Last week I wrote a beginner’s guide to Google Analytic. This week I’m going to show a beginner’s guide to Google Webmaster Tools.
If Google is the mothership of SEO, then Google Webmaster Tools is the control panel. Last week I told you how to use Google analytics for your site. This week I will go into details on why you need to use Google Webmaster Tools and how it will help your SEO.
Google Webmaster Tools basically help you have a better understand of the ins and outs of your website on Google. It’s a selection on tools and features under one umbrella that will help you understand where your site is on Google SERP (search engine result page).
5 benefits of using Google Webmaster Tools:
- Precise stat on how much organic traffic your site got over a certain time period.
- How much organic traffic a page from your site got over a certain period.
- How often Google crawls through your site.
- An accurate account of any error that are occurring on your site.
- It details if there are any security issues on your site.
So yes, it pretty damn useful. This is also where Google will tell you if your site has been penalise and how to fix it.
How to set up Google Webmaster Tools:
In order to set up Google Webmaster Tools, then you do need to put a little bit of code onto your site. Here let me talk you though it:
Firstly, you will need a Google account. If you have a Google account for Gmail, YouTube or even for Bloggers. If you don’t, then you need to set up a Google account, trust me there loads of benefits to it.
Visit the Google Webmaster Home Page and click the Sign up button.
You are taken into a plain white page with just a little box to fill out.
Just fill out the full URL and click add:
It will take you to the next page:
Now if this look scary, don’t be. You just need to prove to Google that you own your site.
There are two methods on doing this:
The recommend method and the alternative. Honestly, I wouldn’t go with the recommend method – it too long and complex. The alternative is much simpler and straight forward. So go with the alternative method:
There are 4 options:
HTML file upload
Upload an HTML file to your site.
Add a meta tag to your site’s home page.
Use your Google Analytics account.
Google Tag Manager
Use your Google Tag Manager account.
I’m going to show you the HTML tag method. So go click on that and a grey box will appear:
(I have blurred out some stuff – mainly part of the code as I’m just protecting myself.)
Copy and paste the code and then go into your WordPress dashboard: Appearances> Editor and look for header.php.
Once found you paste the code between the <head> </head> part and before the body. Like this way:
Once done click update file.
Now go back to Google Webmaster Tools and you should still have the grey box and the option to verify. Click on the verify button.
Hopefully if done successful, then it will tell you and get a little message telling you. Woohoo now you can use it.
Now you might get an email from them telling you how to improve, my advice is fill out all the information as it will only benefit you.
The next page should be the main dashboard. Don’t worry if this look complicated. I will briefly explain:
For now, only look at the Search Analytics section:
It might look a little now – Google hasn’t yet crawled through your site. Let me show you a live version:
As you can see from the chart it a steady line. It tells me how much clicks I have received over a period of time.
Queries: This show you the search term people has typed in to find your site. It can be quite fun t look and to see how people find your site.
Clicks: This show you how many clicks you have received from a certain search term.
You can always get further details by clicking up the top of the page and click on ether CTR, impressions and Position. But it upto you.
Now I must show you something really important. One of the first thing you must do when are on Google Webmaster Tools, is actually tell Google you want your site to be crawled.
Click on the top right hand side of the page: Click on site setting.
This page gives you the options to how Google will show your site and your crawl rate. Ignore the preferred domain – so let look at the crawl rate. You are going to click on the ‘Let Google optimize for my site (recommended)’ option. Click save. Now Google will constantly crawl through your site and give you live update. This does help your SEO.
Google Webmaster Tools has a lot more features to talk about – but I will leave that for another time. This is after all a beginner’s guide to Google Webmaster Tools.
Let me know if that has been helpful to you. As always feel free to ask any questions down in the comments box.