The Google Webmaster Tools page has been renamed the Google Search Console. No matter what you call it, this is a handy, free service that website owners can use to their advantage.
Five Features of the Google Search Console
There are a number of ways to use the Google Search Console, but here are some of the most popular features. You can:
- Submit or resubmit your site’s sitemap to Google.
- Check for any security issues with your website
- Look for problems with mobile usability – Just because your site is mobile friendly doesn’t mean there’s not room for improvement. The search console shows you specific issues on specific pages.
- Examine factors that affect search engine optimization – Go to the HTML Improvements area of the Search Appearance section to see if Google has any suggestions for you.
- Check out the Crawl Errors for broken links.
How to get a Google Search Console Account
The first step to get going with Google Search Console is to sign up for an account. Then you add your website (or sites) to your account. Google will want to verify that you’re associated with the site.
If you have a WordPress site your theme might have a spot for your Search Console verification code. If not, you can use a plugin to add the code to your website. There are a number of plugins that help you with this. Here are just a few of those plugins with links to instructions on how to add your verification code.
If you don’t have a WordPress site, Google has other methods of verifying your association with the site. You can FTP a file to your website host, use your Analytics account or use your domain name registrar for verification. The Search Console site will walk you through these methods.