Google Webmaster Tools
Both Google and Bing have special services for website owners, which is called Webmaster Tools. You may visit them:
We are going to talk about Google Webmaster tools (although Bing have almost same functionality, you need to configure both for better SEO results). Google rebranded its Webmaster tools as Google Search Console, in 2015.
Although webmaster tools gives us very good understanding that how search engines are treating our website. I am just going to speak about few compulsory features of Google Webmaster tools or Google Search Console.
Tip: Remember to check your webmaster tools after every 15 days. Do not forget to schedule this date in your calendar as this is one of the most compulsory parts of an onsite SEO.
- Add all the website’s versions and choose your preferred one
Make sure to add separate Search Console properties for all the URL variations that your site supports, including https, http, www, and non-www. If I open a website with the URL http://www.cateringinnyc.com or http://cateringinnyc.com, it will open the same website but search engines take both of these URL as different links. So, choose any one URL, either with www or without www.
No need to confuse yourself with this, you can use any one whatever you may like, this does not make any remarkable difference in the SEO. But whatever you choose, stick with it. Always use same version in the back linking and in the Robots.txt file.
First, add both versions in the Google Search Console or Google Webmaster tools and then, select one as per your choice.
- Select target country
Set your geographic preference if your site targets users in a specific country as this is really helpful for the Search Engines. The website will be accessible from all the regions but search engines prefer it in the specific country you have chosen.
- Submit a sitemap file
This helps Google to better understand that how to crawl the site. If you remember, we have created and uploaded the sitemap.xml file to ftp. Link that sitemap.xml file here like http://www.cateringinnyc.com/sitemap.xml. Later on, when access the Google Search Console or Google Webmaster tools after 15 days, it can be checked if there is any issue with the sitemap file.
- Learn how to work with Search Console
As I have just explained some little and most compulsory things about Google Search Console or Webmaster tools, spend some time here and learn more about other things available in this service. I will try to write an article series about this topic where I cover both Bing and Google Webmaster tools in detail. Although Google also offers video tutorials with its console, but it seems boring. So spend some time to understand them as it will really help you that how Google tells more about your website.