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Beginners Guide to Google Webmaster Tools

Firstly for anyone that doesn’t know what Google webmaster tools (GWMT) is it is a free toolset provided by Google that allows you to see what Google thinks of your website and allows you to communicate with Google albeit via automated systems.

There are many statistics available through the use of GWMT that will help website managers get a better insight into what is working and what is hindering the success of the site and its pages.

Getting Started

Go to this page https://google.com/webmasters/ and sign up for an account unless you already have a Google account that you wish to use in which case login with that account.

In the top left of the dashboard you should be able to add a property. Enter the domain name you wish to monitor.

Verifying

After entering the domain name Google wants to check that you actually own this domain so you need to provide evidence of this. There are several ways to do this. You can do this using Google Analytics, by uploading a file or by adding a meta tag to your site.

Performance \ Search Analytics

You can analyse the particular sets of keywords that saw users directed to your site as well as the click through rate for each keyword.

You can view these by keyword, page, country, device and search appearance allowing you make some important changes to your site.

Mobile Usability

This section shows you any pages that Google is flagging up as not being ideal for mobile. These pages might look ok on a mobile but might have slight issues or they might look terrible and fail these checks completely.

Structured Data

Structured data is really rather key and is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying its content. Anyway, if for whatever reason you are unhappy with the way your site appears you can control them by adjusting your structured data. This is achieved in HTML format, so you’ll need some ability in using this.

Data Highlighter

This is a useful tool that enables you to fiddle with certain details in order to make it clear to Google what the most important information on your site is. You can customize how certain data and information appears in searches and it is very useful if you have forthcoming events such as sales or open days that you want to stand out when particular searches are made.

URL Inspection Tool

The URL Inspection tool provides detailed crawl and indexing information about a specific page. It can highlight potential structured data and indexing issues on a page.

At the moment not all tools have been design to run in the new search console so you can still flip between the two.

Remember this is probably the most important tool you can use if you want your site to go well in the organic search results.

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