By registering your website with Google Webmaster Tools you will obtain useful information on how Google perceives your website. You will be able to identify any potential problems with your sites navigation and overall design structure. This will enable you to make appropriate changes to your website, in order to improve your search engine optimisation results. Google provide their Google Webmaster Tools for free, you simply need to sign up and follow the verification process.
Once your website has started to generate a certain amount of data you will be able to analyse a wide range of statistics and information relating to your sites performance. By utilising this data you will be able to finely tune your website and increase your chances of achieving higher search engine ranking results.
The following are my top 5 essential settings, which you should pay particular attention to.
Upload a Google XML Sitemap to your server
This will help to ensure that Google indexes all of the individual pages of your website; this can be found under Site Configuration/Sitemaps.
Uploading an XML Sitemap will provide Google with a detailed map of your website, which will help them to crawl all of your web pages. This is especially important for bigger websites that have a large number of brand and product pages and is an established Search Engine Optimisation practice.
Set Your Geographic Target
This will help to improve your local search engine ranking results and can be found under Site Configuration/Settings.
Setting your geographic target will help Google to understand the particular country or region you are targeting. This is a very important setting, so please ensure that it is correct for your website.
Review Google’s HTML suggestions
Rectifying any HTML suggestions highlighted by Google will help to improve your position in the search engine listings and can be found under Diagnostics/HTML Suggestions
Google’s HTML suggestions will include any issues that they have found when they were crawling your website. These may includes duplicate or missing Meta Tag information as well as any problems encountered when attempting to index your content.
Review Your Sitelinks
This will help to improve the click through rates to your core pages and can be found under Site Configuration/Sitelinks
Sitelinks are links to a website’s internal pages that may be listed in the search results. Google automatically generates these links for some websites, however these can be modified using the webmaster tools.
Monitor Your Web Page Loading Times
The speed of your web page loading times will help to improve both your search engine ranking results and customer satisfaction. This data can be found under Labs/Site Performance
Google now uses your web page loading speed as one of their many ranking factors, it is therefore important to ensure that your web pages are loading as fast as possible.
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