If you’re serious about improving your site’s organic traffic and you’re willing to dedicate your time to increasing your search engine ranking, then you’ll need to get on board with the tools that the billion-dollar search engine has created for webmasters just like you. If you aren’t aware, webmasters tools is a partner of Google Analytics, another piece of software created by Google that’s also free of charge. I’m loving all these freebies.
Google webmaster tools (GWT), otherwise known as Google Search Console is a piece of kit that has been created by Google to allow you, the webmaster, to track your search engine performance and to submit relevant details regarding your site to Google. Therefore, doing so will improve Google’s understanding of your website and the niche that you’re looking to target. GWT will also update you if it’s found any errors on your site and other technical problems. It’s honestly the most useful kit in my SEO toolset.
Below, I have listed some of the information that can be submitted to Google via webmaster tools in regards to your site:
- Your preferred domain that you want in the search results (www or non-www);
- Your preferred crawl rates (How often Googlebot should visit);
- Your sitemap file (List of all your pages so Google can easily navigate to each part);
- Fetch Requests (Ask Google directly to visit a specific page on your site);
- What country you would like your site to appear in (GEO Targeting Feature);
- Malicious links that may be affecting your site search engine performance (Disavow tool);
- A few more other useful features I’m sure I have missed.
So yes, lots of stuff that you can do with webmaster tools. Plus, it’s completely free, forever. It’s a no brainer to get your site signed up. Therefore, I thought I’d drop by and create a post of how to setup webmaster tools on your site.
How To Setup Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools)
Enough of me rambling on, let’s get started with this webmaster tools setup.
1) You’ll Need To Create A Google Account (of course)
As GWT is a Google product, of course, in order to get started you’ll have to create a Google account. If you have your site setup on Google Analytics, then you’ll have an account already.
If you haven’t already, you can do so by going to Google.com and clicking the ‘Sign In’ button in the top right (If you’re on desktop), click ‘Add Account’ and then ‘Create Account’.
Fill in the fields and you’ll have a Google account setup in no time.
2) Additionally, Setup A Webmaster Tools Account
Once you’ve created a Google account, you’re then eligible to setup a webmaster tools account. Good stuff.
You can do so, by navigating to this URL (once logged in): http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools
Once you’ve clicked the URL, you will be able to see the search console. You will need to start populating the search console with your website(s), you can do so by clicking ‘Add a Property’. This is Google’s more-complex was of saying Website.
A popup will display which will then prompt you to add your site address. I would suggest creating both a www. and non-www property, it’s best practice. As an example, if your website address is: http://www.websiteurl.com – firstly, add this URL and then add http://websiteurl.com (without the www).
3) Verify your Webmaster Tools Account
Lastly, you will need to verify that you own the site. Google doesn’t allow their users to add any site on the web, as their software collects confidential data in terms of the keywords the sites ranking for, websites linking to them, traffic and more. You will need to prove to Google that you own that site in order to create a webmaster tools property.
There are 5 WMT verification methods:
- HTML file upload (Upload an HTML file to the root of your site);
- HTML tag (Add a meta tag to your site’s homepage);
- Domain name provider (Sign in to your domain name provider);
- Google Analytics (Use your Google Analytics account);
- Google Tag Manager (Use your Google Tag Manager account).
Google themselves provide guidance on how you can verify your property.
That’s it, folks, once verified you’ll have full access to webmaster tools. Then you proceed with submitting your sitemap files, crawl rates, preferred URL, the country that you’d like to target and more. Let us know if you have any further questions with setting up search console for your site.