Google has been doing a lot of changes in its search algorithms, and so it is important to be aware of how your website is going and if Google needs to communicate something with you about your site.
For this Google offers Webmasters Tools, a free tool that provides webmasters with a detailed report of a website page’s visibility on Google. The Google Webmaster Tools have lots of useful tool that can help you identify errors and problems on your websites that will also guide you in improving your website’s visibility on search engines.
Setting up your website for Google Webmasters Tools is very easy and doesn’t take long. Below is a simple guide you can follow.
Add your website to Google Webmasters
To get started, go ahead and go to Google Webmasters Tools website and sign in with your Google email.
Upon logging in, the first thing you do is to add the website you’d like to be on Google Webmasters. You can do so by clicking on ‘Add a site’ button on the upper right corner of the page.
Then you will be prompted to add the URL of your website. Type in your website URL and click Continue.
Verify your Website
Verifying your website on Google Webmasters requires accessing the backend of your website and being able to modify its markup or files and content. This is also something you can do at later stage in case you run into problems accessing the backend.
Google has a few methods you can choose from in verifying your website. They have a recommended method which has a straightforward and easy instructions to follow.
Alternatively, you can do other methods that would be best for you.
Now that you have verified your website, you may want to start to configure the good stuff from Webmasters. You may start with submitting your sitemap from the Dashboard.
Sitemaps helps search engines categorize and better crawl your website so submitting your sitemap to Google Webmasters Tools is highly recommended. To add a sitemap, simple click on Sitemap from your Dashboard.
And then click on the red Add/Test Sitemap button on the right corner of the page. From there, you can test or submit your sitemap.
Google Webmasters Tools is a great tool to determine site errors. It can give you data on 404 pages, DNS, Server Connectivity, and robots file.
It’s important to be able to check for 404 links in order to create 301s for your old pages. The Google Webmaster tool has an easy way to detect 404 links and fix them as soon as 301s are made.
From the Dashboard, click on Crawl Errors. You will then be presented with the 404 links on your website listed by priority.
You can easily select each link or download the list as a spreadsheet. Once you’ve made your 301s, you can just tick each links and mark them as fixed.