Google Webmaster Tools is a free tool set provided by Google that helps you to understand what is going on with your website.
GWT provides you with detailed reports about your page’s visibility on Google. You can use webmaster tools to :
- Get Google’s view of your site and diagnose problems
- Discover your link and query traffic.
- Share information about your site (sitemap)
Submit your site to Google Webmaster Tools
Login to Google Webmaster Tools with your Google account. Click ‘Add a Site’ Button(in the right corner). Paste your site URL in the box and click ‘continue ‘.
After adding your website you have to verify your site ownership . You can do this through four ways:
- Upload an HTML file to your server – The ‘Recommended method ‘ is to upload an HTML file to your server. You can download this file to your desktop and upload it to your sites root folder using a FTP client.
- Use your Google Analytics account – You can use this method if you have a verified Google Analytics account .
- Add a meta tag to your site’s home page – You need to edit your site HTML and add a meta tag provided by GWT to verify your account .
- Add a DNS record to your domain’s configuration – Sign in to your domain registrar or hosting provider and add a new DNS record to verify your ownership.
Choose any of these methods to verify your site ownership. After verifying your site, click on your site URL and go to the Dashboard.
Once your site is verified you can see your website data. Sometimes it can take a few hours to fetch your website data.
The dashboard gives you a rough overview of your site’s crawl status, number of indexed pages, search queries, etc.
Site Verified What is Next ?
Ok , now the site is verified, and we need to configure some settings to get better ranking .
Crawl section gives the detailed reports based on your site’s performance on Google’s search. Please submit your sitemap first and get indexed fast.
Submit a Sitemap
This is the first and most important configuration in your webmaster tool account. Sitemap tells Google about pages within your site .
Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps Google to know about all the pages within your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process .
Go to Crawl >> Sitemaps >> Add/Test sitemap
It is very easy to create a sitemap . If you are using WordPress,create a sitemapwith Google XML Sitemaps plugin . Otherwise go to XML Sitemaps to create a sitemap. All you have to do is enter in your URL of your homepage and click “start”.
After submitting your sitemap you can see the number of submitted URLs and indexed URLs. If some pages are not being indexed because the contents on those pages are not unique, the title tags and meta descriptions are very generic,or not enough websites are linking to your pages.
You can find all the not found(404) pages in the list . Fix all these errors for better crawling your site.
Google crawl most of your pages on a daily or weekly basis. So this section gives the detailed reporting of your site’s crawl stats .
Fetch as Google
Fetch as Googlebot shows you how exactly a page appears on Google. All you have to do is to type a URL of your site in the box and click on Fetch.
This analyzes your robot.txt worked as expected. You can block as many as URLs in your robot.txt files if you don’t want to index them.
I blocked my plugin and theme files using robot.txt.
This section gives you a detailed report on how your data shown in search result .
Structured data tab shows all structured data in your site and structured data errors if any.
HTML Improvements section shows the HTML errors and short meta description on your pages.
Site links show automatically generated links that may appear under your site’s search results.
You will get the detailed report on your search engine traffic.
The Search Queries page shows those Google Web Search queries that have returned URLs from your site. You will get the complete data such as such queries,impressions , clicks , CTR , your page’s average postion in search result, etc.
Links to Your Site
This is the backlink analysis section of your site . Here you will get the detailed data on who links the most and your most linked content.
This list shows the most inter linking pages of your site.
This section shows if Google takes any manual action on your site for performing any spammy techniques.
The Content Keywords page lists the most significant keywords and their variants Google found when crawling your site.
You can easily find your site is listed for your targeted keyword
The Index Status page provides stats about how many of your sites URLs Google was able to index
Search Engine Optimization is most important in these days . Google’s algorithm update slap blog and website with large amount of duplicate content . Google sends a lot of warning messages to web masters about their site , unnatural links etc.
So it is important to set up a webmaster tool account for your website or blog. You need only one account to manage more than one sites.