How to review your website from a technical perspective

How to review your website from a technical perspective

One of the must have tools if you are going to be a webmaster, or responsible for other people’s websites, is Google Webmaster Tools. Google Webmaster Tools is our go to place for reviewing the health of our website, and those we manage for other people. Watch this short video to find out more about Google Webmaster Tools, or as we like to call it in the industry, GWT:

To use it:

1. Get it installed

The first thing you have to do is have correctly installed it on any websites you wish to review and maintain.

If you need help with this, see our Support & Maintenance packages.

2.… Make sure you are a user on the account

Next up, you need to make sure are a user on the Google Webmaster account in question. If you had another company set up your website and / or Google Webmaster Tools for you, this may be as easy as sending them a request to add your Google ID or email as a user to the account.

You’ll need to be clear on what your Google ID is — it’s an email address you use to access Google products. It’s possible you may have more than one Google ID, so get clear on which Google ID you use for accessing Google Webmaster & Google Analytics.

If you have been provided with the log ins to a Google Webmaster or Google Analytics account by a client you are looking after, you should log in as them and add them as a user to the account. To do this:

– Once logged in click on the ‘settings’ cog (top right)
– Scroll down to ‘users’
– Click on add user’
– Give yourself at least restricted access or full access for some third party professional software systems which may require it to integrate with their system

3. Repeat the process for www or non-www versions of your URL

Depending on the system you are on, Google may read each version of your website differently i.e. your www. And your / For this reason it is best practice to verify both versions of your site, and to define a… preferred domain. This will generally mean repeating the process of establishing and verifying a GWT account for both your www and non-www version of your website.

4. Create a site map for your website

A… sitemap… is a file that you create (some sites automatically generate them) where you list the web pages of your site, to tell Google and other search engines about the content you have and the organization of your site content. A dynamic site map will also tell Google when you produce new content, so it can consider also indexing this page. Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read sitemaps to more intelligently crawl your site, and as a consideration in how they rank websites, each and every time they crawl it.

You can choose from a variety of options to build your sitemap to submit via Google Webmaster Tools. The standard way to build a sitemap is to make an XML file.

You also have the option to create your sitemap manually or, alternatively, you can choose from a number of third-party tools to generate your sitemap automatically.

After you make your sitemap, you need to submit it to Google with the Sitemaps page.
Creating a sitemap and submitting it to Google is a little technical and depending on your level of skill you may need some help from a professional (and we can assist).
But it is worth persevering yourself, or in paying someone to complete this important item (submitting your sitemap on Google Webmaster Tools) as it will help you review and maintain your website, and also gives your website a chance to rank on Google’s search engine.

Once you have successfully implemented and verified your Google Webmaster Tools account, and submitted a sitemap, GWT will start to provide you valuable feedback for you to review your website from a technical perspective. Google Webmaster Tools provides a range of insights.

Do you already use Google Webmaster Tools to check the health of your website? What do you most like about GWT? Have you got a few tips from this blog post? What will you being going off to implement?