If you are aware of the wide reach of the Internet today, you are likely also well aware of the enormous value that lies in establishing and maintaining a successful website for your business. Unfortunately, many businesses have discovered that even after they invest the time, money and effort into creating a well-designed, informative website, they don’t necessarily experience the influx of traffic, conversions or sales they expect. Of course, the burning question is: Why? Fortunately, a valuable, free tool provided by Google may have the answer.
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools, or GWT, is the former name for what is now referred to as the Google Search Console. Originally designed to aid webmasters in better understanding the traffic that goes to a specific website, the Google Search Console has long since proven invaluable in aiding a much broader group of individuals–essentially anyone who wants to better understand their website’s performance. Once it has been set up, the Google Search Console can track how many people are visiting a website, whether they are using a mobile device or desktop computer to visit a website, which website pages are most often visited, whether there are website errors and much more.
While there are many details one could get into when using the Google Search Console, following are a few of the key ways to use this amazing tool:
- Add and verify your website in Google Search Console. This step is required to ensure that the individual who is trying to access information about a specific website is either the owner, the webmaster or an authorized user. Once you have logged into your Google Search Console account, you will click on the button that says, “Add Property” and enter your website’s URL before clicking “Add Property” again. You will then need to verify your website through adding an HTML tag, uploading an HTML file, using the domain name provider, adding Google Analytics code, or using Google Tag Manager.
- Link Google Analytics and Google Search Console. While there are some similarities between these two tools in that they can both be helpful in determining your website’s overall performance, there is some information that can only be gained through Google Analytics–such as how many visitors your website is getting, how they are arriving there and how long they are staying–and some information that can only be gained through Google Search Console–such as who is linking to you, which keyword queries are leading to your website and whether there are problems on your website. By linking these tools to one another you can get all the information you need in one easy location.
- Add a sitemap. A sitemap can provide important information about a website so that both search engines and web crawlers understand how the website is organized and what content it contains. When your sitemap is submitted to Google Search Console, this makes it much easier to ensure Google has access to all the information they need in order to report to you.
- Crawl for website errors. Most individuals would agree that it is far better to find and sort out website errors for oneself before someone else finds and tells you about them. Use Google Search Console to crawl errors on your website and notify you if and when it finds them, describing the error and sometimes even making helpful suggestions about how to resolve it.
When it comes to establishing and maintaining a successful website that achieves the desired results, Google Search Console is an absolutely invaluable tool that is free and easy to set up and use. For more information about how to reap the many benefits of Google Search Console, contact Web Content Development today.