How To Set Up Google Webmaster Tools

What is Google Webmaster Tools?

Google Webmaster Tools (“GWT”) is a set of tools developed by Google to help marketers maintain the health of their sites and find out what topics their prospects are interested in.
Why Should I Use Google Webmaster Tools?

Why use GWT?

It can help you address two significant areas of focus for Google around SEO:

  1. Technical website site health;
  2. Relevant content.

Technical Website Health

Technical Website Health involves things like whether your sitemap is up-to-date, whether Google’s bots can access your site’s pages, and whether you have backlinks to your website from shady sites.

These types of technical issues keep lots of sites from ranking well on Google searches, but most of the marketers we work with have no idea that’s the case and don’t know how to determine whether their site has such technical issues.

Relevant Content

Every marketer is aware that creating relevant content is key to getting ranked well on Google searches and engaging prospects, so there’s no need to explain. Just know that Google Webmaster Tools can help you figure out what topics are relevant to our prospects.

Setting up Google Webmaster Tools

Setting up GWT is a 4-step process:
1. Go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
2. Log in using your Google account
3. Enter your site’s URL and click the “ADD A PROPERTY” button
4. Verify that you have admin access to the website.

Verifying Admin Access

After clicking the “ADD A PROPERTY” button, you’ll be presented with a screen that displays a recommended method of verifying “ownership”:

But there are multiple ways to verify that you have admin access to your website. My preferred method is to put an HTML meta tag on the site. You can access this method by clicking the “Alternate methods” tab and selecting the “HTML tag” radio button:

If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, you may have a tool installed that lets you enter tags in the header and footer of your main template:

Copy the tag from the Google Search Console screen and paste it at the end of the header tags section:

Once you’ve done that, click the “VERIFY” button on the Google Search Console screen and you’re done. You can start using Google Webmaster Tools to identify and fix technical issues with your website and Google Search Console will start tracking search terms and Landing Page data on your site, giving you valuable insights into what topics your prospects are interested in.

If all of this is a bit too technical for you and you’d like some help, you can reach me at win@wincanalytics.com

Happy data-driven marketing!

– Winston

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Winston Clay
Winston is an irredeemable nerd, information consumer, ever analyzing and creating solutions.

He started his career in IT as a Macintosh computer lab manager and ended up as a software engineer before he exited the corporate world to help IT SMBs market better.

Winston and his wife, Ginger, live in Charleston, South Carolina with their awesome youngest son.  Their older children, who are also awesome, are in different states of self-sufficiency.