Google Webmaster Tools can prove a real valuable source of important information that is surely going to help you a lot to speed up your website’s optimization plus getting rid of your site’s unwanted and crucial errors in minutes.
Here is a step by step tutorial to guide you how to use Webmaster Tools program to make your website healthier and well optimized.
Step 1 – Register for Google Webmaster Tools account
The very first step will be to get an account registered at Google Webmaster Tools. Open up the following URL: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/.
Fill in the simple details as is required by Registration form to set up the proper account. After creating the account add your website to the Webmaster tools using “Add a Site” option.
Step 2 – Verifying the ownership of your Website
So just after you are done with adding your site you will have to verify it to prove that you are the authorized owner of the site to avoid giving access of a website’s data only to the authorized user.
Google will give you a number of choices to verify the website:
a. Downloading a HTML file and uploading it to your website
This requires you to download a HTML file from Webmasters account and upload it to your website creating a new page with the page name as is specified in instructions and then verify that page in your account on webmaster tools.
b. Adding HTML meta tag
For this verification method Google will offer you a HTML meta tag. You have to upload it on home page of your website and then click on Verify Button.
c. Verify using Domain Name Provider
You have to select your domain name host from a number of options and get verified your domain name provider by signing in there and verifying as per the instructions.
d. Verification using Google Verification
You need to have a verified Google analytics account with proper analytics tracking code placed on your website and moreover you must be the admin of your analytics account.
Once you are done with verification of your website you will be redirected to the dashboard of Webmaster Tools account.
Step 3 – Google Webmaster Tools Features Overview
Well as a first time user of Webmasters dashboard you might get puzzled about the features listed there and their usage. So I am presenting here a basic overview of each feature:
This is very important feature and will carry the messages that will be directed directly from Google informing you about the health of your website and the issues or warnings related to the website. You must keep on checking this section on regular basis so as not to miss any important information about your website’s health or information about any penalty in prior.
This part is basically dealing with kind of technical details and you will not be needing to work with it quite a lot.
- Information of the sitelinks that should be demoted.
- The crawl rate for your website.
- URL parameters option to notify Google of any changes you have made to your website’s URL.
- List of users which are associated with your account and have access to it.
This is again one of the most important feature in the list and where actual working starts. This feature is going to provide you a very vast pool of knowledge about your website and tips to improve and optimize it.
The options under Health Section are explained below:
Crawl Errors: This option will give you insight into the crawling errors noticed by Google means list all the pages of your site that which Google is finding non-reachable.
Crawl Stats: Crawl Stats gives you a complete knowledge of the stats about how many pages are crawled per day for your website, Page downloaded rate and time.
Blocked URLs: This will provide you the information about the pages and URLs blocked by you in Robots.txt file that cannot be crawled by Google.
Fetch as Google: This option is really very beneficial as using this you can submit your new or updated pages to the Google for fast indexing of your website’s pages.
Index Status: This feature will give stat about how many pages of your website are indexed plus the comparison to the index pages with past stats as well.
Malware: This option is used by Google to notify you if any malware is found on your website.
This is again a very important section to be monitored on regular basis. This will give you a lot of information about your site’s incoming links and internal links, best keywords people use to find your website and Google +1 votes etc.
Here are the options under the Traffic Section:
Search Queries: This feature lists the keywords or user queries for which Google returned your website in results, number of clicks for each query, CTR and average ranking position for your website.
Links to Your Site: This Webmasters too will give you complete insights into the backlinks of your websites. You will get complete knowledge of the backlink url linking to your site, which page of your site is linked to, number of time a page is being linked to and almost everything about the backlink profile for your site.
Internal Links: This will list all the page urls on your websites which are linked to other pages within same website.
+1 Reports: This option is there to let you know about the effect of Google +1 votes on traffic results of your website.
Optimization feature mainly captures information about On page optimization of your website. It will be having following options under it:
Sitemaps: This option lets you to submit a sitemap for your website for proper crawling of your pages.
Remove URLs: This feature as the name suggest allows you to request for removing URL from Google SERPs. Also you will see here status of the previous URL removal requests.
HTML Improvements: You will find the details about any HTML improvements needed in your website under this section.
Content Keywords: This feature will inform you how your content is perceived by Google.
Also there are Structured Data and Other Resources options which may be of less use generally.
Labs Section includes a number of other tools which can be used to study some more factors. The factors that comes under Lab section includes:
Author Stats: You must have heard of rel=”author” feature of Google which verifies you as authentic author for associated content. With Author stats feature you can keep track of the verified content of yours.
Custom Search: This option will give you option to have a personalized search experience. You can preview the search for your own website or can also add other site’s pages.
Site Performance: As you may be aware that Google give importance to Website’s speed as well in determining ranking for a website. This feature will provide details about speed issues and the method to optimize it for achieving improved speed for your website.
So as you have seen in this tutorial that how informative Webmaster tools can prove for achieving a well optimized website without needing much manual effort. So don’t forget any more to dedicate few minutes to Webmaster Tools every day.