Google has an array of tools to help website owners promote themselves and one particularly useful tool is Webmaster Tools. Whether you manage your website yourself or not, it’s well worth setting up or asking your web developer if it’s already set up for you.
The information provided by the application is very useful, albeit rather technical but gives insight into how well your website is being indexed by Google and if they’re encountering any errors on your site. Other information provided is
- when your site was crawled
- how quickly the pages load (important for Google),
- which keywords your website is being found for and which ones are resulting in click throughs to your site
- which sites link back to your website
- if any malware has been found on your site, i.e if your site has been hacked!
To set up Google webmaster tools, you need a Google account. If you have one already, for example for Gmail, you can use the same login. If not, create a brand new Google account. Once you sign up to Webmaster Tools, you need to verify that you own your website. In order to do this you need to paste some code into the home page of your site or upload a blank webpage – Google will provide the filename for this page. You can ask your web developer to do this for you if you’re unsure, it should only be a 5 minute job!
Once done, log back in and click that your site is verified, then you’ll have access to all this information. You don’t need to check the stats every day, but perhaps every week or so depending on how large your site is.
Let us know of any useful tools you use to keep check on how your site is performing!