Confused about what is the Google Webmaster Tools?
Not sure how to set it up? How to use it? New to building websites? New to online marketing?
If you find yourself asking the following questions:
♣ Am I getting visitors?
♣ Where are they from?
♣ What keywords did they search that landed them on my website?
♣ Are they using desktops or laptops to view my website?
♣ What’s my ranking position on Google?
Then now’s the perfect time to learn about Google Webmaster Tools!
I will be sharing with you all these information below. Topics covered include:
- What is the Google Webmaster Tools?
- How to set up Webmaster Tools?
- How to use Google Webmaster Tools
- How to link Google Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics
- Video training on the above
Lots of ground to cover here, so let’s dive straight in.
What is the Google Webmaster Tools?
Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), also known as Google Search Console (GSC), is a free service tool provided by Google for website owners to check on certain data as well as detect errors.
You are presented with precise information on your website and details on errors.
What Google Webmaster Tools does is to collate data from your website, then you are presented with 2 types of information:
(1) Information about your website and (2) Information about your visitors
Besides GWT, the other major search engine, Bing, also has its own webmasters tools.
Close to 2/3 of the world’s internet users use Google to do their searches and about 1/3 uses Yahoo and Bing.
Of course, there are several other search engines, but this article mainly covers Google Webmaster Tools.
In summary, Webmaster Tools is the direct communication between your website and major search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing.
So, GWT is like your personal Data Analysis Assistant!
There are 3 main types of information you can obtain from Webmaster Tools:
1. Search Traffic
2. Google Index
Read the section on How to Use Google Webmaster Tools below.
How to set up Webmaster Tools?
1. Go to Google Webmaster Tools, input your website address (your domain name) and click add a property.
2. Verify your website
There are several ways to verify that you own the domain which you have input in step 1 above.
Any of the above ways will work but I find the easiest way is by using the Google Analytics method.
Verifying your website using Google Analytics
1. Sign in with your google account, click “sign in” then “Analytics”, then “sign up”.
2. Create your account, input your website details and get your Tracking ID (it looks something like UA-12544274-5)
3. Within the Wordpress dashboard, key in your Google Analytics ID in your SEO plugin (I use All in One SEO), and click “update options”.
4. Lastly, go back to your Webmaster Tools, click verified and you are done.
How to use Google Webmaster Tools
1. Search Traffic (Search Analytics)
You get data on
(a) Clicks – how many clicks you get that take people to your website
(b) Impressions – how many people saw the link to your website but didn’t click in
(c) CTR (Click-through-rates) – percentage of A/B, percentage of people clicking into your website
(d) Position – shows the average position of your website (you can check the position for each specific page)
2. Google Index
This is where you know how many of your pages are indexed by Google, that means your pages are within the Google directory.
Will people be able to find your particular article by typing in the exact URL? If that particular page is indexed, then yes.
Another way of finding out whether your pages or posts are indexed is by going to the search bar of your browser and type in “site: mydomain.com”.
Google will then return results of all the indexed pages and posts.
Under Crawl, there are a few more information which we can properly make use of.
- Crawl errors
This is where you can see your redirects and other errors.
- Fetch as Google
This is a useful tool to use if you want your pages to get indexed faster. Here is how to do fetch:
Step 1: Input your URL (just the URL that comes after the domain name)
Step 2: Choose either Desktop or Mobile: Smartphone (my suggestion is to do both)
Step 3: Click Fetch (for updating of contents)
Tip: Click Fetch and Render if the appearance of your website has changed drastically
Submitting a sitemap for your website is important, let me repeat that. It is important to submit a sitemap.
Think of a sitemap like a roadmap for Google, telling it where to search for your pages, your posts, your images, the corridors (internal links).
Submit your sitemap
If you already have a sitemap, just type in “sitemap.xml” in the space provided.
If not, you will need to create one first.
Creating your sitemap
I use a plugin called “Google XML sitemaps”. Once this is activated, it will appear in the dashboard, and your sitemap is created.
How to link Google Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics
Finding it a hassle to toggle between Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics? You can actually set up Google Analytics to get data from Google Webmaster Tools.
How To Set Up Webmaster Tools in Google Analytics
1. In your Google Analytics, click “admin” on the bottom left
2. Choose the middle tab “Property“, then click “Property settings“
3. Scroll right to the bottom where you see Search Console. Click on “Adjust Search Console“.
Next, you want to scroll back up, click “Edit“, then choose the website you want to add in and click “Save“.
You will see your website show up in “Enabled views“.
See Your Webmaster Tools’ Data Reflected in Google Analytics
Go “Acquisition > Search Console”
You will be able to see information on:
1. Landing Pages
Much like what you see within Google Webmaster Tool itself.
I hope you find this useful.
Next, video training on the above, read on.
Video training on Google Webmaster Tools and Linking With Google Analytics
All the above will be covered in this hour-long video.
1. Setting up your Google Webmaster Tools
2. How to verify your website
3. Setting up your Google Analytics
4. Sync Google Analytics and Search Console – Get data under one house
Bonus tip: What to do with errors – Troubleshooting Crawl Errors
Other related videos:
Connect GWT with the All-in-One SEO plugin
A short video (2 mins) to show you how to quickly set up your Google Webmaster Tools in your All-in-One SEO (my recommended SEO plugin )
Setting up Google Analytics
Google Analytics, another useful feature for website owners. Learn how to do the initial set up here.
Enabling Security (SSL Certificates)
More security for your website, how to add HTTPS to your website.