about and come up with many similar blog posts to help grow your web traffic. On the same note, you can stop writing posts related to your least read posts.
Google Webmaster Diagnostics Tool
We all make mistakes, and it’s only reasonable. You may make a few of them when developing your website. This tool will troubleshoot your site and help you know exactly where you made a mistake so that you know what to fix.
- HTML Suggestions Tools
HTML Suggestions Tool was developed to detect errors in the markup language. While it doesn’t lower your page rank, correcting the errors may improve your organic traffic. Especially if you don’t take chances with anything.
- Google Search Console Lab
This is more than just a tool. It’s a full-fledged laboratory which lets you try out new webmaster tools so that you can add tools which you find helpful to your account.
- Fetch as Googlebot Tools
Using these tools, you paste the URL to your site, and you’ll be able to see how your website pages appear to Google search engine.
Conclusion on Google Webmaster Tools
Google webmaster tools are valuable and very reliable applications which you can use to the benefit of your website, free of charge. If you are not using them as you develop your site, you better start now. They will guide you and provide you with useful information to grow your website’s organic traffic.