A properly set-up Google Webmaster Tools profile increase the chances that your website will be listed prominently in the search results pages, allowing you to generate organic (free) traffic.
When launching a website, one of the very first tasks you should complete is setting up your Google Webmaster Tools, where you will give the search engine all the relevant info about your site. A properly set-up Google Webmaster Tools profile increase the chances that your website will be listed prominently in the search results pages, allowing you to generate organic (free) traffic.
This step-by-step guide will outline all of the important tasks that you must do in order for your website to be properly listed in Google. Doing so will ensure that Google knows about your site, which increasing the chances that it will be seen by those looking for your products or services.
When logging in to Google Webmaster Tools for the first time, click on Add a Property. You will then be prompted to input the URL of the website that you’re submitting. The website must be one that you own or manage, and you’ll have to verify ownership of the site in the next step.
It’s important to remember that Google considers www.yoursite.com and yoursite.com to be two separate properties, and each must be submitted to Google Webmaster Tools. You can specify which version you would like to be displayed in search results later on.
To verify that the website is one that you own, you must follow the next step so that you can continue to add it to the Webmaster Tools. You can verify by one of the following methods:
Once your website has been verified, the rest of the Webmaster Tools console will be open, and you may begin to complete the rest of the tasks so that Google will know about your website.
The first thing that I typically do when adding a new website to the Webmaster Tools is add the Sitemaps in Search > Sitemaps. A sitemap is an XML file that shows all of the pages on your site in a list. Depending on how your site was created, you may have multiple sitemaps that needs to be input. Adding your sitemap will ensure that Google can thoroughly crawl all of the pages of your site, and that they'll be indexed for use in search results.
Once your sitemap has been submitted, you will want to specify whether you want www.yoursite.com or yoursite.com to be displayed as the primary URL in search results. To do this, click on the gear icon in the top right hand corner of the Dashboard and select Site Configuration from the dropdown menu. There you can select the URL version that you would like to have displayed in the search pages - provided you have added and verified both versions of the URL.
The next page you should visit in the drop-down menu that appears when you click on the gear is Google Analytics Property, which allows you to link your Google Webmaster Tools account with your Google Analytics. This allows you to see info from your Webmaster Tools (such as search results) in your Analytics profile.
The next step requires you to wait until the site has been crawled by Google’s spiders, and its content has been indexed. Once this has happened (it may take up to a week for Google to index your site), you can use the Data Highlighter to let Google know where important information is displayed on the various types of pages.
If you have an e-commerce store, you should definitely use this tool so that Google can find the price, product category, image, product title, rating - which is used in the search results. If you have a blog, you can do the same for your blog posts and highlight the published date, author, default photo, etc. Other types of content that can be added via the Data Highlighter tool in addition to articles are:
Once you have completed these tasks, your website should start to rank in Google’s search results. You may have to wait a week or 2 for the pages to start showing on when searching with relevant keywords. Use the pages under Search Traffic to access the data for your site’s search results placements, most popular pages, and clicks.