Today I want to talk about how and why to connect your site to ‘Google Webmasters’.
This is just one of the steps that I take in my overall site launch or site evaluation SEO process. When launching a site our goal is to get this site on the Google search engine as quickly as possible so we can begin getting ranked for the keywords we have on our site and begin bringing in some of the organic traffic. With many website launches, we will use SEM ( or paid marketing ) traffic to help supplement our website as the search engine bots begin to crawl, index and rank our pages. Being that I work in e-commerce it is crucial for us to have traffic on our sites as that is the only way we can make sales. For more content based sites, traffic is still a huge component but not as necessary to drive paid traffic to the site unless you have a direct way to convert on this traffic.
Now where does Google Webmasters (search console) come into play with getting my site listed on Google? Well, webmasters to me has 2 main functions. 1 is to monitor the health of your site. 2 is to tell Google that your site is now live and allow you to submit a sitemap giving Google an easier way to ensure all of your pages have been crawled by the Google Bot. The quicker we are able to notify the Googlebot that our site is live and allow it to start crawling our pages the faster we will begin to see our pages show up on Google and begin ranking for different keywords. The goal being to get to the 1st page of Google for various searches which relate to our site or our content we are producing.
How can you link your new, or current, site to Google Webmasters? First you need to visit this link: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home. From here, sign into your Google account if you aren’t already or sign up for a Google account. This will allow you to use the various Google tools including webmasters, analytics, adwords and more. Once logged in, click ‘Add a Property’ in the top right corner:
When you click this button, you will be prompted with a popup in which you can type the URL of your site into:
Enter your site name here and click ‘Add’. The other option here besides Website is Android App, we are not registering an app so no need to worry about that.
Once you have entered your website you will see this screen:
If you are more technically savvy and know how to add an html file to your site, by all means go ahead with this method and it should work fine. Before I knew how to do this it was a bit confusing to me and I needed a different option in order to be able to complete this on my own. Luckily, Google gives us some other options under the ‘Alternate Methods’ tab which are in my opinion a little bit easier. See below:
Here we see quite a few different options in which we can verify ownership of the website. For me, when I launch a site one of the first things I do is get Google Analytics set up so I can start monitoring traffic, so this is usually the first option I go to in order to verify. What it will do is match that the Google Account email you are using on webmasters is also an account that has access on the Analytics account. If these match, you will automatically verify. Now for those of you who are linking your own personal site and may not have set up Google Analytics yet (which I recommend you do), you should have access to your Domain Name Provider. This would be where you purchased your domain from (GoDaddy, Bluehost, etc.). You will select your provider from the drop down and then you will be given instruction in how to verify your account via that provider. This is a rather easy step as well and verification should be almost instant after you have completed the necessary steps.
You now have successfully verified ownership of this site and linked it to a webmasters account! From here there are two steps I usually take. Feel free to view my posts on what these are here:
The Google Webmasters Checklist
How to link your Search Console site to your Google Analytics
Thanks for reading!!
Keep on learning.