January 28, 2016
With this easy Webmaster Tools / Search Console Guide, you will be up and running in no time!
By Maureen McCabe
NOTE: Google changed the name from Webmaster Tools to Search Console, I have added Search Console.
Once upon a time, having a great website put you leaps and bounds above your competition. Times have changed, however, and now you need to have a full grasp of the ways your website is working for you (or isn’t) in order to stay above the competition.
Google Webmaster Tools can be a website owner’s best friend, and if you’re not using it to the best of its ability, you’re probably missing out on opportunities to build your audience.
Google Webmaster Tools is not as tough to understand as you may think. Once you get started, the process is pretty intuitive. With this easy guide, you will be up and running in no time!
- Get Set Up. Getting set up is easy (not to mention free).
- Invite Google to the Party. Waiting for Google to know you exist can take a long time (if not forever). To avoid this waiting game, submit a sitemap, which will tell search engines about your site’s pages, what kind of content they contain and how often you expect to update them.
- Employ the use of a site such as XML-sitemaps.com to generate a file you can upload to your server.
- Once you’ve created your file, simply go to your Google Webmaster Tools profile and click the red Add/Test Sitemap button.
- Wait about a week and you should start receiving stats.
- Fix the 404s. 404 errors can easily diminish a user’s experience on the web. Google Webmaster Tools tracks these errors, which means you can take action to prevent frustrating problems as they occur so you enhance your visitors’ experiences.Broken links and missing pages are among common 404 problems that can occur on your own site or as a result of pages you have linked to. To see what’s not working, head to the Health section of your dashboard, then go to Crawl Errors. De-link any broken outbound links and correct internal errors that are causing disruption to your user experience.
- Make Use of Options to Optimize. SEO doesn’t mean much if you’re not optimizing for search engines. Google Webmaster Tools can help you enhance your optimization by telling you how noticeable you’ve become in cyberspace. Check the Search Appearance menu for HTML Improvements to learn what issues your site has and find potential fixes for the problems.Focus first on title tags, then move down the list from most to least important so you make sure you take care of the biggest problems as a top priority. The more you optimize your search engine appeal, the greater the audience you’re likely to reach.
- Commend Quality Content. Quality content is an imperative part of the SEO equation these days. Google Webmaster Tools will help you understand when you are delivering content correctly if you track the Traffic menu. Here, you’ll learn which keywords are positioning you highest in the minds of consumers and which keywords are leading to clicks that could ultimately convert to sales.
- Analyze Your Links. Links to and from your site can cause devastating damage if you are not looking over them carefully. Use the Traffic menu to examine Links to Your Site to see who is linking to you and how they could be damaging your reputation.
Learning how to use Google Webmaster Tools is just one rung in the ladder to website success. To see where your site stands, request a free marketing report from McCabe Marketing today!
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