How to activate webmaster tools
First of all you will need to have a Google account, if you don’t currently have an account you can set up a new one here.
Once you have logged into / registered your Google account, you can then gain access to the webmaster tools area by searching “Webmaster tools” and adding your domain (i.e this domain is : websitemanagement.ie)
Next step is verifying your ownership of the domain you have added (No chance to spy on your competitors here!)
Google recommends adding a html document with a unique name to verify your ownership, this probably is the easiest way to verify your site but it can hit problems if you are using a htaccess file to control linking structure.
Alternative verification options include :
Adding a custom DNS record (this will require you to contact your hosting provider or server technician)
Linking your Google Analytics account to your webmaster tools, definitely worth doing if you are using Google Analytics.
Last option is to add a meta tag, some knowledge of your website code will be required. (html, php for instance)
Why use webmaster tools?
As you learn more about how you can get more from your website, every tool that provides you with information about how your site is performing is a tool you can’t do without.
In my opinion some of the highlights of webmaster tools include :
- The ability to submit a sitemap and track google’s indexing of links
- Displays all the search queries that your website has received impressions for (great for keyword potential)
- Accurate (generally) report of websites linking to your website, and which pages are linked to most
- Internal linking structure information
- Crawl errors (any issues Google finds while spidering your website)
- Page speed details (this was great up until today, as Google have released speed data information in Analytics now! woot!)
If you have any issues activating your webmaster tools account or find features in webmaster tools useful, let us know!