Google Webmaster Tools – what’s it all about?
08 January, 2014 | SEO
Estate Agents that are serious about growing their website and attracting more search engine traffic should get involved on Webmaster tool.
Tracking your websites performance is crucial in order to see how well it is doing. You may be spending money on online advertising to attract new customers but if you don’t monitor the results you could be wasting your money on certain marketing campaigns.
What is Google Webmaster?
This is a piece of software that is in place to help you understand what’s going on with your website. In a way it is similar to Google Analytics but it is more focused on the technical side of your website, whereas Google Analytics is specifically for marketing purposes.
Why is it important?
Google Webmaster will help you identify the problems your website may have, such as security issues (viruses, etc), crawler issues, broken or poor links and much more. It also helps you to optimise visibility on the internet and is a great tool to monitor the impact your website is making on the internet.
1. First, you need to have a Google Account. If you have already set up a Google Places, Google Plus or Google Analytics you can use the same account, if not then you will need to sign up for one.
2. Setting up a Webmaster tools account – go to www.google.com/webmasters/tools and sign in with your Google account. If you use Google Analytics sign in with the same address.
3. Click ‘ADD A SITE’ which is located on the right side of the page.
4. Enter the URL of your website.
5. You will need to verify that this is your website. You are given a number of options to do this. We would recommend you do this with an HTML tag:
Go to ‘Alternate methods’
- HTML tag – Google will provide you will a snippet of code to add to your website. Simple copy this and ask your website provider to add it to your Meta data.
6. Once done, click ‘Verify’ at the bottom of the page.
7. Now your account should be authorised and ready for you to use (keep in mind it may take a few days for the data to begin appearing).
Get the most from Webmaster
- Add a Sitemap to help Google index relevant pages. A sitemap helps to explain the structure of your website which allows Google to crawl it easily.
- Improve your sitelinks – on the search engine results page, Google may add a few additional links to internal pages of your website. These links are automatically generated by what Google thinks are your most relevant pages, but within Webmaster Tool you are able to have some control over them. Through webmaster you are able to demote up to 100 links, giving you better odds on getting your favoured links to display. By doing this it could help you achieve more clicks.
- Optimise existing pages to increase traffic –Under the ‘Search Traffic’ section it shows you the search queries that people type into Google to find your website. You can review the keywords people are using to find you, improve the pages they land on and generate better results.
- It allows you to remove bad links – Google Webmaster allows you to remove bad links to your website. You should only really use this if Google has notified you about unnatural links as you could accidently remove some important links.