Whether you're launching a brand new website, or you're simply trying to do a better job at tracking how your website is performing, setting up Google Webmaster Tools is a great way get a behind-the-scenes look at how Google sees your website. And with majority of your organic traffic coming from Google, it's a great way to appease the search engine giant.
It’s important to know what’s going on with your site on the backend to make sure Google has all the information it needs to keep your site visible. Using the right platform to assess your website design and help with this process is key. Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is free and helps communicate with Google to adjust how your site crawls, how the external and internal links to your site are indexed, what keywords are being used to find your site, and even the rate at which searchers are clicking. You will also be able to see the site statistics, and a few other important components.
Sounds awesome, right? Here’s a quick guide on how you can set this up on your own website:
Sign up for a Google account if you don’t already have one. You can do this by going to Google.com and register for a Google account, which you will be able to use across the entire Google platform.
Once you have this account, go to Webmaster Tools, which is located at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools. Sign into this account with your Google email and password you have chosen.
Once this is done, you will have to verify your account. Google has a few ways to aid in the verification process. One of them is to upload an HTML file. Additional options include logging in to your domain provider and a few others that will assist in proving your authenticity.
Once you have verified you are the owner of your site, your account should be ready to use. It may take a few days for data to start appearing if this is the first time you’ve done this, but it will eventually populate and provide the statistics you are seeking.
It is a good idea to submit a sitemap to properly configure your site for Google, and for ranking purposes. This will help Google determine what pages you have so they can be indexed. This helps in getting more traffic.
Google Webmaster Tools provides in-depth insight into trends, which can be converted into opportunities. You can use GWT to search queries, analyze traffic patterns, get keyword insights, look at authorship statistics, and improve your site speed - all in an effort to optimize your website for search and conversion.
Using Google Webmaster Tools in conjunction with Google Analytics can assist in providing the metrics you need to better understand all aspects of your website design and how it is being used to meet your target audience. Taking the time and doing the research can make a tremendous difference in how your website performs. Use this information to optimize your site to achieve the best results!
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