Google Webmaster Tools are a set of tools offered by Google to give website owners a insight into how their website is seen by the search engine. It provides reports and data that can help you understand how different pages on your website are ranking and appearing in search results. Google also reports on errors that it encounters whilst crawling your website as well as queries used in the search engines to find your website. Adding your website to Webmaster tools is straight forward and an important step in optimising your website for the search engines.
How to add your WordPress website to Google Webmaster Tools
- Go to the Google Webmaster tools website at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en
- Sign in with a Google account.
- Click “Add Site”
- Enter the URL of a site you’d like to add and click “Enter”
At this point, Google requires that you verify your ownership of the domain and provides a variety of methods for you to do so including: HTML file upload, HTML tag or with your Google Analytics account etc. The easiest method is to upload a small HTML file to your website.
- Download the HTML verification file.
- Upload the file to your website
- Confirm successful upload by visiting http://www.yourwebsite.co.uk/googlefilename.html in your browser. Google will provide you with the exact URL you can use to verify that you have successfully uploaded the verification file.
- Once you have uploaded and verified the file, click the “Verify” button.
Note: It is important that you leave the Google verification file on your website, even after verification.
Once you have added your website to Webmaster Tools, it is a good idea to add your sitemap. To add your sitemap:
- Click on the “Crawl” link in the side menu.
- Click “Sitemaps”
- Click the “Add/Test Sitemap” button
- Enter the Url of your site map e.g. http://www.mydomain.co.uk/sitemap.xml
- Click “Submit Sitemap”
If you don’t have a sitemap on your WordPress website, we recommend using the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.
That’s all you need to do to add your WordPress website to Google Webmaster Tools. Once your data starts coming in, you can check it regularly and use it to address any errors etc.