Google Webmaster Search Console will help you to manage Google's indexing of your site. Yola has made it possible for you to take advantage of Google Webmaster's website optimisation tools. In this tutorial, we will give you step-by-step instructions on how to verify your site and submit a Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.
Step 1: Verifying Your Site with Google Webmaster
If your site is not yet published to the web, you will have to do so first, because you will need the URL (web address) during the verification process. If you have not published your site yet, please follow the steps in this tutorial : Publishing Your Site. If you plan on purchasing a custom domain to publish to before getting found on Google, now would be the perfect opportunity.
Once your site is published, you will see the URL by going to Settings > Publishing. Under "Your Domain(s)", you should see the domain URL for your site listed beside Primary Domain.
Write down the URL - in Yola’s example, it is http://zekdesigns.yolasite.com - and head on over to Google Webmaster Tools to get started. If you do not have a Google account, you will have to create one, otherwise sign in with your Google login details by clicking Sign into Search Console.
If you are signing up for Google Webmaster for the first time, on the Webmaster Tools homepage, you will see a welcome message and below it, a box to add your site's URL. Paste or type the URL into the box and click on Add A Property.
The verification screen will open up. You need to verify that you are the owner of the website you have just added.
1. Click on the Alternate methods tab.
2. Select HTML tag. Please ignore the instructions that Google provides, as it is slightly different in Yola, and follow the steps.
3. Copy the portion of the tag next to content, between the quotation marks. In Yola’s example, the section to copy is vDEFASlzekmknyZVwJK82Ecty45wNGsUGMl1ErEJ1K4.
Please use the code that is displayed on your Google Webmaster account, otherwise it will not verify your site. Make sure that you have copied everything between the quotation marks.
Now that you have the verification code, you need to add it to your Yola site. Here are the steps to do it:
1. Go back to your Yola site and make sure you are in the Sitebuilder. (Keep Google Webmaster open in a separate window.)
2. Then go to Settings > Tracking.
3. In the Google Webmaster field box, paste the verification code into the space provided.
4. Click Save Changes.
5. In the Sitebuilder, click Publish.
Once you have added your code to Yola, go back to Webmaster Tools. Click the Verifybutton at the bottom of the page. If you have verified your site correctly, you will see the message "Congratulations, you have successfully verified your ownership…."
Click the Continue link underneath the message. This will take you to the Site Dashboard page.
Step 2 : Submitting a Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools
When you publish your site, Yola generates a Sitemap for the site. This is not something you will notice when your site is published, because it happens behind the scenes. You can submit your Sitemap to Google, using Google Webmaster Tools. Doing this, will give Google more information about your site. If you want to find out more about Sitemaps and why these are useful to Google, please see About Sitemaps.
The Sitemap for your published site, is the site's URL (web address), followed by /sitemap.xml. In Yola’s example, the Sitemap will be : http://zekdesigns.yolasite.com/sitemap.xml
To submit your Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools :
- Log into your Google Webmaster Tools account.
- Make sure you are on the Site Dashboard page.
- Click Sitemaps. This will open up the Sitemaps screen. Make sure that you have the correct site selected. You will find the name of the selected site, just above the red Add/Test Sitemap button.
- Click Add/Test Sitemap. A screen will open up, with the name of the selected site, enter sitemap.xmlin the space provided.
- Click Submit Sitemap. You will see a Sitemap submittedmessage.
Congratulations! You have now successfully verified your site and submitted a Sitemap, using Google Webmaster Tools. Once Google crawls your site, you will be able to log into your Google Webmaster account to see data that will help you to optimize your site for Google.
Where do I get more information on how Google Webmaster works?
- Google Webmaster's Help page is packed with information. Here is the link: Google Webmaster Help.
Help! Google Webmaster gives me errors and I don't know what they mean!
- You can find detailed information on what those errors mean and how to fix them on these links: Crawl Errors and HTTP Status Codes.